Let It Go
by Chris Williams
Hardcover, 151 pages
Published August 2012
by Shadow Mountain
Book source: publisher
Summary From Goodreads: 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 eleven-year-old son, and his nine-year-old daughter, he committed to do something extraordinary: he would forgive.
That decision launched Chris on a journey toward healing that impacted his family and friends, the young man who had caused the accident, and an entire community – a community that would face another deadly tragedy just a few days later.
Chris’s message of empowering forgiveness is an invitation to all who have suffered, however unjustly, to lay down their burdens and let it go.
Heather’s Review: I first heard this story five years ago when Chris Williams 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 above 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.
About The Author: Chris Williams was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah.
After graduating from the University of Utah, he went to work as an IT architect and systems engineer. He is now an executive with IBM.
He and his family currently reside in Salt Lake City.
Learn more at Deseret Book/ Deseret News/ Mormon.org/ Goodreads
Excellent review. I’m interested in this story as I also remember when it happened.