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Why Nicole Avant Forgave the Man Who Murdered Her Mother

Photo via Wiki Commons

Why Nicole Avant Forgave the Man Who Murdered Her Mother

By Movieguide® Contributor

Nicole Avant is opening up about her decision to forgive the man who murdered her mother, philanthropist Jacqueline Avant.

“When I forgive him, it’s really forgiving for myself,” she explained on an episode of MAKING SPACE WITH HODA KOTB. “I don’t know his name. I don’t know anything about him. I don’t want to know anything about him. I don’t care about him. I don’t condone what he did. I do not make an excuse for what he did. I’m not a person like, ‘Oh, he had a bad childhood.’ I don’t care. A lot of people have bad childhoods and they don’t do terrible things.”

Avant, who served as U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas from 2009 to 2011, lost her mother in 2021 during a home invasion. 

“My mom happened to be up,” she said of the event. “She just happened to be in the crossfire, and she encountered him. She fled. And then he [shot].”

Jacqueline was taken to the hospital, where Avant talked to police officers about what had happened. 

“The police officer, thank God, who was at the hospital — he was the one who said to me, ‘I was in the ambulance with your mom and I want you to know how strong [she was]. Your mom is so strong because she was alive and she was fighting,'” she shared. “It was a gift that he gave me of telling me how my mom was fighting. It was a really good gift that he gave me that I’ve carried.”

Avant explained that she needed to forgive Aariel Maynor, the man who shot her mother, “for myself because I have a heart.”

“I have a good heart. And I have a happy heart. And I wanted to protect my happy heart. And I could not hate him and be at peace at the same time. I tried. It doesn’t work,” she said. “So the forgiveness was more for me of giving up the anger and giving up the questioning and the why, because I started doing that, Hoda, and I thought, ‘None of this is bringing her back anyway.’”

She spoke about her decision to forgive further in an episode of Bill Maher’s “Club Random” podcast. 

“I don’t want to sit in darkness, and I don’t want to sit in victimhood,” Avant said. “I can’t. I’m like, you know what I had to decide Bill? I’m not going to suffer to be sane. I’m not suffering for my sanity. That, I’m not doing.”

Avant released a memoir earlier this year, “Think You’ll Be Happy: Moving Through Grief With Grit, Grace, and Gratitude,” about the experience. The title was inspired by the last text message her mother sent to her. 

“Her last words were — I really, I believe cause I don’t believe in coincidences — and out of all the things that she could say to me before somebody broke into her house, those words were: ‘OK. Think you’ll be happy,’” Avant explained. “My mom was big on your words and your thoughts creating your life.”

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Watch IT’S THE SMALL THINGS, CHARLIE BROWN
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Watch IT’S THE SMALL THINGS, CHARLIE BROWN
Quality: - Content: +2