Left to Tell, by Immaculee Ilibagiza

1406 Words6 Pages
In her memoir Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, Immaculée Ilibagiza endures horrific tragedies as everyone around her is viciously killed by Hutus during Rwanda’s genocide. In the course of just three months she loses almost everyone that she loves except her oldest brother, Aimable. However, despite everything that she goes through, Immaculée forgives the Hutus that wronged her and changed her life forever. Immaculée did not forgive for the good of others but rather for herself. It would do her no good to hold on to her negative feelings for the rest of her life as they would continue to eat at her. With the help of her extreme devotion to God she was able to let go and move on with her life, but without forgetting what had happened to her, her family, and many of the people that were close to her. Without her love for God, she would not have survived living in the bathroom for so long. It was very hard for her to forgive those that trespassed against her, and almost unimaginable to readers that she had the ability to do so, but it was the right thing for her to do. Even when Immaculée was younger and her life was virtually perfect growing up she was a devout Roman Catholic and felt close to God. “I loved praying, going to church, and everything else to do with God. I especially loved the Virgin Mary, believing that she was my second mom, watching out for me from heaven. I didn’t know why, but praying made me feel warm and happy” (Ilibagiza 6). Praying to God was always second nature for Immaculée and a part of who she was. At a young age she agreed with her father when she was told that one could never pray too much. She worshiped her parents almost as much as she worshiped God and learned to have a go... ... middle of paper ... ...e words to share with him, which just goes to show again exactly how strong of a person she was. Immaculée answers the guard’s bewildered questions with a very simple, yet powerful, line to end the final chapter: “Forgiveness is all I have to offer” (Ilibagiza 204). She probably never said something so true again in her life. After spending so much of her energy and emotions in not allowing herself to go around with hatred in her heart, she has nothing left. Forgiveness is a coping mechanism for her, and has left her feeling empty inside when it is all over. After all that she went through, Immaculée was able to find a way to have closure without any more violence because she did not wish to perpetrate the cycle. Works Cited Ilibagiza, Immaculée, and Steve Erwin. Left to Tell: Discovering God amidst the Rwandan Holocaust. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 2006. Print.
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