Making Peace with Daughter’s Murder

Paulo, I have been struggling with the loss of my daughter Melissa, who was murdered by her second cousin over 5 yrs ago and I still can’t seem to communicate with her or really come to terms with her death … but sometimes I feel she is near me. I would also really like to know what really happened that day and if everyone is in prison that should be. — Heather

Heather, I know it’s easier to recommend this than to actually do it, but you do need to let go — not only for your own peace of mind, but also arguably for Melissa’s sake. A great spiritual teacher, Mataji Indra Devi, once taught me that the deceased need us to stop hanging on, so as to release her soul to move forward. According to this point of view, your attachment is not helping her, or yourself.

When you think of Melissa, try to see her as “blissed out,” as in a better place, a higher dimension. It’s not our job to know all the reasons things happen … we cannot. Our assignment is to do our best to accept that there are good reasons that are simply beyond our understanding. Meanwhile, please read a book on grieving and/or see a grief counselor. It’s worth the time and trouble.

As for the perpetrators, the exacting of justice is not your job … nor would it make you feel much better even if you could make it happen … that is a false hope. You have better things to do, including the spiritual effort to free yourself from the tragedy and grief and move on with your own life. Don’t worry about justice … rest assured that in the long run, nobody really gets away with anything. If you set yourself up as judge, you are only creating negative karma for yourself. And, as long as you remain obsessed, you are creating the “instant karma” of adding more suffering (i.e. your own) to that of the world.