If someone murdered your child, could you ever forgive?
In your everlasting grief, could you find it in your broken heart?
I couldn’t. The anger and the bitterness, and the thought of them living their lives out having taken one so precious to mine, would prevent me.
We all know that forgiveness is the most vital of human virtues; that it releases the wounded from the original pain. That it is, in Christian terms, divine. But still. If someone deliberately ended the life of your son or daughter, it is too big an ask.
Consider this, then; a mother whose son was slaughtered by a gang of knife-wielding teenagers just a year ago hasn’t just forgiven them, she is determined to help his killers regain their lives after doing their time.
She plans to sell her family heirlooms to help them.
“I want to replace their knives and guns with flowers,” says Fatemah Golmakani, The North London 56-year-old hopes that hug and kisses and someone telling them they love them, will shake the murderers into changing their ways.
She is one incredible woman. Her son Milad was just 22 when he died from 14 knife wounds to his neck and back. Sean Hutton, Sean Ferdinand and Mohammed Hashi, all 19, and Lij McSween, 17, ambushed him as he played football last April.
They were given life sentences at the Old Bailey last month after being convicted of his murder.
But as they acclimatise to prison, Ms Golmakani has announced her plan to sell her diamond earrings, her grandmother’s watch and the crystal chandelier that has been in her family for more than 200 years.
She will use the money to set up a charity in her son’s name. The Milad Trust will support pupils who fall behind in school, providing them with careers advisers and showing them a different life can be theirs. It will also help her son’s killers on their release.
She said: “This charity will be a present to the killers.
“It will say to them, ‘Hey, you’ve ruined your lives and mine and my son’s but, if nothing else, here’s this to help others like you, and to help you.’ I want to bring their humanity back even if my son is gone.”
It fair takes your breath away, doesn’t it, the depths of this mother’s love? Clearly, this grieving mother who no longer has a son to look out for still wants to nurture.
But this act of utter selflessness is about far more than that. She has looked beyond the horrific event that erupted that fateful night to the root cause of much of the disaffection of today’s youth - to the impoverished childhoods, the poor parenting and the deprived neighbourhoods that spawn young men who, with no hope for a future the legal, decent way, grow up bitter and bad.
Some are calling her stupid and naive and saying her son would be turning in his grave at his mother’s plan.
We need to follow Mrs Golmakani’s heart, not theirs, and hope that the boys who killed her son and are humbled enough to accept her hand.