Grief After Traumatic Loss

Recently a reader emailed us and asked if we’d write a post about grieving a violent death. She’d been looking around the Internet for resources and information on the topic and had noticed the literature was a little light.  That’s not to say good resources don’t exist, it just means they’re hard to find, so if you have a recommendation please feel free to share in the comments below.  Anyway, we are going to do our part to fill in the void, however, we’re going to broaden the conversation a bit and discuss the concept of traumatic loss.

Now before I start throwing around labels and making generalizations, I have to make my usual speech about the differentness of individual grief.  Although commonalities often exist amongst people who have experienced a certain type of loss, individual grief is as unique as the person experiencing it and their relationship with the person who died. Although some people might be able to relate to aspects of another person’s grief, no one can completely understand how anyone else feels. On a whole, we recommend you learn what you can from what is ‘typical’ for a certain type of grief, but take differences with a grain of salt. Okay, with that said.

A note about trauma:

Just a little more talk of subjectivity (sorry for those of you who like things black-and-white); it’s important to note that it isn’t necessarily the specific nature of the death that makes it traumatic, rather how the event is interpreted and experienced by the individual. One cannot underestimate the impact of personal factors like emotional regulation, cognitive responses, secondary stressors, coping style, prior history of trauma, and access to support and resources in determining how a person responds to an event.  

It is true that certain types of death happen in a way that they are more likely to be experienced as traumatic, but it isn’t a given.  So, for example, it is not a fact that a loved one’s death by homicide or MVA will be experienced as traumatic, only that it potentially could be.  Ultimately, one must allow for a wide range of variability when it comes to potentially traumatic events.  All deaths have the capacity to overwhelm, shock, terrify, and shatter worldview.  In fact, research has shown that PTSD symptoms are not only found in those who survive violent and sudden deaths, but also those who experience the death of a close person to terminal illness. 

Okay, so what is traumatic loss?

There’s variation in how traumatic loss is defined in the research, but for our purposes, I think this definition from Wortman & Latack (2015) does the trick:

“A death is considered traumatic if it occurs without warning; if it is untimely; if it involves violence; if there is damage to the loved one’s body; if it was caused by a perpetrator with the intent to harm; if the survivor regards the death as preventable; if the survivor believes that the loved one suffered; or if the survivor regards the death, or manner of death, as unfair and unjust.”

That’s a pretty broad definition, and we should also add circumstances in which the survivor witnessed the death, when their own life was threatened, and when the mourner experiences multiple deaths.

In addition to the nature of the death, other trauma risk factors include:

  • Having to make medical decisions about life support, organ donation, etc
  • Uncertainty about whether the person has a died (ex. they are missing; information about their condition has not been disclosed)
  • Media attention
  • Limited opportunities for social support
  • Being blamed for the death
  • Prolonged court proceedings
  • Having a prior history trauma

What is the impact of experiencing a traumatic loss?

Generally speaking, it has been shown that traumatic death, especially violent deaths, lead to increased distress.  For example, a 2003 study looking at the bereavement trajectories of 173 parents who experienced the death of a child by accident, suicide, homicide, or undetermined causes found that five years after the violent death 27.5% of mothers and 12.5% of fathers met the diagnosis for PTSD.  These rates were significantly higher than those in the general population.

When someone experiences a traumatic death, their challenges become two-fold.  One, they must cope with the trauma and two, they have to cope with their grief.  The experiences of trauma and grief are two different things unto themselves, yet after a traumatic death, they get thrown into one big emotional blender. Things get tangled, thoughts and emotions get fused, and people sometimes find themselves utterly stuck.  Understandably, it is not uncommon for people who’ve experienced a traumatic death to experience significantly more intense, pervasive, and prolonged symptoms.

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After a Traumatic Loss One May Experience:

Shattered assumptions about the world, themselves, and others: 

Many people live with the assumption that the world is a predictable, fair, and just place.  They believe that they are in control, that they are generally safe and secure, and that other people can be trusted.  Experiencing a traumatic death, something that feels profoundly meaningless and unjust, can shatter each of these assumptions and lead to a sense that the world is unsafe and unpredictable, that others are malicious and evil, and that one is powerless in protecting themselves.  Going along with this, it is also common for one to question their faith and to feel abandoned by God after experiencing a traumatic event.


