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Last July I lost my father and instantly become a suicide survivor at the age of 31.

He took his life in Southern California, placing my sister and I in the position of flying from Minnesota in mere hours to hope for the best even though we knew what the outcome would be. We got there and he was still connected to machines so it was up to us if we wanted to say good bye.

Once we got there, due to the bullet in his head, we had decided not to see him because it was probably not the way we wanted to remember him. This feeling changed immediately in me because I didn't want him to leave this earth without someone holding his hand. He deserved more despite what he had put our family through. Then immediately this sense in my being told me to "forgive him, the chance will not be there again". Rise above the anger, stop questioning his actions, no begging and pleading with God. Just go in there and forgive him.

My sister, aunt, and I went into the room to see him. After a few minutes my sister and aunt left the room. I went over and stroked his beautiful brown hair, when we were kids my sister and I used to brush his hair and he loved it.

I said to him out loud, "I love you. I forgive you. I love you, dad."

Doing this I believe helped me to not seek revenge on myself in this darkest time in my life. I didn't beat myself up about seeing warning signs. It was something I had to do.

I loved listening to this broadcast today and find reading about forgiveness is part of the healing process 8 months after the forgiveness of my dad.