Friday, January 14, 2011

Three years

Monday will be the three year anniversary of Denise's death. Has it gotten easier? Yes and no. The pain is still there (I guess it never goes away) but easier in that I now recognize "triggers" and have learned how to cope. I've also learned that it is impossible to "move on". Who would want to? Not me, certainly. I'll never give up mourning or missing Denise. She should be here and that's that. But I do realize that we can "move forward". The hardest part in all this is watching my son and grandsons. The boys are now 5 and 3 years old. And they know that they are missing a mommy. The oldest Noah asked recently "when do angels come back?" And Adam moved one of his baby pictures from one table and placed on a table 3" away from and facing Denise.

We do realize our blessings though and mourn and hurt for all those who face homicides in their families. I could not watch the televised presentations on what happened in Tucson. I KNOW what those families are experiencing and it hurts unbearably just watching the TV. It seems wrong but I'm not about hearing about Gabby Giffords. She's alive. Her family has her. I know they are in pain and in shock but shouldn't the Fort Hood tragedy gotten more coverage than this? It's all so tragic and just brings back all the anger I've been working so diligently to control.

God bless us all. We need it.

I'd much rather concentrate on Denise and my family and all the other families that need and/or could use my help. I want to help others so bad and have no clue as to where to even start. I guess the POMC meetings are the best place to start. Sadly, we have more people joining our group. How awful is that? But it is the one place they can and I can express our anger without being told "get over it" and "move on".

I'm so depressed. Sorry for the downer and the rant.

The boys are well, happy and a joy.

Friday, May 14, 2010

a child's homicide grief

Last month we went to a ceremony for crime victim's in Charlotte County. A young lady spoke about her parents. They had been murdered many years ago. She was two years old. She was found in a carseat after sitting there for two days while her parents died beside her after being shot by a monster. I do not know the full story. I wish I did. I cannot go there. I remember how horrified I was when reading the news over a decade ago. But, I promptly forgot about it and went on with my then fairly normal life. Homicide grief is not a news story. It does not go away. I guess you have to go through it to truly understand.

Now this young girl is a teenager much loved and cared for by her grandparents. The story (even tho' I cannot read the details) is close to my heart and garners much concern for me. This young lady was the age my grandson was when Denise was murdered. Thank God he has his dad but even that is a handicap because my son is..... well, he is not quite himself. Well he is himself now but he will never be his old self. So, I look at this young teenage girl and I am so proud of her and how she has survived. I am so proud of her that she still loves, misses and cherishes her parents.

She spoke at the ceremony. This is what she said:

Monsters are not just creatures little kids think live under their beds orin their closets .They can be real live people. It takes a monster to kill a person. It takes an even bigger monster to kill the parents of a little baby.When that little baby is me, people always come up to me telling me how sorry they are. I know they mean what they say and being almost 15 I have learned to live with the fact that I will never get to meet my parents. Alot of people in my life have been robbed of the presence of my parents in their life.Like my six year old cousin. He will never get the chance to meet his uncle and aunt. I hate when my friends say they hate their parents. Ifeel like climbing the highest building in the world and yelling "at least you have your parents to meet love and get the hug and kiss". I have my grandparents, aunts and uncles but that really does not fill the gap. Sometimes I think to myself why me? Why do my parents have to be dead? Most ofthe time I get over it but sometimes I hear their voices .So I am living proof that there is hope. That you can get over the hurt but always remember the memories. Sometimes I wish I had the memories to lean back on but I don't. I love when people come up to me telling me how much I remind them of my parents in the way I talk, laugh, dress, did my hair that day and walk. It makes me feel as if they never died. Sometimes I feel as if no one understands what pain I go through. It may be a little easier for me because I was so little but it still hurts. I know I can't do anything about what happened but I can live my life with some quotes. Like from the song I hopeyou dance "May you never take one single breath for granted "which I think means you never know when your last day on earth is going to be so live your life to the fullest . Even though it's different now your still here. Somehow even though my parents are dead they are still here through me. Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance even though sometimes bad things can happen in your life. Something good may come out of the bad things. Like me . Ricky was our "L"but he's home with the flu, Lizzie our "O" had some homeworkto do, Mitchell our "E" probably got lost on the way. So I'm all of "love" that could make it today. So as all of life's fast balls come your way are you going to make it part of the dance? Do you miss screaming, fighting, and kissing in the rain? It's two and I'm cursing your name. I know I am going to make my fast balls part of the dance and not let the monster who killed my parents live under my bed or in my closet."

