Dad Who Forgives Teen Who Killed His Son Should Inspire Us All

Inspiring 23

We hear a lot about hero dads who defend their children against the dark forces of the world. There's the dad who beat his 4-year-old daughter's would-be molester to death. And the hero dad who chased down a man who allegedly tried to snatch his 2-year-old. What you don't hear about so often is a different kind of bravery -- one that doesn't require fists or chasing. One that doesn't require anger or vengeance but doesn't require a whole lot of courage. And that is the kind of dad who forgives the teen who killed his own son, and who not only forgives him, but hugs him.

It all started in Grand Rapids, Michigan, when Takunda Mavima, who was 17 at the time, had just been to a party celebrating his high school graduation. At the party there was alcohol. Takunda drank more than the legal limit. And he got in his car. And he ended up killing two other teens, who were in the car that Takunda hit. One of those teens was Tim See.

Tim's father, also named Tim, spoke on behalf of Takunda at his sentencing. Here is an extraordinary thing that Tim said in court:

I promised myself one thing that day. I promised myself I would not get angry.

Wow. Who could not get angry at this? He had every right to get angry. But he knew that getting angry would not bring his son back. He knew it would not change anything. It would only poison him. So he has campaigned for Takunda, asking the judge not to send him to jail:

I am begging you to let Takunda make something of himself in the real world-- don't send him to prison and get hard and bitter, that boy has learned his lesson a thousand times over and he'll never make the same mistake again.

Tim knew that the way to peace is forgiveness, not revenge. It also helps that Takunda has been very remorseful and apologetic.

Takunda was sentenced to jail anyway, as there are mandatory jail sentences with drunk driving in Wyoming. But the judge gave him the the lesser amount. In a heartbreaking but incredibly inspirational moment, Tim hugged Takunda after his sentencing.

Honestly, if there were more people like Tim See, Sr. in the world, it would be a much better place.

Could you forgive in this scenario?

Image via Sylvar/Flickr

accidents, death, crime


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nonmember avatar JS

This happened in Michigan, not Wyoming. They were students of Wyoming Park High School. The article you linked to has it listed incorrectly as well. Awesome fact checking all around. Bravo.

To reflect on the story though, it's incredibly touching that the father was able to forgive Takunda and plead for him. I am certain I would not be able to do the same.

nonmember avatar kevobx

Why is America, asking its citizens to be proud, when the world is in spiritual darkness because? *Psalm 59:12 For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak. (*Matthew 15:11)

KenneMaw KenneMaw

Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do but it is also one of the most freeing things.   One kid made a VERY stupid mistake and he will live the rest of life with what he did.  Although I think I could forgive the person, I would still want him to go to jail for drinking and driving.   I read the best quote - being angry is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.   Angry and hatred will destroy your life and I don't think this man's son would want his Dad's life spent hating someone else.

Torra... TorranceMom

Drunk driving is not a 'mistake.' A mistake is making a right turn when you should have made a left. Are we expected to believe that Takunda was unaware of the possible chain of events that would unfold when he chose to consume alcohol? Two innocent lives were prematurely snuffed out of existence because Takunda CHOSE to do the wrong thing.

Veronica A Hester

I would not have been able to do that. After reading this, MAYBE I could learn to do that. I am not that big a person. I applaud Tim Sr., as anger is a hard emotion to master. 


nonmember avatar kyra

I can't say for certain that I would be able to forgive as Mr. See was able to do. He is truly a remarkable, strong man. The fact that the driver appeared to be genuinely remorseful likely helped. So many try to make excuses and shirk responsibility, I'm glad this young man recognizes the magnitude of his actions.

Before you get too preachy and judgmental about how he "should have known better", think of your own past. I myself shamefully admit I have driven when I've probably had too much to drink. I have also been a passenger in a car where the driver shouldn't have been driving. That was years ago, and by the grace of God, no one was ever hurt as a result of my stupidity. I can safely say many of you have also been in this position, though few would admit it. I can also say the majority of your children will likely drink and drive or ride with a driver who has been drinking. I hope not, but it is likely. The best we can do is educate our kids about the dangers and hope they listen.

As for Mr. See, I hope the power of forgiveness has helped him heal from his tragic loss. He is truly an amazing person.

mumma... mummajenni

Nope. The dangers and consequences of driving drunk or high are drilled into kids and teens. There is something seriously wrong with someone who does it. It's not a mistake. Same with cell phones/texting while driving. They know it is very, very wrong and could kill them and others. If they do it anyway, they need to serve time. In this case, he deserved punishment. You can forgive the person, but not forgive or excuse the act.

Kay Manes

I for one may not have been able to forgive that young man at first but maybe over time i could forgive what he did. While it is admirable that he was able to forgive him i cant understand why he asked the judge to not give him jail time. excuse me but the kid commited a CRIME. He should do the jail time for it. he chose to drink and then drive his car and as a result two lives were lost, those kids will never be able to make anything out of thier live because they were taken from them. When you chose to drink and then chose to drive you deserve every bit of time you get and frankly i don't think they give enough time for that crime as it is. of course the young man was remorseful he killed people. it would be no different if he shot them with a gun. it was a diliberate act and not an accident.

nonmember avatar Amy

Actually, all the kids were in the same vehicle. There were 6 kids packed into that 1 car. This young man made the horrible decision to drink just like the other kids did. He drove drunk, which was stupid. The other kids got in the car with him, which was stupid.

These 2 kids did not deserve to die, but they are not without fault. Their decision to get into that car with someone they knew had been drinking is why they died. I just don't think it's right to put all the blame on him.

This is a very sad and sensless tragedy. I'm glad the dad gave his forgivness though.

jayde... jaydensmom1726

i know i couldnt do the same. but i understand why the father asked that the judge not give him jail time.

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