My cousin, Linda, had a son, Kevin, who was killed last August (2008) while riding his motorcycle. The man who was driving the car that hit and killed Kevin has been acquitted of vehicular homicide while driving under the influence. He was, however, found guilty of two DUI-related counts, along with recklessly endangering another person. I think that I’ve decided that at this point, it really doesn’t matter. There is no verdict that would have made anything better for Linda and her family.
What would justice look like in the case of a drunk man who killed your son? I don’t think that there is or even can be justice in this type of situation. Justice is something that you just can’t look for or expect. There is nothing just about a child’s (no matter the age) death as a result of someone’s recklessness.
A child – Kevin was 30. Another friend of min had a child die this past fall of cystic fibrosis. Shaun was 28. Christopher was just 17. Non of these young men were “children,” but they were the child of a loving mother. There is no age limit on the definition of an untimely loss of a child. Anytime a child dies before their parent, it is untimely; it is just not right. It is not “just” whatever that is.
Justice – the first definition of justice on dictionary.com is “the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness.” Would somebody tell me what is morally right about a man, with a previous DUI, killing Kevin? Even if this man had gone to jail for a bazillion years, would that make this situation meet the definition? Would that have made the situation equitable? Would that have made this situation fair? Of course not!
So where does that leave Linda; where does it leave me? I think that the bottom line is that Linda and I need to accept the reality that there is nothing that can ever happen that is going to make our situations fair; there will be no justice. The price we have paid is far to great.
If we can’t get justice, what is the answer? I fear that the answer is forgiveness. I hate even saying this as it sounds so “good”. Trust me, I am not that good, nor do I think that this is easy. Linda is closer to forgiveness than I am because she is closer to angry than I am. I don’t want to be angry. Angry takes a lot of energy and I don’t have any energy to spare. It is all I can do to get through each day. I don’t want to be angry and honestly, I don’t think that I am willing to be angry.
I guess I am just hoping that angry is not a necessary part of this process.