The discovery of the decomposing body of a missing man in Hawaii has solved not one but two mysteries that have puzzled police since last May. Boaz Johnson was discovered dead of an apparent suicide this month, and near him was a suicide note that police say detailed the murder of his pregnant girlfriend, 25-year-old Brittany Jane Royal, back in 2013 after a fight.
Johnson has been missing ever since that murder, making him the chief suspect in Brittany's death, but leaving police little to go on. Now, with the discovery of the 22-year-old's decomposing body and his suicide note, Brittany's mom has spoken out both about the loss of her child and the news that her daughter's boyfriend likely killed her.
What she has to say is ... well, it's pretty amazing.
Julie Royal would have every right to be furious. Her daughter is dead, and seeing as she was 10 weeks pregnant when she was strangled, and her body was thrown into the water, Julie has also lost a grandchild.
But she isn't angry, at least, not in the way most of us would be. Said Royal to KHON:
Acceptance doesn't mean I have to like it, but I want to honor Brittany's wishes and not have hate in my heart, so I won't.
Pretty inspiring stuff, wouldn't you say?
I'm going to be completely honest here. I respect the heck out of what Julie Royal has said, but I don't know that I could say it myself. I know for sure I couldn't DO it.
I'm not a very forgiving person in general, although it's something I've been working on. But if someone hurts my child, all bets are off. I get Hulk Smash kind of angry.
Now imagine it wasn't just "hurt." It was kill? And kill my grandchild too? I'm a writer by trade, but I can't even summon the right words to describe the anger I'd be holding in my heart.
I will say this, however. Julie Royal makes me want to be better.
She has been through hell, quite literally, in the past year, and she has managed to use the love for her daughter to vanquish the hate. In the face of great loss, that's what we really need to do -- to hold onto the love we feel. No one can take that away from us ... not unless we allow it to happen.
Have you ever faced a situation where you had to choose between forgiveness and hate? Which side won?
If you or someone you know has considered suicide, please reach out to a suicide hotline. There is ALWAYS someone there who wants to listen and who will take you seriously. You can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
Image via dotcalm9/Flickr