It is common to ruminate about a death regardless of the circumstances.  However, someone who has experienced a traumatic death might experience increased rumination as they seek to answer questions such as…

  • Why did this happen?
  • Who is to blame?
  • Did my loved one suffer?
  • Could their death have been prevented?
  • Did they know they were going to die?
  • Were they afraid?
  • What is the meaning, reason, or purpose for all of this?

Unfortunately, many people fail to find the answers they are searching for and they continue to struggle with the randomness and senselessness of the death as well as the pain of imagining what it must have been like for their loved one at the time of their death.

Feelings of guilt and blame:  

Even when a person is clearly not at fault, it is common to struggle with feelings of guilt and self-blame.  For example, one might feel guilty for circumstances that preceded the death but which could have played a part in the chain of events.  A person might make appraisals about the inadequacy of their own actions, feelings, and behaviors at the time of the death or even ruminate over actions and conflicts between the mourner and deceased well in the past.  Negative thoughts about guilt and self-blame can impact how a person adjusts to bereavement and are often associated with feelings of depression and anxiety.

Fear of grief and trauma reactions:  

After a death mourners often feel as though they are going crazy, and, as noted, those who have experienced a traumatic loss often experience intensified and prolonged grief/trauma reactions.  If a person interprets their symptoms as dangerous, threatening, or indicative of a larger mental or physical problem, they are more likely to fear and inhibit their reactions.  Concerns about one’s own reactions following a death add to existing emotion by causing additional anxiety, depression, anger or shame.  Those who are fearful of their reactions may also engage in maladaptive and persistent avoidance of triggers or reminders which can contribute to the development of postraumatic stress disorder and which prevent the mourner from finding meaningful ways to continue their bond with their loved one.

Poor social support:  

Evidence suggests that social support can reduce the impact of stressful life events.  Sadly, after a death, many people don’t receive effective support for a number of reasons.  This is especially true after a traumatic death when the enduring impact of acute grief can last much longer than society has been taught to expect it.  A few reasons why people do not receive effective support after a death include:

  • People don’t know how to provide grief support
  • People make comments that minimize grief, discourage expression of grief and discussion of loved ones, and push mourners to move on
  • The bereaved may be inclined to physically and emotionally isolate, especially when they feel misunderstand by others
  • The bereaved may feel they feel ashamed, abnormal, or weak because they continue to struggle
  • The bereaved may seek support from therapists who are not trained in grief and/or trauma
  • Avoidance of trauma and/or grief related triggers prevent the bereaved from engaging with others

How do I cope after a traumatic death?

After a traumatic loss, it is important to find ways to process and cope with complicated emotions and reactions regarding the death and the trauma. I encourage you to look around the site at the hundreds of articles we have about coping with grief – especially those related to coping stylesself-care, understanding avoidance, secondary loss, guilt and grief, positives and pitfalls of support groups, and identifying an effective support system.

Finally, if you plan to seek support from a therapist I want to caution you that not all grief therapists have an understanding of trauma.  Be selective when choosing a therapist, make sure they are licensed and ask questions about their experience working with trauma and grief. If you meet with a counselor a few times and don’t feel as though things are going well, then don’t be afraid to find someone else.

Check out our print resource on this topic – Surviving the Grief of a Traumatic Loss

Surviving the Grief of a traumatic loss
















July 31, 2017

157 responses on "Grief After Traumatic Loss"

  1. I am 37 and I lost my husband who was only 39. We still don’t know what happened but he was a type one diabetic, and I am assuming that his sugar got too low and he died. He had not been feeling well and sent me and our kids to the movies for some rest. My aunt found him in the bathroom, while we were on the way home. We were not legally married but had a civil ceremony scheduled it just wasn’t important to us that the government recognized us as married. That has caused a whole host of issues because his parents are less than warm and open. I don’t know how to process anything. all of those questions are exactly the same questions I ask myself. We have a 14 month old baby. He left behind kids of his own and my kids who were his step kids. I feel like this greif is never going to end. Part of me wants to hand on to is because that feels like the only thing I have to keep in in the present. having to live the rest of my life without him is very overwhelming.

