I don't think that not forgiving someone means holding a grudge. It just means you've decided you don't want to forgive them.
Wasn't it Lord Longford who felt that Myra Hindley deserved forgiveness? You cannot tell someone else how to feel in such a terrible circumstance, because only the people so deeply affected know how they feel and as Hindley, in all her time upon this Earth, after those murders, couldn't even bring herself to say where the bodies of the children were, to bring some kind of peace to those parents, let alone apologize from her soul, why the hell should ANYONE have forgiven her for what she was a part of?
I get very fed up with folks who tell you that you should forgive someone, when they have NO idea how that person has so deeply affected you.
It is only for the person who has been affected the most to decide and whatever they decide to do should be respected.
I could never forgive anyone who murdered a child of mine. To be honest, I don't think I could even if they begged for forgiveness. Some things ARE just simply utterly unforgivable and sometimes, those who have done those things just have to live with the horror of what they've done.
Most certainly, had I ever done such a vile thing, I'd not WANT nor EXPECT to be forgiven. I'd probably just end my life, were I able to, slip quietly away and be no more trouble to anyone, feeling I no longer had a right to live upon this earth, after doing such a terrible deed.
It is not bad to not forgive. It doesn't destroy someone not to forgive. In fact, sometimes, people need to feel they have that power inside them, because every other power has been taken away from them by the person others feel they should openly forgive.
I think it really is down, entirely, to the individual person concerned who has endured such hell.
And if your child has been murdered, raped, etc..how do you ever live a normal life again anyway? You can't. You just go into 'existing' mode.
I have friends in America whose only son was killed by a drunk driver. He was their only child. They have turned towards Love, loving everyone they meet, creating love around them, but...BUT...they have not forgiven the young man who drove into their son, driving him through a brick wall, along with several of his friends, some of whom sustained terrible head injuries...
That man was out of prison SO fast. Adding to their heartache....
They have no intention of forgiving him and he has never made the effort to even go and see them, despite living just a few blocks away. Their lives stopped that day...and even though they have many friends and family around them, so much love, I know that all they want is to be back with the beloved son one day soon.
I would NEVER tell either of them they have to forgive that young man, ever. I've seen just a small part of the fallout of his decision to drink himself senseless, then get into his car....My friends have to live with that each and every day, no child, no marriage of that child, no grandchildren, no future direct continuation of their family. It was ALL taken on that fateful day.
They continue to love though...