Two years ago, 58-year-old Dahlia Forbes suffered an unimaginable loss.
Her daughter Toneva Forbes, a sales rep from St James Parish in Jamaica, was brutally raped and murdered.
Her killer a 28-year-old man from the neighbouring parish of Trelawny was convicted for the murder of Toneva Forbes and sentenced to life imprisonment. But instead of holding onto her anger, Dahlia Forbes has forgiven her daughter’s killer. In an interview with the Jamaica Observer, she said,
“I forgive him because if I don’t forgive him what sense does it make that I pray? God is not going to hear my prayer if I don’t forgive. I would be saying my prayers in vain if I have iniquity in my heart”
But what does it take for a parent to forgive such a crime? I can’t say with certainty but maybe this mother sees this as the only way that she will be able to move forward, pick up the pieces and be a support for the children of the victim. Forbes’ daughter died leaving 2 kids, ages 4 and 6.
Toneva’ mother knows the struggle to provide support for these kids. She said,
“Their mother gone, one of them don’t have no father, so what a go happen to them? That is my problem”
The pain from losing her daughter won’t simply go away. When a parent loses a child in such a brutal way, those memories never simply fade away. For this mother, she knows no matter what the punishment given to her daughter’s killer, this will never bring back Toneva’s life.
And recounting the trial, this mother’s anguish and loss became even more obvious when after the judge read the charges; the accused answered “NOT GUILTY”.
Stories like these occur too frequently across the Caribbean. Crime is taking a toll on what use to be a simple and peaceful life in the Caribbean. This mother’s story of loss and forgiveness shows that throughout these vicious acts against innocent people in the Caribbean, remains hearts capable of love and forgiveness.
RIP Toneva Forbes and Stay Strong Dahlia Forbes
For more read the full story at Jamaica Observer