A Note to Loved Ones

When someone you love is murdered, your emotions become intensified to a much greater extent than you can imagine.  You may feel as though you have been thrown into an emotional tailspin.  Shock, grief and heartache, guilt and self-blame, disbelief, denial and anger which seems to know no bounds.  You may possibly feel a loss of faith in both God and mankind.  You may feel stigmatized and suffer a loneliness you have never known, all the while confused and wondering why this horrible tragedy occurred.   Overwhelmed and confused, you may feel that you are losing your sanity.  You will probably be depressed, impatient with yourself and others.  You sometimes feel as though you have no emotional control.  

The grief and heartache ordinarily associated with the death of a loved one are compounded when the loved one is lost through violence.  You will learn that the crime is only the first in a seemingly endless series of victimization.  Society tends to focus attention on the criminal at the same time ignoring the victim.  This unfortunate fact intensifies the victim's distress, confusion, anger and pain. 

At times you may feel the urge to cry out, "Hey, what about me?"  At other times you may ask yourself, "Doesn't anybody care?"  You feel victimized by public insensibility and you are frequently hurt by the apathy of others.  You soon learn that those who have not suffered the trauma of victimization simply cannot understand.  They don't realize that the victim is so traumatized that a simple courtesy shown becomes an act of caring from the victim's perspective.

When a murder occurs within a family, one might expect it would unite the family more closely.  Such is not always the case for often times murder separate a family both physically and emotionally.  We each grieve and cope in our own way.  Many times it is so difficult for family members to cope with their own grief that they simply do not have the ability to support other members of the family.  

Society can be very cruel.  Due to their lack of understanding, people may say inappropriate things to you.  Implications that somehow the victim's behavior contributed to his/her death is devastating to the survivor.  Equally offensive are remarks such as "Its over now, put it behind you" or "You should be over that by now, its time to move on."  There are those of the cloth who may tell you it was God's will and urge you to forgive the murderer.  Remarks of this type re-victimize the survivor by adding the feeling of unworthiness to the existing emotional turmoil.  

You have experienced a nightmare which has permanently altered your life.  Your sense of awareness has been intensified and your faith in mankind has been shattered.  Those things, which may once have been of significant importance to you, may now seem trivial because you have already suffered the ultimate pain in life.  You have learned a kind of sensitivity which perhaps you never knew before.

Although it may seem doubtful to you right after a murder of a loved one, in time your pain will subside and you will start to reconstruct your life.  You will laugh again and find joy in the unexpected.  You will go on with your life.  You will cherish good memories of your loved one, for you are a survivor!

We at Violent Crime Victim Advocates are sorry for your loss and if we can be of any assistance, please contact us.