<3 I love you

Maranda Joellin Malnory

April 21 12.07 am

Friday, December 18, 2009

When a Child has been Murdered

book recommendation:

When a Child has been Murdered (Ways you can help the grieving parents)

author: Bonnie Hunt Conrad
ISBN: 0-89503-186-8

It's been difficult locating a decent book on homicide grieving. I came across this one at our local library. It's not thick and it's very easy to read. I suggest anyone who has lost a child, teenager, or young adult to murder or even if you know someone grieving from homicide to read it. I'm listing a few excerpts from the introduction.

"The parents of a murdered child feel emotionally defeated at the realization that they were unable to prevent their child from feeling terror on this one occasion."

"Some parents believe that murdered children die emotionally before they die physically. The bullet that is about to enter their brain, the knife that is about to pierce their heart, the tire iron or baseball bat that is about to crush their skulls shatter their faith and naivety. This shattering, this loss of faith, kills the child emotionally. This emotional death is then followed by physical death. In many instances, it is this double death that some parents of a murdered child find most devastating."

"Fear can also cause family members and friends to minimize the grieving parents' pain. Often they are urged-much too quickly-to accept their child's murder and to get on with their lives. Rather than be allowed to express their grief openly and honestly, they are expected to suppress it. In some cases they are even expected to forget it entirely, an expectation that is impossible to fulfill."

"Some parents, due to mistakes made by those who investigated their child's death or who prosecuted the killer, or a plea bargain or lenient parole board that allows the killer to walk free after serving only a short time in prison, believe they too have become victims. Their child was the victim of a violent, uncaring individual; the parents become victims of a sometimes inept, uncaring criminal justice system. This system, although it is sworn to protect and defend both the parents and their child, sometimes does neither."

"But the parents of a murdered child never forget the savagery of their child's death. They continue to be haunted by bits and pieces of a nightmare that, for them, is a reality rather than a bad dream from which they will awaken. Despite their efforts to help themselves and, in some cases, the efforts of kind, caring people who attemp to offer support and comfort, immediately after the murder and into the future, the parents never fully recover."

On Guilt

"They do not understand that something they did or did not do was not the cause of the death... They do not understand that guilt is a product of their struggle to ascertain why their loved one, a person who was good, had died rather than some other person who was not so good."

On Anger and God

"If they are religious, the can be angry with God as well. In their prayers they asked that He protect their loved one, and He did not. They lost their loved one and, for a while, the can lose their faith in God. This double loss can greatly increase their anger and their suffering."


"The death of their loved one forced them out of a world that was happy and safe and into one filled with anguish and fear. It takes time for them to adjust to being banished from their old world and to find a place in the new one."

"Parents of murdered children feel cheated. There was no time to comfort their child. There were no pillows to fluff, no gifts to bring. The parents had no chance to ease their child's terror with hugs and kisses. The resentment they feel is neither spiteful or self-serving. The parents should not be ashamed of being resentful, and other bereaved persons should not hold it against them. It is the result of the parents' grief and theri knowledge that their child felt terror and pain. It is a deep-seated yearning to go back to the time before their child was murdered and to prevent their child's lonely suffering."


"When a child is murdered intentionally, in cold blood, the parents view the safety of living in a civilized society as a cruel myth."


"Murdered-child grief can be compared to a seemingly unending night of darkness and fear. There is no way this fear can be quickly dispelled. Before their child was murdered, the parents' lives were filled with happiness. After the murder, that happiness is replaced with sorrow. As the parents stumble throug their sorrow, they begin to despair."


