Mary Fitzpatrick's teenage son was stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack outside a pub in Limerick. Her grief, and the taunts of his killer, before he was finally brought to justice, drove Mary to despair and she very nearly took an overdose. It was only as she kissed her sleeping youngest child goodbye that she got a grip of herself and put the pills back in the bottle. Still, she was a long way from coming to terms with her loss.
Much against her better judgment, she went with her parish priest on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, where, to her surprise, she was overwhelmed by the sense of her life's parallel with Mary - another mother who experienced the brutal death of her son. She planted a tree in Lourdes, in her son's memory, and embarked on a journey to help other parents in the same situation as herself. She now writes regularly to mothers of other murder victims featured in the news and has established the Lost Futures support group. Remarkably, she's even found the strength to forgive her son's killer, although not all of the parents in her group are ready for such a huge step. They may never be and she doesn't ask it of them, though for her, forgiveness has been a liberation and an important stage in finding peace of mind.