  2. I experienced traumatic loss when my mother murdered my identity last year. I’m 57 years old and took a DNA test which inadvertently revealed that my entire life had been build upon lies that were told TO me and ABOUT me. When I confronted my mother about this she told me a horrible lie of how I was conceived as a product of a “stranger” rape (nothing more disgusting than that!). She later admitted (to me) that this was UNTRUE, but because she is narcissistic and concerned with her reputation – she continued to tell this horrible rape lie to friends and family in order to garner sympathy and to absolve herself from responsibility. This has left me devastated and struggling to understand who I am. I feel shattered! To make matters worse, much of my support system has been destroyed by these lies that were made up and told by my narcissistic mother.

  3. Sat with my husband and listen to him drown for three days and nights.
    He had gone to the doctor and said his back was hurting, the doctor said, “your old John”.
    So by the time he passed out with the pain, his spine had crumbled and the cancer was in his
    Kidneys which had shut down. So they tried to get them to work first.

  4. I am presently almost 57 years old I spent five and a half years of my life in prison on drug charges when I was 42 I was finally released from prison and moved home to be with my parents it was July of 2005 that I moved back home on July 25th of 2006 while I was at work I received a panicking phone call from my mother telling me that my father was having a heart attack when I rushed home it was already too late they were not able to revive my father they pronounced him dead an hour later. I knew at that point that after so many years of my mother supporting me that it was now my turn to take care of and support my mother I did not in any way consider this a burden in fact I considered it a privilege and an honor on October 25th 2007 exactly 15 months to the day that my father had passed away my mother had woken in the morning and told me she wasn’t feeling well I told her she should just go back to bed and relax and try to sleep and I would take care of everything in the house that day later in the day I prepared a small meal for her so she could try to eat but she was not able to eat very much and she got up and told me that she was going to go back, this was at around 8 p.m. . I then cleaned up the kitchen and sat down to watch a movie approximately one hour later I had decided that I was going to go to bed being that I had to get up in the morning for work. I decided to go check on my mother before going to bed and upon entering her room and turning on her light and checking on her I had found that she had passed in her sleep. They called it sudden cardiac death, her heart just gave up and stopped pumping. Within a 15 month span I had lost both of my parents my complete Support Network everything that mattered to me was gone in a split second. It has been 13 years and I am just now starting to receive counseling because for some reason I was never able to get over finding my mother dead I was never able to cope with it I would slip into serious states of depression and keep myself in the house for weeks on end when I finally ended up going back to work things were never the same my depression was getting worse and I started suffering from severe anxiety. All these years later I am seeing specialists now who deal with this kind of trauma they are telling me that I have what they call untreated long-term PTSD. If you are out there and you are suffering from a traumatic loss it is so important that you seek help as soon as possible

  5. I have read the comments of Traumatic Deaths.
    I have a two side trauma. I killed my abusive husband 50 years ago. I went through the legal system and completed what was required.
    I was 21 years old the mother of 5 children all under the age of 5. I raised my children an they are all productive adults with college education.
    The sad thing is i have not allow my self to get close to them I felt that they were going to hate me and turn their back and disown me once they knew what happen to their father. I told them when they were old enough to understand. No they didn’t leave me but I had already build that wall between us.
    I did not get mental health treatment, counselling until after 5 years once I completed my manslaughter probation. I kept myself together because i was fearful of losing my children to social service, I asked for help while on probation.
    How does a person like me who killed their husband keep living all these years. I don’t have many friends or am close to other people because of shame and fear of their rejection. Even after all these years.

    • Wow, you are brave to share your story. We all make errors.. Some larger than others. But that’s life. I can’t imagine how each day has been for you. And I can’t imagine how life must have been so hard for you in that relationship.

