Tuesday, February 18, 2014

When a Loved One has been Murdered

When a loved one has been murdered, many difficulties arise for the survivors. Murder crosses into numerous death categories, all of which carry serious emotional and psychological obstacles to overcome. No matter whom you are, if a significant loved one has been murdered, you will experience unparalleled grief. Murder falls into the traumatic death category, as well as unanticipated and sudden death categories. Sudden and unanticipated deaths are difficult to recover from. Under these circumstances, the survivor has been robbed of ample time to set into motion, plans to compensate for their loss. Add to this, the experience of murder, and the survivor is destined to have a ruff go of the grief recovery process. Preparations for loss of income, loss of social standing and loss of companionship are losses that survivors can plan for if they have sufficient notice that a death is imminent. If the death is predictable, families can plan accordingly. A family planning to purchase a new and larger home might decide to stay put, once they know the household provider has a terminal illness. That same family, suffering the murder of the household provider and having recently purchased their dream home, may now be facing repossession of their home. These are unfair and unpredictable situations.


In addition to the suddenness of a murder, the violence experienced by the loved one is overwhelming. Details of the murder might be kept from the family in order to protect them and to protect the integrity of the investigation. The family might hear details that may or may not be accurate through the media, they might possibly see and hear additional details day after day, as the news replays and reports on the murder investigation. This experience can create a mountain of issues and setbacks for the survivors. If the murder is high profile, the family might not even be able to go out to dinner without overhearing conversations of speculation regarding their loved one’s horrific experience. Speculation can be especially difficult for the family, as it is often inaccurate and cruel.


As years pass, the survivors of a brutal murder will be haunted by mental anguish. Try as they might, questions are always lingering in the backs of their minds. How long did their loved one suffer, were they frightened, did they call out for their family, how long did the brutality last, was death quick, were they humiliated before death, etc. Their questions are never completely answered, and so they must accept that they must live with the uncertainty, of the suffering sustained by their loved one. It is overwhelming and torturing to the survivors. In some instances, death may have been so brutal that the body of a loved one is non-viewable. If the family is unable to view the body, they are robbed of their final farewell. Survivors may question their belief in a deity and lose their way. They may become disillusioned with the justice system, especially if the murderer is not held accountable due to some legal technicality or mistake.


The fact of the matter is that murder is cruel and unjust. Survivors are going to suffer psychologically, the vicious actions of a demented human being upon their loved one. Emotional and psychological pathologies are going to plague the survivors for quite some time. Some survivors may never be able to accept that life continues and will be permanently held prisoner in the psychosis that follow.

As a funeral director, I have witnessed this tragedy upon families I have served. As a child, I witnessed my mother suffer this tragedy. Murder is a horrific perpetration. Unfortunately, it is one that is inflicted upon families throughout the world, daily.

If you have suffered the murder of a loved one, I extend my deepest condolences.


My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a funeral director, author and freelance writer. I write books, weekly bereavement articles, and mid-week grief briefs related to understanding and coping with grief. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.


Please follow my blog at http://pushin-up-daisies.blogspot.com/ and Twitter account @PushnUpDaisies, visit my website www.QueenCityFuneralHome.com or read my book “Pushin’ Up Daisies” for additional encouragement and information.