1. Defining Basic Grief
2. Factors That Can Affect Grief
3. The Emotions of Murdered-Child Grief
4. How the Parents of Murdered Children Deal with the Criminal Justice System
5. Ways in Which the Lives of Parents of Murdered Children Permanently Change
6. Immediate Help You Can Give the Parents of a Murdered Child
7. Future Help You Can Give the Parents of a Murdered Child
8. Immediate Ways the Parents of a Murdered Child Help Themselves
9. Future Ways the Parents of a Murdered Child Help Themselves

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fort Hood Victims, Veterans Day,

Yesterday was a very somber day for me. Autumn is a difficult time for me anyway. It used to be my favorite season but that changed the way everything has changed since Denise was murdered.

Anyhow, autumn was difficult last year and it's difficult this year. I believe it's because it's the time that leads up to the holidays. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Yuck! I used to love Thanksgiving. Now? heh...

Christmas follows and I feel great guilt in not looking forward to Christmas. It seems sacrilegious (sp?) and wrong. Also, it's not fair to the grandkids. In any case, I honestly don't look forward to any of it. Of course, we go through all the motions and we smile and we still have turkey and we still bring joy to the children but...... It's not easy. At least, not for me.

But, we realize we have to move on and Denise would not want us down and depressed. But still......

On Tuesday I watched the memorial service for the Fort Hood victims. It just so awful. So much pain. In the beginning, when we first lost Denise, I had difficulty letting other pain in. It was over 18 months before other people's pain could reach me. I simply just could not listen to it, handle it or go near it. Now I figure I must be healing some because little by little I can face other pain.

Yesterday was Veteran's Day and we went down to the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall in Punta Gorda. Another depressing day. I should have found joy in knowing my dad survived in Korea, my brother-in-law survived in Desert Storm and my younger brother Danny has survived two deployments in Iraq. But the Fort Hood victims just kept creeping into my mind. The world has gone mad! Now we're killed on our own bases? Now we have to worry about the men and women here at home? Now I have to worry about my brother Danny, his wife and kids, while he's on base?

I wonder if the murderer was a sleeper spy who was planted by joining the US Army many years ago with this mission or a mission like it in mind. AND! Are there others out there?

I was researching and going to list all the victims here and write something about each and every one because they were veterans and because of the way I feel for their families. I feel the more their personal stories are out there on the internet the more they will be remembered. And they should always be remembered. That's why I write about Denise. Denise lives on not just through our work in regards to 9-1-1 but because people write about her and talk about her. If I can help the grieving family and friends of the Fort Hood victims in just a small way, I want to. I don't think I can. They are going to go through their own journeys of pain but you never know. Denise cannot have died in vain and neither can these people.

I came across this article and thought I'd reprint it here. Out of all the articles I've read, this one I thought was very well done.

Fort Hood Victim Names Released

Thirteen people died after a mass shooting Thursday at Fort Hood, a sprawling Army post in Texas. Here's a look at the victims.

Fort Hood, Texas (CNN) -- Thirteen people died after a mass shooting Thursday at Fort Hood, a sprawling Army post in Texas. Here's a look at the victims.

Chief Warrant Officer Michael Grant Cahill (Ret.), Cameron, Texas

Michael Cahill, 62, liked his job as a physician's assistant at Fort Hood so much that he only took one week of recovery time after undergoing heart surgery, his sister told CNN affiliate KREM.

Cahill, who served in the Army Reserve, previously worked as a registered nurse, Marilyn Attebery told KREM. He later returned to school to pursue a career as a physician's assistant, she said. Cahill was assisting with physicals for soldiers preparing for deployment at the time of the shooting, his sister said.

"I'm just upset for all the families and for what went on here. They're talking about wars and show wars and it's right there in Fort Hood and it's just devastating to everybody and all the families," Attebery told KREM.

Cahill is survived by his wife, Joleen, three children and a grandson, Attebery said.

