In the middle of Holy Week St Edmund’s Catholic Academy has been blessed with the presence of Margaret and Barry Mizen to share their testimony of how their son Jimmy was killed on the 10 May 2008, the day after his 16th Birthday, and the journey they have been on since, which tells of love, hope, peace and forgiveness.
Their story was an emotional journey for students and staff. Margaret and Barry shared their experience of how anger, resentment and hurt, that takes over after death, can cause destruction to so many people if allowed.
Jimmy Mizen went into a bakery in London with his brother when a fight broke out. The fight was instigated by someone known to the brothers, who they had had disagreements with previously. Jimmy and his brother did not want to fight. However, a glass dish was thrown at Jimmy during the fight which smashed and shards of glass severed Jimmy’s carotid artery and jugular vein. He died in the arms of one of his brothers.
Barry Mizen tells of how they have forgiven Jimmy’s killer because being resentful and angry doesn’t help anyone and doesn’t do anyone any good personally. They know the killer had difficulties and events in his life that resulted in his anger. They asked why interventions hadn’t been put into place earlier in his life to help him.
Barry and Margaret have set up the Jimmy Foundation, which is now called ‘Just Jimmy’. They travel around the country, visiting schools/prisons etc. to spread the message of love, of being valued and of forgiveness. They hope that, by their actions, this will prevent other families becoming involved in similar circumstances.
Jimmy belonged to a normal family. He was one of nine children, who lived in London, was an Alter Server and a kind, generous and happy boy. He went out one Saturday to buy his first Lottery Ticket and never returned home.
Margaret told us how Mary, Mother of Jesus, is a great comfort to her and asked us to think of Mary on Good Friday. Mary watched her son die on the cross and still cared and helped others.
Here is a prayer one of our students wrote after the Mizens visit:
Thank you for blessing us with the opportunity of hearing Jimmy’s story and enlightening us with forgiveness, peace and hope. I haven’t been touched like this in a long time. Mr and Mrs Mizen are incredibly strong and it was an honour to listen to their story.
I am very sorry for their loss and their willpower to continue is desirable. Their encounter is so incredible and for them to share their story is heart-warming. Their power to continue and to forgive is something I’d never have and could never do.
Every day I ask you to give them strength and to make sure they keep spreading their story.
Give everyone the strength to make the world a better place.
Remembering Jimmy Mizen 1992 – 2008
Grace Leo 8KJ, Faith Katanga 8HN and Brientony Jeyarajan 8HN pictured with Mr and Mrs Mizen