Grandma of boy killed on playground shares journey to forgivenes - WNEM TV 5

Grandma of boy killed on playground shares journey to forgiveness

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Courtesy: Kelli B. Smith Courtesy: Kelli B. Smith

A Michigan grandmother is sharing her personal journey to forgiveness after her grandson was murdered by another young boy. 

Conner Verkeke, 9, was playing on a playground near his home in Kentwood, Michigan when a 12-year-old neighbor took out a knife and killed him. The boy told police he stabbed Connor because he was tired of living and wanted to die himself. 

He was tried as an adult and is currently serving his sentence in jail.

The 12-year-old's father and mother were also both convicted of child abuse and had their other children temporarily removed from the home.

Conner was very close to his grandmother, Toni Nunemaker. The book "Hey, Nana!" is a tribute to the boy and his life after his death. 

"This is a book about love from a little boy, my grandson, Connor, who challenged our thinking, our hearts, and our beliefs in the name of absolute and unconditional love," Nunemaker wrote on the book's website. 

In the book, Nunemaker shares her personal journey to forgive and heal after the loss of her grandson. After the tragedy, she became friends with the mother of the 12-year-old. The book discusses their relationship, conversations and how they drove together to see her grandson's murderer. 

They also discuss ways to prevent future abuse. 

As it was difficult for friends and family to understand how she could mourn the loss of her grandson and still be kind to his killer's mother, Nunemaker documents her journey. 

For more information about the book, click here

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