Maj. Libardo Eduardo Caraveo, Woodbridge, Virginia

Libardo Eduardo Caraveo, 52, arrived in the United States from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico in the mid-1970s, when he was a teenager, his son, Eduardo Caraveo told the Arizona Daily Star.

He knew little English then, the younger Caraveo told the newspaper. By 1986, Caraveo, the first in his family to attend college, according to the newspaper, had earned his Ph.D. in psychology, his son said.

Caraveo worked with bilingual special-needs students in Arizona before he entered private practice, the newspaper reported, citing the slain man's son.

He then took positions in several locations for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the newspaper reported. He had worked for the bureau since the early 1990s.

Attorney General Eric Holder released a statement Saturday saying that Caraveo was a Bureau of Prisons psychologist. "My thoughts and deepest sympathies" are with his family, Holder said.

His son told the newspaper that his father was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan with a Wisconsin-based combat-stress-control unit, the Arizona Daily Star said.

The newspaper said he had been in the Army National Guard for nearly a decade.

Caraveo was assigned to the 467th Medical Detachment, Madison, Wisconsin.

Army Staff Sgt. Justin DeCrow, Plymouth, Indiana

Justin DeCrow, 32, was a "loving husband and father, and we're going to miss him," sobbed his wife, Marikay DeCrow, from their home in Evans, Georgia.

The couple has a 13-year-old daughter.

DeCrow went to Fort Hood in September to prepare for his deployment to Iraq, which was scheduled for sometime between December and March, Marikay DeCrow told CNN.

He had just come back from a tour in South Korea, where he worked in satellite communications, she added.

Daniel DeCrow, Justin DeCrow's father, told CNN affiliate WSBT in South Bend, Indiana, that his son joined the Army after finishing high school in Plymouth, Indiana.

He last spoke to his son last week, WSBT reported.

"As usual, the last words out of my mouth to him were that I was proud of him," Daniel DeCrow said, according to WSBT's Web site. "That's what I said to him every time -- that I loved him and I was proud of what he was doing. I can carry that around in my heart."

Capt. John Gaffaney, San Diego, California

John Gaffaney, a 56-year-old Army reservist, was a psychiatric nurse and worked for two decades in San Diego County, California, where he helped elderly victims of abuse and neglect.

Ellen Schmeding, assistant deputy director of the county's Aging and Independence Services Department, told CNN affiliate KFMB that Gaffaney most recently served as a supervisor for the county's Adult Protective Services Department.

"Everybody is quite shocked and shook up over what happened," Schmeding said.

Gaffaney, the father of a grown son, traveled to Fort Hood this week for a yearlong overseas deployment. Before he worked for the county, he had been in the Army, where he earned the rank of major, Schmeding said.

Schmeding said Gaffaney "really felt he could make a difference" serving members of the armed forces.

He will be "sorely missed," she said.

Spc. Frederick Greene, Mountain City, Tennessee.

Greene, 29, was assigned to the 510th Engineer Company, 20th Engineer Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas.

Spc. Jason Dean Hunt, Tipton, Oklahoma

Hunt, 22, wanted to be part of something greater than himself, his sister Leila Willingham told CNN. He enlisted in the Army in 2006 and spent his 21st birthday in Iraq, she said. He chose to re-enlist, dedicating the next six years to the military.

"I think that says a lot for that kind of man who makes that kind of choice for his country," Willingham said.

Willingham sobbed as she talked about the love she had for a brother who made her "super proud."

Hunt was recently married and set for his second deployment to Iraq, his sister told CNN's "Larry King Live."

"I couldn't imagine something like that -- attacking another soldier. It's just ridiculous. I don't understand it." --Kristopher Craig, brother of shooting victim Michael Pearson

Hunt graduated high school in 2005 and tried his hand at a career in information technology, Willingham said. But he had a different calling.

"I really feel like when he enlisted in the Army, he fulfilled that part of himself that wanted to serve other people and live for something greater than himself," Willingham said.

She said she doesn't know the details of her brother's death, but wants to believe he died trying to save others. "It's something he'd do," she said.