    • I’m so glad I found you all!love to you on your journey!
      I am no stranger to greif.
      I’m 40 yrs old and have lost 8 very close loved ones.
      It all started when my aunt karen took her life at age 34.i was only 3 when it happened but my mother struggled and she left behind 4 children that watched her die.
      I then through the years lost both my grand parents that helped raise grandmother was only 70 and she died suddenly.
      then a close childhood boy freind and neighbor at 26 when our other neighbor shot him over a dirtbike.
      Then I lost my 47 year old cousin to aids.
      Then i lost my very close 45 year old cousin billy because of drugs and alcohol.
      Then 4 yrs later my father died suddenly
      From unknown causes.. i saw him from a far laying in his casket I hadent spoke to him for a year…. i didnt want to see traumatized me his face is in my mind all the time.
      Thennnnn…..wait for it………..
      It gets worst! 9 months after my father died…….The ultimate blow of a life time happened…a kick to the face…
      My 34 year old brother …. my ride or die… my most cherished human on this planet my #1….died ….suddenly with his best freind in a canoe accident at donner lake california.his girlfriends of 7 years and freinds all watched him drowning….the water was ice cold ,the obtopsey said he was on cocaine alcohol and hydrocodine.they had no paddle in 3 foot waves with snow capped peaks looming over them….(makes me angry!) his girl freind tried to save him and got hyper thermia.. it took them two days to find them but right b4 they found him first…..
      his girlfriend couldent admit they saw him drownin at first.( she was messed up for this tragedy poor girl…)..finally I knew it was real when she said 2 days later …..shakeing”i saw his eyes go under.” as I sat in arkansas where I live in such anguish and utterly unbearable lost hope…so so numb screaming…”not my brother …not my brother”so loud it shattered my soul…literally.
      I had to figure out how to in that state of mind fly out 3 days after the whole ordeal took place to get my 65 yr old moma who was basically almost dead from the trauma and …also…..the plane ride to cali was scary as hell and even the stewardess was buckled in the whole way…i had to go to the his home after I landed his things around every where…my moma collapsing in and out of consciousness and figure out what to do with his body and all that . What …a ..NIGHTMARE I.
      I’m so haunted by his death…it was like no other…its been 4 years
      now…..I’m sick daily and feel I’m going under too..I maintain my job and life on the outside somewhat fine…but inside barley ….but somehow…. but I am under water too…the images I carry of him our last encounters,my dear dear brother……i will die with this severe pain…life is so dim now..we were almost twins,lived together as adults,talked to him daily….just had spent 3 months prior to his death at his lovely house hanging out everywhere with him so proud of what he accomplished with so many plans for the future…
      …it was unbelievable & still is!
      I just got my first therapy session booked next week…I should have done it sooner but,I had little greif support and people around and it was hard to get to this point on my own with out help much less even muster the energy to work, maintain, or even feed my self.
      I still have my mother and I am scared for her life.
      She aged so much from our losses and like me this was the most severe loss to us and why her sister and my brother and 34??? to you all…so much love…..

  6. My relationship with my father was always rocky. He suffered from schizophrenia but had a well paying job and did well academically and economically. I am from India where awareness about mental health issues is minimum. As young girls ( i have a sister) and our mother we tried to get our father to visit psychiatrists which he did once or twice but never continued the treatment. Gradually he became violent, paranoid and generally it became impossible to live a sane normal life with him. Then one day we called it quits and kind of escaped his clutches and ran away to stay elsewhere. We made no contact with him for about a good 15 years when then suddenly he started contacting us. He seemed mellowed down and changed. We thought maybe he has changed and were ready to give our rocky relationship another try. By now both us sisters were married and i have even been blessed with a beautiful baby boy. My father was very very fond of the little angel of ours. My mother was yet to warm up to my father. After years of domestic abuse and neglect at his hands she was not in a mood to quite forgive him yet. But we girls were living fulfilling lives of our own and were not holding any grudges of the past. Things were getting better for my now retired father. He would come over and stay with his daughters. Video calls would take place daily and then suddenly on the 26.12.2019 he jumped from his 14th floor apartment balcony and killed himself. I was away at UK at the time and by the time i came back he was buried. I body it seems was so disfigured it was gruesome. I dont have the stomach to see the pictures that police ppl have forwarded but evertime i close my eyes i imagine the whole sequence in the most gruesome manner possible. I dont know what to do with my emotions. I have started hating my mom. Only if she agreed to stay with him. Even though only i know how much she had gone through. When things were on the verge of getting better and we were to become one big happy family my father takes this gruesome step and he doesnt even leave behind a suicide note. Leaving this question forever in my mind as to what happened that fateful day. And to top it all i am pregnant for the second time. And need help but i just dont feel like sharing it with anyone. My husband is away in another country and i dont have any support system. I am a wreck and cannot admit it.

    • Hi, You are going through a lot. It is understandable that you don’t feel like talking to anyone, it can be difficult to figure out where to start. So much has happened.

      I hope you will be open to reaching out to a helpline in India to speak to a supportive listener and also get some more info about how to find a therapist. It might be a good time to process all of this with a trained person who can help you heal – try this website for info about helplines:

      Depending on where you live, I hope you will be able to find a trusted therapist to talk to.

