Losing a child at any age isn’t easy. However, imagine for a moment, that you are driving on a family vacation and your car breaks down.
You pull “safely” to the side of the road and prepare to fix your car.
Then in an instant your son is gone. Taken to a higher place by a young lady who fell asleep at the wheel and veered off the road.
What would you do? Let’s face it, the effects of losing a child can be absolutely devastating.
Yet, what Ernie Jackson did after losing a child in a car accident was truly extraordinary.
Almost instantaneously he was able to forgive her.
But that’s just part of the story…
Losing a Child and Gaining the Gift of Freedom
That’s why I’m thankful that Ernie Jackson was kind enough to share his story of forgiveness after losing his son in a car accident..
Here is Ernie Jackson’s amazing story of forgiveness…
Miracles still do happen!
Even in the most unfortunate situations; maybe especially in the most unfortunate situations, such as losing a child.
Our son, Quinton Stone Jackson “died” in an accident on June 10, 2009.
A young lady, whose name we have since learned is Amanda, fell asleep at approximately 5:35 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon and ran us over as we were parked thirty feet off the road just past mile marker #1 on Colorado Highway 160, not far from the Four Corners Monument.
And here is the miracle of losing a child!
It wasn’t a decision to forgive. I hadn’t even read the words of Christ at that point; that would come more than a year later!
As a young man in my late teens I had driven with a reckless resolve mostly in a way to escape a tough home life. Where some drank, used drugs and acted out – I drove like a madman. During those times I essentially prayed, I had a mantra – “please don’t let me take the life of another because of my recklessness”.
When I looked up, as I lay on the ground with my dying son, into Amanda’s eyes, I saw the utter horror of what she had done etched not only on her face but etched on her soul.
I immediately forgave her; in a way it seemed as if I was looking at myself.
As I lay with my son, his soul already making the transition while his body was taking its last breaths, my own soul ached for the painful journey Amanda was about to undertake – and I forgave her immediately.
I didn’t have to think about it.
It was simply, a reaction.
I saw Amanda was living my own worst nightmare and my soul wanted to instantly take the burden from her. That burden is too large, too heavy and too painful – my soul wished to lighten her load as much as I could.
Are there any specific types of tools or practices that helped you forgive?
I expect at the core of it all is simply, the Golden Rule – Treat others as you would like to be treated.
We all make mistakes, some little and some awful in their magnitude; sometimes we know of our mistakes and other times we are oblivious to the harm we may have done.
In each case I would hope that I am forgiven; in each case I will forgive the other, even if it takes me a while to come around to it.
What important advice or tips would you give to someone regarding the power of forgiveness?
Understand that forgiveness truly isn’t for the other person; the forgiveness is for you and you alone.
Carrying the burden of un-forgiveness or wanting revenge or wanting the other to suffer hurts you much more than anyone else.
Often the person you aren’t forgiving is oblivious to your feelings and even if they know of them, might not care how you feel in the slightest.
On the other hand, maybe the other does care; maybe they are carrying the most unimaginable burden for the pain they have caused.
While your forgiveness of them significantly lightens your load, in these instances their load will significantly diminish too. What a gift and while it is a gift to forgive another, we cannot control whether they want it or appreciate it, which is why it is for us first.
Bottom line, forgiveness is not a box checking exercise. Forgiveness is not an Act, nor is it a Work. True Forgiveness isn’t something we do because we think we are supposed to do.
True Forgiveness is felt…
it comes from the heart and in coming from that place (our soul), it is magical and meaningful. I believe this is what Jesus was teaching us just like turning the other cheek.
Turning the other cheek is all but impossible when in your heart, you wish to tear them limb from limb. However, if there is love in your heart and in your soul, when struck the immediate reaction is “Brother / Sister, what is wrong”? “Are you okay”? “What is bothering you”?
A lofty goal, but when we get there, we will be honoring the Christ spark within us.
There you have it, just like Ernie Jackson illustrated in his story of forgiveness.
Sometimes the people who may have hurt or harmed us are simply a reflection of who or what we could have been.
You will also be glad to know that you can read more about Ernie’s journey in his book Quinton’s Messages.
Quinton’s Messages is a journey of loss, grief and hope after the transition of Ernie and Kristine Jackson’s son, Quinton.
They say “transition” because Quinton had a huge surprise for many as he began making his presence known from the other side within thirty hours of his passing!
Many of Quinton’s visits are shared in Quinton’s Messages from the perspective of awe and amazement. Quinton shows us that, there is no death!!
And this is a gift!
One of the best gifts for parents who have lost a child!
Through this journey Ernie and Kristine celebrate Quinton who is an old soul.
Additionally, Ernie shares how lost he was, totally absorbed in working and providing while not being present with his family. They just touch upon it, because it is a bitter pill and a reminder to all, life here in the physical is a gift; cherish it and be present!
Overall, the book is uplifting and has changed the lives of many as it clearly demonstrates that There is More, you can rise above adversity and even become better spiritually because of it.
In the end, in a world where hurt people hurt people, Ernie Jackson managed to find a way to rise above the pain and forgive in an instant.