Let It Go: A True Story of Tragedy and Forgiveness
I had no idea who has just hit us, and my mind didn't think to consider if they were all right or not, or what circumstances might have caused them to cross the median and strike us. I simply looked at the car in silence. Then I heard a voice that was not my own in my mind as clearly as if it had come from someone seated next to me. It was straightforward and filled with power, and the voice said, "Let it go!"
On a cold February night in 2007, a devoted father of four and a seventeen-year-old drunk driver both received life sentences. In one violent, devastating instant, both faced a drastically different—and uncertain—future. But as Chris Williams sat in his demolished vehicle, staring at the car that had just caused the death of his wife, his unborn baby, his nine-year-old daughter, and his eleven-year-old son, he committed to do something extraordinary: he would forgive.
That decision launched Chris on a journey toward healing that affected his family and friends, the young man who caused the accident, and an entire community—a community that would face another deadly tragedy just a few days later.
Chris's message of forgiveness is an empowering invitation to all who have suffered, however unjustly, to lay down their burdens and let it go.
PRAISE FOR LET IT GO
"A beautiful story of pain, loss, and triumph from the heart of a remarkable, faithful man. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to heal their soul and mend the unmendable."
—Dr. Stephen R. Covey, #1 bestselling author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
"One of the most powerful true stories of forgiveness, redemption, and love that I have ever read!"
Unabridged audio book
By Michele, Submitted on 2015-02-25
This is such an amazing and heart-felt book. Chris shares his tragic story and how he forgave the man responsible for killing his family. His spiritual insights throughout his trials have helped me greatly. Highly recommend this book!
By Courtney, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I just finished reading Let it Go: A True Story of Tragedy and Forgiveness by the very man who experienced that horrific event. I was impressed with Chris at the time that the story broke. After reading his memoir and the reasoning behind his actions, I am inspired at his humility. Chris didn’t forgive the young man because he had some great ability to forgive, but because he was aware of who he was and that he was also a sinner. He had no right to hold a grudge against anyone because forgiveness was not his to extend.
“I the Lord will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.”
It was a privilege for me to read about Chris’s path to healing and I’m so grateful that he was able to share his experiences with me...
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By Sunde, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I was taken back by the amount of forgiveness and love Chris showed. I struggled with forgiving someone dear to me who hurt me, but after reading this book I realize how silly I was and how I could have done it differently and gotten a very different outcome. What an amazing man and what a life changing example!!
By Heather, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I first heard this story five years ago when the personal friend of my sister-in-law and brother-in- law lost four members of his family in a drunk driving accident. It hit me very strongly because I could not imagine having the immediate response he did--that of forgiveness toward the driver. Chris issued a statement to the press of knowing right after impact that he had to forgive the person who killed his wife and children. He showed absolute kindness and selflessness in the way he handled the days following the crash. Chris Williams is an amazing example of being Christlike and integrating what he believes in the midst of his tragedy. When put through the agonizing press of personal loss, he lived what he knew to be true, and followed the footsteps of the Savior. Reading his memoir was heart wrenching. I think Mr. Williams is incredibly brave to write this down to share it with the world. The image on the front cover is so powerful- as victim and driver sit down on a park bench to talk. (a real shot from the video titled "Forgiveness, My Burden Was Made Light.")
Grab a box of Kleenex while reading this book. I had to take it in small segments because of the descriptions and the anguish felt. Yet, on the flip side, any reader can see how Chris has a very personal relationship with Christ. He got answers to his prayers in overcoming a tremendous burden and trial. This book and videos would be an excellent victim impact lesson. One that I wish I would have had when teaching DUI classes to drug and alcohol clients. It is true to life about how drunk driving has life-altering consequences. Let It Go left a lasting impression on me to drive-- even as a sober drive-- more alert and attentive--to not be distracted in any way while on the road. It also made me want to align my life with the teachings of the Savior and His atonement. One never knows at what point they will be faced with the reality of losing a loved one or passing through heir own ultimate trial. As Williams described this was a "bitter cup" he had to drink. I would like to have seen more in the book about the process of how he worked through it all, the scriptures or lessons he leaned on, as well as his current relationship with the young man who hit his family. After finsihing the memoir, I went online and read and watched all I could to fill in those blanks. There is a lot of additional content out there that paints the miracle of victim and driver becoming friends. Overall what a powerful and moving read. What an amazing story of "letting it go."
Content: detailed descriptions of the accident scene/ physical trauma, recommended for mature teens or adults.
By Tasha, Submitted on 2015-02-25
this book is a wonderful testament to how the savior can help us heal and move forward even when it seems impossible, it made me realize how crucial it is that we forgive so that we can move on, it is a heartbreaking story that teaches a powerful lesson I reccomend it no anyone.
By DeAnn, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Loved this book. This is a book that stays with you. Not only does it touch your heart to get a glimpse into the personal pain of a tragedy but most importantly it gives you a glimpse into the healing power of the Savior. It helped me look at my own life, pain, and healing.
One of the best books on forgiveness I have read. So often we are told to forgive but not shown how. This bridges that gap.
By Mimi, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I didn't want to read this book. I didn't want to feel Chris' pain or to be sad. What I got out of this book was a deep appreciation for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the love he has for us. I was touched by the Spirit that the Plan of Salvation is true, something I have always felt but truly felt it here. A magnificent family, a magnificent man, a magnificent story. A book of true courage and hope. Very uplifting, please read this book!
By Joyce, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I think it is so wondrful that Chris was willing to write about his experience of tragedy and of forgiveness and of hope. He teaches all of us through the book about the great love our Savior has for each of us. Chris has set a wonderful example for all of us to follow. I feel that this book should be read by every adult. Maybe it would help us all to be a "little kinder" as President Hinckley admonished us to do.
By Marta, Submitted on 2015-02-25
The emotions and wonder brought on by this great story are hard to put into words. Any little thorn in my side was easy to "let go" because of this wonderful testimony of the power of the Savior to "make light our burdens". Thanks to Chris Williams for sharing his story!
By Ja'Nette, Submitted on 2015-02-25
This story personally touches my heart, and I am grateful for Chris Williams' example of true Christ-like thoughts and actions in a situation where much of the world would maybe expect him to react otherwise. A great book about healing and heartfelt love. A glimpse at what the Atonement can do to bring light and hope in the face of heart-wrenching tragedy.
By Mike, Submitted on 2015-02-25
This is a book that once you start it you cannot put it down. It will may you cry, but at the same time bring you joy. Joy that we have the Atonement in our lives. May we all be able to forgive and "Let it Go".
By Stacey, Submitted on 2015-02-25
This book has changed my life. It is as much about increasing our faith, as it is forgiveness. I honestly believe I will be a better person now I have read about and learned from Chris Williams. It is people like him, and stories like this that can change the world and make it a better place.