  7. I wish all of you all the best for the new year and decade, may it get easier day by day to live with the grief.

    Though I do not personally suffer from traumatic grief I wish to express deep pain after a brief but intense relationship ended two days ago. I was happier than I had been in a long time to have met such a respectful and kind man. From the beginning of our relationship I wondered why he so often wouldn’t look me in the eye. During a two-day getaway in the mountains I found out why when he was lying in my arms crying like a little boy about three friends he had lost as an adolescent, one OC‘D, one fell from scaffolding and one was shot with a rifle only centimeters away from him. During that time he met this wife with whom he has two children. He tried to explain to me that she will always be the number one in his life because she was there for him convinced he was born to be with her. Never again would he try to be with someone else. He mentioned several times that it might be better to shoot hinsegle or throw himself off a cliff. I know he can’t not be with me because of his ex wife, but because he has never received help to get through the traumatic grief. Had he done that he would be able to smile again and bring life back into his eyes that are simply dead staring into the void. I wish I could help him

  8. I lost my nephew on 2nd Dec 2019, He was murdered in a deliberate attack when leaving school with his friends. He was only 12..
    I am trying to stay strong for my sister and brother in law but it is just so hard, I can see the pain in her eyes and I just want to take it away from her… i think about him and see his face but the pain in my heart is so bad it hurts to even breath. I know there is more pain too come and I worry about my sister…

    • I totally understand your grief. I lost my nephew to a freak accident this november 27. He was 16. I just cant think about any thing else. It is as if i have lost my own son. I look at my sister and brother in law and no words can explain their grief. I dont understand why it had happened to us again, because i have lost my father 12 years ago in an accident. All the family is suffering like hell…i dont feel any purpose in life…its as if life and god has cheated me and us

  9. My father was attacked at work while working at a train station in Brazil. 4 guys left him to die because they did not want to pay the train ticket. I was able to see him at a hospital bed in such a situation I wouldn’t wish anybody. The police got 3 of the guys and 1 is missing. It’s been 4 months since he was attacked and I have been suffering so much. I got psychological help but I did not feel it helps so I gave up. Besides that, I am a new parent of 6 months baby…motherhood combined with grief it’s hard…some days I don’t think I will be able to make it…

    • I know what are you feeling. I also lost my father in Brazil. Be strong, i know it’s not easy and i think that we never will really healed from this traumatic loss…but we go on in pieces.

  10. My brother took his life on Feb 4 this year. I will not go into details, but I am traumatized, as is my family.
    The best resource for families and friends left after suicide that I have found is

  11. I’m glad I found this, when I have a quiet moment away from distraction I will read all the comments fully. Thank you to those whom have thoughtfully contributed already. I live in UK. My older brother had a horrendous car accident at aged 20, on holiday in France. He was cut from the car and taken to a French hospital, in a coma. In due course he was airlifted back to UK hospital where after a few months he came out of his coma (no miraculous awakening). He had horrendous brain injuries (long before air bags were compulsory) and needed permanent care. He became a pale emaciated form of his prior athletic self. About a year after his accident his weak body succumbed to his head injuries. I wish he had died outright in the accident. It would have avoided his suffering and the trauma to our family. But here’s the rub. I am writing this over 30years after the event. I grieved a lot at the time of his accident and his death. I have carried it with me ever since. For many years the grief has been in its place. But recently, for reasons I have not understood, memories have resurfaced more vividly, and I am haunted by that year of suffering. Its almost like it was so traumatic and so long ago that it didn’t really involve me. But I can’t fake that it did, and how terrifying it must have been for him to be trapped in his body, conscious of us and things around him, but unable to communicate, walk, feed or bathe himself. Now that I am older with family of my own, and around the age of my then parents, the enormity and horror of that painful year is more profound. I just don’t understand why it has resurfaced, but I guess this is tragic grief and how I am interpreting it against my life today. I wish anyone reading this page, looking for comfort, that you do find some kind of peace, support, and reassurance from strangers. There are many more in our situation than we realise.

  12. My mom died after struggling with a disease for 9 months with a disease the doctors couldn’t diagnose. Since we’re in Venezuela and she was an university teacher we couldn’t afford proper healthcare and the disease killed her slowly. Now I’m struggling with poverty, grief, anxiety, panic attacks while working and raising a younger sibling. I don’t even know how I get by everyday.
    All your messages made me feel I’m not alone. I’m 24 and i feel like I’m 50 or something. Like I’ve seen and felt way too much.