Sgt. Amy Krueger, Kiel, Wisconsin

Amy Krueger, 29, was a high school athlete who joined the military after the September 11, 2001, attacks, Kiel High School Principal Dario Talerico told the Milwaukee (Wisconsin) Journal Sentinel.

"I know she was proud to serve and proud to share her experience," Talerico told the newspaper. "She took pride that she was able to serve her country."

Krueger played for the high school basketball and softball teams and graduated in 1998, Talerico said.

A high school friend who later shared an apartment with Krueger had fond memories of the sergeant.

"She was one of the best people you could have ever met," Carrie Marie Senkbeil told the newspaper.

Pfc. Aaron Thomas Nemelka, West Jordan, Utah

Aaron Nemelka, 19, graduated from high school and enlisted in the military in the same year -- 2008. He was set to deploy to Afghanistan in January, his family told CNN affiliate KUTV.

Nemelka, the youngest of four children, was happy to offer his service, the family said in a letter read aloud by Lt. Col. Lisa Olsen of the National Guard to KUTV.

"Aaron was very happy as a combat engineer. He was anxious to be deployed to Afghanistan in January."

Family members said they were devastated by their loss.

Nemelka's uncle, Maj. Michael Blades, read a statement from his nephew's family.

"Aaron was very proud to serve in the military," Blades said, adding that many others in his family had also served in the armed forces.

"His mission is completed in this life. He now serves a higher calling in heaven," Blades read. "We love him, we miss him, and we look forward to that glorious day when the family will be reunited with him."

Nemelka had a girlfriend and he may have had plans to marry her, KUTV reported.

Pfc. Michael Pearson, Bolingbrook, Illinois

Michael Pearson, 22, enlisted in the Army more than a year ago to realize his musical dream. He hoped the military would be his path to college, where he could study musical theory, his brother Kristopher Craig told CNN affiliate WGN-TV in Chicago, Illinois.

"He was a genius as far as we were concerned," Craig told WGN-TV, reeling from the news that his 21-year-old "little kid brother" was dead.

"He was really living his life playing guitar," Craig said. "When he picked up a guitar, we all understood that he was expressing himself."

Pearson was scheduled to deploy either to Iraq or Afghanistan in January, his brother said. He was learning to deactivate bombs and training in the Mojave Desert, said his mother, Sheryll Pearson. She was looking forward to seeing her son at Christmas.

He was shot three times in the spine and chest and died on the operating table, she said, according to TV affiliates in Chicago.

"His father is still in shock and very angry," Sheryll Pearson said. "We're all very angry."

Craig, who also had been stationed at Fort Hood and now serves in the Illinois National Guard, said he cannot accept a fellow soldier gunned down his brother.

"It's unfathomable," he said. "I couldn't imagine something like that -- attacking another soldier. It's just ridiculous. I don't understand it."

Capt. Russell Seager, Racine, Wisconsin

According to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, radio station WUWM, which did a profile on Russell Seager earlier this year, the 51-year-old man was a nurse from the VA Medical Center in Milwaukee and worked to help veterans with mental health problems related to war experience.

Seager, who signed up for the Army Reserve four years ago, was preparing to deploy to Iraq, the radio station reported.

"I've always had a great deal of respect for the military and for service, and I just felt it was time that I stepped up and did it," Seager told the radio station, talking about his deployment.

"I mean it sounds corny and patriotic, but when you talk to people that decide to do this, the feelings are similar," he said.

The radio station, whose profile on Seager aired in August, said he had a Ph.D. in alternative medicine and would have been working in Iraq to prevent mental health problems from developing in troops.

He was assigned to the 467th Medical Company, Madison, Wisconsin.

Pvt. Francheska Velez, Chicago, Illinois

Francheska Velez, 21, lived the dream her father never realized.

Velez enlisted three years ago, an act her father Juan Guillermo Velez always wanted to accomplish, he told CNN affiliate WGBO. He encouraged his three-months pregnant daughter to stick with the military after she gave birth.

