by Yoko Ono Lennon
December 8th is near again. Every year, on this day, I hear from many people from all over the world who remember my husband, John Lennon, and his message of peace. They write to tell me they are thinking of John on this day and how he was shot and killed at the prime of his life, at age 40, when he had so much life ahead of him.
Thank you for your undying love for John and also for your concern for me on this tragic anniversary. This year, though, on December 8th, while we remember John, I would also like us to focus on sending the following messages to the millions of people suffering around the world:
- To the people who have also lost loved ones without cause: forgive us for having been unable to stop the tragedy. We pray for the wounds to heal.
- To the soldiers of all countries and of all centuries, who were maimed for life, or who lost their lives: forgive us for our misjudgments and what happened as a result of them.
- To the civilians who were maimed, or killed, or who lost their family members: forgive us for having been unable to prevent it.
- To the people who have been abused and tortured: forgive us for having allowed it to happen.
Know that your loss is our loss. Know that the physical and mental abuse you have endured will have a lingering effect on our society, and the world. Know that the burden is ours.
As the widow of one who was killed by an act of violence, I don’t know if I am ready yet to forgive the one who pulled the trigger. I am sure all victims of violent crimes feel as I do. But healing is what is urgently needed now in the world.
Let’s heal the wounds together.
Every year, let’s make December 8th the day to ask for forgiveness from those who suffered the insufferable. Let’s wish strongly that one day we will be able to say that we healed ourselves, and by healing ourselves, we healed the world.
With deepest love,
Yoko Ono Lennon
New York City 2006
Published in the New York Times, 8th December 2006.