Forgiveness for Lashon Hara
I did something very bad. For many years, I spoke lashon hara about a friend (who I am referring to here as Friend B), but she doesn’t even know it. What happened was I was telling Friend A negative things about Friend B, who lives in another far away city, all without revealing her name, thinking it was okay because these two people don’t know each other and would never meet. All I was doing was venting. How wrong could I be? Turns out, Friend A is moving to friend B’s city and now they will be neighbors within several blocks and there is a strong chance they will meet each other, given the Jewish community there is small and they have common interests that might lead them to a friendship with each other. And I’m sure once they do meet, it won’t take long for Friend A to figure out the woman she meets is my Friend B. Friend B has no clue I said all these bad things about her to friend A.
What should I do now? Should I tell only Friend A, the only one who knows now, that she might soon get to meet Friend B, and to disregard everything I said about her, all while keeping this secret from Friend B, who doesn’t know any bad was spoken about her? Or should I finally reveal to Friend B that I was saying such horrible things about her all these years to Friend A whom she is likely to meet and ask for forgiveness?
Just so you know, Friend B is not a bad person. I still love her very much. She just has some issues that have driven me crazy for so long, and I just felt the need to vent to someone. I never imagined that the person I was venting to, keeping her identity secret, might end up meeting her.