Sunday, February 15, 2009

From GriefWorks/ Suggestions for survivors of murder

Even after a year I'm still finding new things that help. Sometimes I wonder what I'm searching for when looking at this stuff. Whether it's answers to why she was murdered or whether it's answers to are we every going to heal.

Our family is so full of dysfunction. The adjustments are constant and we're continually switching roles. I thank God that we were a close family to begin with because if we hadn't been, we'd certainly be tested now. As it is, everyone is stressed and strained.

This is what I found from GriefWorks:

suggestions for survivors of murder Someone you love has been murdered. Your whole world has been thrown into chaos and uncertainty. You feel vulnerable. Over time and with the help of other supportive people, you will get through this terrible time.

Some of the following suggestions may be helpful:

- Know you can survive. You may not think so, but you can;

- Struggle with why it happened until you no longer need to know why or until you are satisfied with partial answers;

- Know you may be overwhelmed by the intensity of your feelings but all your feelings are a natural reaction to what has happened;

- Anger, guilt, confusion, forgetfulness are common responses;

- You are not crazy - you are in mourning;

- Be aware you may feel anger at the murderer, the person who died, the world, at God, at yourself. It's okay to express it;

- You may feel guilty for what you think you did or did not do to maybe prevent it;

- Guilt can turn into regret through forgiveness;

- Having suicidal thoughts is common. It does not mean that you will act on those thoughts. Find a good listener with whom to share;

- Call someone if you need to talk;

- Don't be afraid to cry. Tears are healing;

- Give yourself time to heal;

- If emotions return like a tidal wave, you may only be experiencing a remnant of grief, an unfinished piece. Grieving is like a roller coaster ride;

- Try to put off major decisions;

- Give yourself permission to get professional help;

- Be aware of the pain of your family and friends;

- Be patient with yourself and others who may not understand;

- Set your own limits and learn to say 'no' when someone asks something of you that you are not up to doing;

- Steer clear of people who want to tell you what or how to feel;

- Know that there are support groups that can be helpful;

- Call on your personal faith to help you through;

- Know it is common to experience physical reactions to your grief eg. headache, loss of appetite, inability to sleep, irritability or restlessness;

- Have the willingness to laugh with others or at yourself;

- Wear out your questions, anger, guilt or other feelings until you can let them go;

- Letting go doesn't mean forgetting;


- Know that you will never be the same again, but you can survive and even go beyond just surviving.

Copyright 2002 Griefworks BC

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