"My advice to her was to continue with her career in the military after she had her child," he told WGBO. "Then she would tell me, 'Daddy,' always with a smile on her face, which I will never forget, 'I will continue with my military career.' That was a dream that she made happen for me."

Francheska Velez had recently returned from Iraq and was transferred to Fort Hood last week because she was pregnant, her father said.

In the wake of his loss, Juan Velez struggled to comprehend why.

"It's a very difficult slap because you understand if it was terrorists or if it happened over there during the war. What hurts the most is that one of her own killed her and in her own house, the base where there should have been security."

Lt. Col. Juanita L. Warman, Havre De Grace, Maryland

Warman, 55, was assigned to the 1908th Medical Company, Independence, Missouri.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which spoke with Warman's sister Margaret Yaggie of Roaring Branch, Pennsylvania, the slain woman was a military physician's assistant. She had spent most of her career in the military, her sister told the newspaper, and had put herself through the University of Pittsburgh.

Warman had two daughters and six grandchildren, the newspaper reported.

Spc. Kham Xiong, St. Paul, Minnesota

Kham Xiong, 23, was preparing for his first deployment since joining the Army, his sister told CNN affiliate KARE.

Xiong enlisted last year and was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in January, Mee Xiong said.

She thinks her brother was at the site of the shooting because he was getting a medical checkup and vaccinations, she said.

With another brother serving in Afghanistan, the news of Kham Xiong's death is "hard on the family," his sister said.

"He is a loving person, everyone loves him and adores him," Mee Xiong told KARE.

Her brother was a father of three, KARE reported.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fort Hood Massacre and homicide grief

I have not blogged on this blog in quite some time. A lot has been going on in our world.

I just finished watching CNN's coverage of the Fort Hood Memorial Service for the 13 fallen soldiers who died right here in the USA.

So, many families devastated. So much pain on display. It was truly overwhelming and heartbreaking. I wish so much that there was some way I could help these families. I know soldiers die but they are not usually murdered by one of their own. These troops were murdered. Plain and simple.

These families may have been at different times preparing themselves for the worst with thoughts they may lose a loved one in friendly fire or on foreign soil. But no one is ever prepared to have a loved one cruelly murdered. It's an invasion. It can destroy ones faith. Their worlds now (the families and friends) are turned upside down. Little do they know the pain is just beginning. Little do they know the battle has just begun. The battle against evil invading and ruining and devastating their worlds.

Dear God, grant these families peace, hope and love. I realize it won't be accomplished immediately that the peace, hope and love will have to be battled for. It's war on a different level.

God bless them. They are not alone in their pain. There are many of us out here fighting for peace, hope and love in our families. It can be achieved and it will be found again. If not then the evil wins out. And we cannot let the evil win.

It's been almost two years now since Denise was murdered. I still ache everyday. I still struggle with my faith because, sadly, yes it's still in tatters but it is still there. Meager though it is. Watching the memorial service brought so much of it back to me.

It brings little comfort not being alone in homicide grief. If we're not alone, that means others are enduring the same devastation and pain. And who would wish that on anybody. The only comfort it brings is knowing that there are people out there that understand the anger and pain. It helps knowing that we are not insane. We are sane people living in insane circumstances. We're good people living in the midst of evil. If we become too angry, again, the evil will seep in.

It's what keeps me battling. Not letting the evil win.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Noah and Adam

Are doing fantastic! they are doing so well and are so happy. Noah has seemed to move past whatever it was he was going through. Life is good for them. I thought I should let whoever reads this know!

We are very blessed.

Friday, July 24, 2009

grandbaby update

Wow. Such a difference this week from last. The boys are doing pretty darn good. I do worry so for Noah. But as Tracie and Jeanie both said, we just need to give them lots of love. Noah this week was talking up a storm and he's more of his old self. He still talks about Denise quite often and keeps mentioning our old house (we recently moved). It's all about adjusting.

I'm very proud of Nathan. He's doing really well with the children and doing his best now to be independent and handle most things on his own. That's good and the babies need that.

You go, Nate! You're a great dad:o)