On March 28, 2010, Kate and Andy Grosmaire received two pieces of news that would change their lives forever.
The first was their worst nightmare: “Ann has been shot.”
And the second was the dumbfounding addendum: “Conor was the one who shot her.”
Their nineteen-year-old daughter had been killed by her boyfriend, a young man who had lived with the family and had come to feel like part of it.
In a beautiful, tragic testament to the liberating power of forgiveness, Kate Grosmaire tells the story of her daughter’s murder at the hand of her boyfriend—and the stunning, deliberate forgiveness and help that Kate and her husband offered to the young man who shattered their world.
Part memoir, part spiritual testimony, Forgiving My Daughter’s Killer is the story of a family whose faith was put to the test and so found the capacity to do far more than they could have thought or imagined.
Kate’s new book, Forgiving My Daughter’s Killer: A True Story of Loss, Faith, and Unexpected Grace, is challenging readers across America. Kate sat down to answer a few questions about what happened to her daughter and how she and her husband Andy both decided to forgive the shooter.
Q. You and Andy did not initially talk publicly about your loss of Ann and your journey with Conor. What changed and why did you decide it was time to share your story in this new book?
A: At first, it was difficult to see our daughter as a headline on the front page of the newspaper in a very personal life struggle. We didn’t want our daughter’s struggle to be sensationalized and we didn’t want to participate in sensationalizing her story. When we decided to pursue restorative justice, we knew it was something foreign to most people—even we hadn’t heard of it. Andy and I were spending this time ourselves learning about what restorative justice was; we hardly felt capable of going to the media to teach the world about it at the time. Until the case was resolved (Conor was sentenced), the story didn’t have an ending. We always intended to share our story once there was a complete story to tell.
Q. Why is your story of forgiveness important to tell?
A. I believe that we are here on this earth to help one another through life. To share our burdens with one another, so that no one feels that they are all alone. Forgiveness brings healing and peace to the forgiver and having experienced that in such a profound way, I have to share the impact that forgiving Conor has made in my life.
Q. Some have called your and Andy’s choice to forgive Connor, “radical,” but you don’t see it that way. Will you explain?
A. In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask God for several things: our daily bread, deliverance from evil; but there is only one thing that we promise Him: to forgive others. We are simply doing what God requires of us. Through our work in the Healing Prayer Ministry, we had begun to practice forgiveness in our own lives. We saw the benefits of forgiveness and reconciliation in our own marriage. We understood that God doesn’t want us to forgive one another to prove how radical we are as Christians, but to experience his mercy and grace in our lives.
Q. Why did you believe in redemption for Conor?
A. We loved Conor. We had seen that he was interested in coming to church and we tried to encourage him in learning more about God’s Church. In a desperate moment, Conor made a horrible decision. We could not condemn him for that one moment of his life. He is so much