Former Vancouver park board commissioner Niki Sharma has accepted an apology from a person who left a racist comment on her Facebook page and told her to stay out of politics.
"I'm glad that we're able to make a connection that resulted in an apology rather than escalating hatred," said Sharma, who is running for a seat on the board of directors at Vancity credit union.
On March 24, Loretta Stark posted on Sharma's campaign page: "we don't want packys [sic] in politics you people are taking [o]ver our country."
The 67-year old said she "feels sick" about what she wrote and has been subjected to online humiliation after the incident gained traction online.
"I apologize from the bottom of my heart," she said after being contacted by CBC News.
"I've lost my personal life. I don't want to leave my home. I've been publicly humiliated. I can't sleep. I feel terrible."
Stark said she's been subjected to rude comments online, including being called ignorant and it has damaged her reputation.
A number of individuals have also dug up her old Facebook posts and made disparaging remarks.
'Both human beings'
Sharma responded to Stark's message the next day with a letter, which received hundreds of shares and reactions.
"Dear Loretta Stark," wrote Sharma, whose parents are from India. "I can see by your Facebook page that you are afraid of people like me. I see your posts have violent brown faces with names you probably cannot pronounce."
"We may never agree on very much, but we are both human beings. We are all vulnerable and seeking acceptance and security in this confusing, scary and ever-changing world."
Stark said she hasn't read Sharma's letter yet — she's stayed away from Facebook because she's been intimidated by the whirlwind of negativity towards her.
The retiree said she posted her comment after spending hours online looking at the aftermath of the Brussels attack and potential threats to Canada.
"I was just caught in an overwhelming moment of fear, I guess would be the word, and I made a stupid comment," she said.
Now Stark is hoping the public will stop penalizing her.
"I'm certainly not the kind of person that would be called a racist," adding she has friends of all races from all over the world. "I can't say I'm sorry enough. I shouldn't have to burn in hell for something that's ... a mistake."
Sharma said she was sorry to hear what Stark has gone though.
It's something she'd "never wish upon upon anybody" but Stark's comments were public so she responded publicly to her.
Sharma said she'd be happy to meet with Stark and believes there's a lesson that can be learned by all.
"I hope that, if anything, what I wrote shows that there's compassion and generosity out in the world. If you put yourself out there in that way, you'll receive it."