  13. I am so glad that I found this. I have to move from the duplex that I rented for 17 years and my daughter who’s death is still under investigation for homicide not suicide, my daughter’s bedroom (she died while at college) I have to pack up. I can’t concentrate, I cry when I find another stuffed animal, her acheivement awards,,pictures..her journals, jewelry. I am very organized in saving all her memories and things. My 4 other children do not get how deeply sad that I have become these last few days. PTSD and the information about traumatic death has really helped me realize I am not alone and there is a reason for my depressed mental state. I go over the trauma in my head, try to solve who was there, why did they unlock the gun? Why did they clean the crime scene. Ds she know how much I miss her? Why did she text me that “I love you Mom can’t wait to see you next week? And I just want to hear her voice, laugh, anything. Ok well now I will tell those others who tell me “When are you getting over this?”. My one son said, “Mom, you need to think about Gracie one day a week, this everyday saddness is too much”. After reading other’s traumatic loss and grief there is a sense of comunity and I am not alone in this grief journey and the symptoms are real.

    • While each of our experiences with grief differ, I sooooo get that grief is not a one-day a week or turn off/turn on thing. Indeed, you are not alone. I grieve everyday by dealing with questions in my mind and thoughts that creep forward even when I’m smiling, singing a song, walking, and simply being.

      You are unique and the relationship you had here on earth with your daughter was as well. Thus, no human understands your pain like you do. So, unapologetically then, you will heal more and more in your own time. We may never get over what happened, but we can heal and live a productive life. I wish, hope, and pray that for you.

      Sweet peace,
      Another grieving parent

    • I losses my mom suddenly four years ago and I am still grieving. Things like this, some people never “get over” and that is ok. I will never “get over” my mom’s death. But I have learned to live with it. It pains me when people make that statement especially when they have never gone through it. It is okay to cry when you do. Just find a balance in life especially if you are still raising a family or you have other children. They need your attention just as much. Everybody can learn to live with the loss together!

  14. My wife was murdered in a drive-by shooting while we were on vacation in Mexico City last July. I was standing next to her when it happened. She was 27, and we had just been married the previous year. It’s exhausting and terrifying to have to live with the grief and trauma for the rest of my life. I am saddened to read about the many of you that must live with the same curse. It does help to know you all are out there though. Thank you for providing this platform to share.

  15. My mom was murdered today by her brother’s girlfriend. All this happened in Spain while I was away (I live in Ireland) I lost my brother due to motorbike accident 12 years ago. Took me several years to recover from that, I was on depression and having horrible panic attacks and anxiety until I came to Ireland. I don’t know how it’s going to be from now on, I’m just so afraid to go through all that again. Reading you all makes me feel like I’m not alone. Stay strong you all.

  16. I’m not quite sure if I fall in this category but my mom died from an anuerysm and was in the hospital for 2 weeks. Nothing could have been helped, further found out she had AVM (arteriovenous malformation) which made the situation worse. I oftentimes find myself getting upset because of the signs were there of her complaining of constant headaches and stressed at work due to her boss. During the time of her hospitalization, I had no appetite and I couldn’t sleep. Everything moved so fast and I had to move out of the apartment we both were living and sell the furniture. Sighs…

  17. My baby died 36 hours after she was born at 25 weeks. Sho had severe preeclampsia and was dying, so I had an emergency C-section which is horrifying to be wide awake for. I had a panic attack while being prepared for surgery. I only saw her a few times, I was so sick and on so many medications, so many tubes in me, I could barely lift my head. She looked so strange, her skin was drake red and she was ungodly small. I know I had a psychic break when the doctors told us that she was bleeding where amPIC line was inserted in her arm and it could not be repaired. Her arm was dying and the tissue death was spreading down her left side. She was turning acidic and it was irreversible. In my fog, I agreed to have the medical helicopter come pick her up to move to a better equipped NICU. As the crew was preparing her for her flight, I realized that my daughter should not die alone dowtown or in a helicopter over L.A. I told them to stop, unhook her and let me hold her for the first and only time, while she passed. I feel like this is a traumatic loss, although I believe she did not suffer. My body, mind and heart are badly bruised from this experience.

