Helpful Information

The Sorrow of Losing a Child to Murder

My child is gone, now what?

Losing a child is a painful experience especially when the child is murdered. The parents of the child have the right to feel heartbroken, anguished and upset. Although these feelings are normal and expected, the parents must also ensure they grieve properly to prevent their feelings of loss from developing into bitterness. Of course this is easier said than done, but with time and support, healing can begin. When a parent loses a child, all their hopes, dreams and aspirations for the child are also diminished.

Grieving parents express various feelings due the loss of their child. Some of the universal feelings and emotions include:

  • Aching from the loss of the child’s presence

  • Anger and bitter towards parents with a child

  • Enraged and infuriated with pain towards the person who took their child’s life

  • Entangled in the mind game initiated by feelings of guilt

  • Intense gloomy and heartrending feelings and emotions

  • An extreme sense of denial and bewilderment

For a parent that has never experienced the loss of a child, the above stated emotions appear normal and formal. To the contrary, for a parent that has loss their child these feelings are confusing and inconceivable. No parent ever thinks of living beyond their child. Most parents expect to see their children grow up, attend college, get married, start a family and so on and so forth. But for a parent that has loss their child, those hopes are shattered because they know those events will never happen because their child’s life was taken prematurely. It would be dishonest to state the grief eventually dissipates but in reality it doesn’t. For some parents, as time progress, the hurtful feelings associated with their loss tend to decrease. For other parents, the healing process may take a little longer because everyone grieves in their own personal way. There are no two people that grieve in the same manner. For example, an ordinary event such as a birthday party or commencement ceremony of another parent’s child can result in a grieving parent’s feels of hurt, anger and confusion resurface yet to some parents, such an event will have no effect. With time, the grieving process begins to diminish as the parents grieve properly in their own personal manner.

We don’t grieve in the same manner

Just as there are no two persons that grieve in the same manner, mothers and fathers also grieve differently. The differences in grieving may initiate additional issues. Instead of focusing on the difference in the other parent’s manner of grieving, by simply supporting one another and respecting the other persons approach to grieve, the parents will be able to assist on another during such a difficult time in both of their lives. Most men grieve privately whereas most women tend to grieve openly. The reason for the different approaches to grieving is due to the manner in which emotions are handled. Men tend to control their emotions while women tend to express their emotions freely and frequently. Although men and women grieve differently, their grievance choice should not be utilized to determine their love and care for the child. Having an open line of communication will alleviate such false preconceived notions and allow each parent to express their genuine feelings towards the child.

Don’t forget your children that are still with you

When a child is murdered, the parents, family, friends and siblings are focused on the loss child. Although this is expected, the parents must not forget to continue to express their love and concern for children that are still living to ensure an unwanted or lack of caring spirit does not manifest. To prevent such feelings from surfacing, the parents should openly express their love for their surviving children. The parents should also allow the siblings to express their feelings towards the loss sibling. When everyone grieves properly, the family can support one another as a whole.

Below are a few suggestions in which families can openly grieve together:

  • Communicate as a family regarding the loss child by sharing and expressing feelings instead of compressing

  • Grieve together to support one another to ensure no one feels alone or neglected

  • Parents are to be open and receptive to surviving children feelings

  • Cease faultfinding and blaming surviving children

  • Help one another heal by supporting and encouraging one another

Approaching Grief Appropriately

The death of a loved one or personal friend is a painful experience. The loss of a child leaves a parent in excruciatingly agonizing pain. There truly are not words to accurately describe how the parents and siblings are feeling. The pain experienced due to a loss of a child especially to murder is a constantly throbbing with no sign of relief. Although it may appear in the initial phase of the grieving process that there’s no hope, healing will begin and the pain will begin to subside. Grieving the loss of a child is a process, below are a few approaches parents and siblings can implement to start healing and supporting one another effectively.

Express and release your grievous feelings

Although grieving is painful, it is expected when parents and siblings experience loss. Knowing this, it’s okay to grieve; it’s okay to cry; it’s okay to express your feelings; it’s okay to take a moment and release your emotions. It’s more beneficial to everyone when their feelings are released and shared to ensure those feelings are not converted into bitterness. Remember to take the grieving process slowly. You don’t have to feel the need to rush. Take all the time that’s required for you to grieve properly. By doing so, you will begin to heal. Keep in mind everyone grieves differently.

Share how and what you are feeling

Don’t suppress your feelings. Share for feelings with family and friends. When you express your feelings verbally you are engaging in the healing process which will help you grieve properly. Let family and friends know that you are not seeking answers, you simply want a listening ear to release without condemnation or judgment. This is also a perfect time to engage in activities that you enjoy doing. Perhaps a family gathering or outing will suffice as an excellent outlet to help you and your family during your time of grieving. By doing so, you will begin to shift your mindset and mood to a peaceful state.

Take time for yourself

Grieving is a painful experience that’s simply a part of life that we simply don’t quite understand. Although the loss of a child is one of the most painful feelings in the world, we can’t lose ourselves as a result. We have to continue to live and be a supporting figure for others, especially our family and friends. Setting aside quality time for ourselves will ensure we don’t get lost in the loss we are experiencing. This is a perfect time to engage in something new and exciting. I know this may seem contrary to what you are feeling but it will be a tremendous help to you.

Start planning your days

Planning your days ahead of time will allow you to focus more on what you desire like spending time with family and friends. This is will give you the opportunity to interact with well-known individuals. You can also use this time to explore new endeavors. During your grieving process it is best to remain stable with relations to living and employment settings. By doing so you will ensure your decision are not rational or sudden which will only create additional problems resoling in more stress. While you are grieving, it’s essential to make decisions in a timely manner in which you have had the opportunity and time to evaluate the decision thoroughly before acting. Also, remember to include your immediate family when making major decisions.

Helpers one to another

When we help others, especially when we are grieving, we are also helping ourselves. What we give, we always get back. This is why it is so important to have an open mind when others are grieving so we can obtain the same support while we are grieving. We can get such support from groups with others who are also grieving. A support group is beneficial in providing a dependable and sound atmosphere enabling you to share and express your feelings freely with other likeminded individuals who know exactly what you are experiencing. Support groups allow attendees to converse, engage in dialogues and share experiences that will help everyone. Group settings with likeminded individuals grieving the loss of a child are essential because participants have the capacity to provide confidence, console and assistance to individuals grieving in the same manner. Family and friends that have not experienced the loss of a child, especially due to murder, truly do not know how the parents or siblings are feelings. This is where support groups are able to fill that gap due to a lack of experience.

Counselors are a great outlet source

Grieving can be such a devastating experience that individuals may not feel comfortable interacting with a support group. This does not mean that support is not available. It simply means an individual counselor will be more proficient. An individual may consider individual assistance when experiencing, lack of sleep, appetite and engaging in normal daily activities for approximately six months or more. An individual should also seek professional assistance if thoughts of suicide or severe depression arise. There are many qualified counselors, psychologist and therapist available to assist. Certified counselors are equipped to listen and provide precise approaches to grieve appropriately. A psychologist has the ability to offer information to assist the grieving parent from a mental perspective. The loss of a child can and most times does have a dramatic affect on the parent mentally. When a psychologist is saught, the parent will receive adequate instructions to assist in maintaining a positive mental state. A therapist has the ability to assist the grieving parent in recognizing obstacles preventing progression during the healing process. When obstacles are identified and solutions provided, the healing process speeds up significantly. The therapist establishes a plan of action with various milestones the individual is expected to accomplish. Remember everyone grieves differently therefore their approach to grieve will also be different. These are a few suggestions for individuals experiencing grief.