Losing a child is already a devastating blow, but when the circumstances behind your child's death involve an act of violence,the experience can be even more traumatic. Mainly because with this type of death, it is not expected, violent, and confusing.
When you deal with this type of grief, your grief can take many turns: there is nothing predictable about this type of grief. You have no time to prepare for this, which may bring about shock. Grief after a violent crime can also have more complications as well because of other elements related to this type of death:
~ Loss of control over your life.
~ Loss of safety and security.
~ You may rely more on others to address the "wrong doing" to you and your child.
~You may have to wait on investigation through the legal system.
~ The community will more likely be involved especially if there has been coverage on the news.
~Things may take longer due to court proceedings and a verdict.
~ You may be called upon to identify your child's body.
~ You may have to wait on results from an autopsy.
~ You may have a loss of self, feeling like you have changed as a person.
~ Extra trauma from knowledge that you child suffered.
When experiencing grief due to a homicide, you are more at risk for developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to feelings of helplessness, horror, and fear. If you actually witnessed the murder, you may have flashbacks or nightmares. When you hear about the murder through the media, this also adds to your trauma.
One thing is certain, eventually, you must realize that life goes on, and somehow you will eventually be able to pick up the pieces and live on. Your child will always be with you in your heart. Live your life the best way you know how, honoring the memory of your child.
Dealing With the Media:
Usually with a homicide, privacy is lost. Depending on how the murder happened, the identity of your child and your family will become public. Depending on how interesting the case is, there may be a lot of coverage.
You will have to prepare yourself for unexpected twists with the media:
~Every where you go: home, court, funeral home; the media may be there.
~ The media may not be on your side, they may portray the person who killed your child as the victim.
Dealing With Criminal Justice:
This is a unique factor that only someone whose child has died from a homicide has to go through. For starters, how you were notified about the murder can be traumatic. Dealing with the release of your child's body from the medical examiner as well as knowing the results of the autopsy can add major stress.
Dealing with criminal justice alone my be a huge stressor and burden. The investigation can be short or it may take years, sometimes there may never be an end.If the murderer is found, the legal system can go very slow due to constant appeals. Going to court hearings also stir up feelings over and over.It is believed that eventually you will get closure for everything.
Many report there is no real sense of closure with this type of crime.