NBC Bay Area – KNTV, San Francisco, CA – Scarlett Lewis lost her six-year-old son Jesse during the Sandy Hook school shooting. In the face of that tragedy, Lewis said she learned to forgive the shooter, in part due to the final message Jesse wrote on their kitchen chalkboard: the words “nurturing,” “healing” and “love.”
Lewis is sharing the story of her son’s final act of bravery as well as how she learned forgiveness in a book, “Nurturing Healing Love: A Mother’s Journey of Hope & Forgiveness.” Jesse Lewis had urged his classmates to flee the school after seeing his teacher shot, investigators learned after gathering accounts from survivors. Six children escaped before 20-year-old Adam Lanza reloaded and shot Jesse.
“I knew that forgiveness was possible… It’s taking your power back. Not forgiving doesn’t feel good,” Lewis said.
Lewis’ book isn’t a story about a massacre. It’s a story about love and survival. It’s about how to face the impossible, how to find courage when you think you have none, and how to choose love instead of anger, fear, or hatred.
“I believe that Jesse was put on this earth to do what he did… I’m proud of him. I believe he left a message for me: nurturing, healing, love.” Lewis added. “We understand these final words as a calling from Jesse that says, ‘I have something for you to do for us. That’s to consciously change an angry thought into a loving one’ because it is a choice.”
In addition to the book, Scarlett recently began the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation, which promotes ways for communities to “choose love over anger, gratitude over entitlement, and forgiveness and compassion over bitterness.”
Read the full story: “Newtown Mom Describes Struggle for Forgiveness, Peace After Son’s Death.”