  18. My 18 year old niece was murdered shot and thrown on the side of the road like a piece of trash this just recently happened we haven’t even buried her yet it’s absolutely horrifying it hurts so much my son and her were only 3 months apart she was a child still so young you watch different shows on TV and your heart goes out to these families but then one day you become a family with the murder of a loved one it’s surreal how do you move on when all you can think about are those last moments what they were going through the fear they felt it’s absolutely heartbreaking and I’m just the aunt I can only imagine what my brother and his ex are experiencing and her brothers how do you move forward from such tragedy.

  19. My brother-in-law committed suicide. He took my sister with him. He shot her in the back of the head, then later shot himself. October it will be 2 years. People tell you to get over it, to move on. You never get over it. A traumatic loss is different, than natural causes. Someone took someone’s life. Who gave him the right to play God. He had Depression. We didn’t know. He only spoke to one friend about it. Not even to her. He went off medication a week or two weeks prior. All things that were discovered after the fact. Sad that. Yet know it’s not unique, so many cases like this. You just never think its going to happen to someone you know. They even made it into the local newspaper, not such a good thing after all. They were only found a day later, lying there for more than 24 hours. The mind struggles to comprehend that. Someone told me yesterday to start working on taking the hurt out. To start forgiving myself. Forgiving myself for the things I did or didn’t do, while she was alive. That is where i will start One step at a time. My heart and thoughts go out to all who has written here. Yes we can only understand trauma, once this happens. We are dealing with grief and trauma, neither which seem to go away and they are two separate entities yet intertwined. Thank You for sharing

  20. My younger brother had a sudden, highly suspicious, highly premature death at age 37. My father had a sudden highly suspicious premature death. One week later my older brother had a sudden highly suspicious highly premature death.

    Over a decade later I have come to realize that they were likely murdered for profit, by extended family. My siblings and I were raised in isolation from our extended family.

    I am glad that I came across this site, by accident. I have been struggling with these losses.

    I cannot be reached by email and cannot give personal details, including name.

    Another loss which can befall innocent victims, marked by their own wealthy families is surgical mutilation for profit for medical research.

  21. I am 41,lost 2 men,supposed 2 spend life ,were taken away quickly.More so w/cj background know death isn’t when/how we decide BUT it pisses me off that 2 REAL MEN,faults as all but was about loved ones,both had struggles not able overcome even w/me tryin 2 achieve,reasons beyond human understanding isn’t enough 2 keep death away.Losin 1st,10yrs ago,soldier 20yrs n top n his branch(AF),we suffered ptsd to extreme,couldn’t save n GUARDED self 4 lots yrs.2nd loss(2yrs ago),quit drinking,1 min sober n loving,next was drunk/housemate snuck pills,pushed it 2 getting him wasted n hrs w/me cleaning/No idea til 2 late,I got mad n just get away 4 few but he went nuts,went n &still preventable roommate wouldn’t do anything,went n room got punched sev tmz,I come back,ended up outside,hubby threw cell,jumped n truck n not able 2 stop,waiting 4 help but want 2 find him had 2 wait after roommate called 911.I knew it was 2 end bad,wait was 4ever seemed,officers etc arrive,getting a call over his radio,already knew hubby was killed. 90mph,back roads that sharp,woods etc,was told he lost control,hit trees,basically tore big truck n 1/2,he was ejected, during which had a severed limb,laying on ground dying,dos b4 taking him away.Only wanted lil info on details was told by 1s who should have protected me,wasn’t included n arrangements,given info by fam,even blamed knowing n pics of me 2 not blame but even know I am.Amazing thz”there 4 u”etc,1s actually against/blame u.At end I was only 1 there/loved/not using him 4.His fam treated him horrible,not there damn thing but yet ends like it did?!!!I know they r n heaven waiting but the unjustified actions from them deceased from others,knowing not their wishes but up most DECEPTIVE ACTIONS against wishes.Even know I feel just happened n visions of everything,not being there.Next day went,night of taken 2 er n parents hm,see horrific scene,BLAMED 4 death while all know truth.I have my conscience/lost loves that are on my side. Thz disrespectful of them,others…will answer n punishment taken pending the actions of punishe. We all lose,we all feel pain and all will deal w/death n many ways.I learned that n all pain,must keep going 4 thz needing, effected by what not only effects on ur way to function n get thru but causes overall effects of loved ones still here,needing mind/♡,faith 2 communication soon after death,not long 2 b able do,n if u r true 2/meant 2 b given chance 4 answers,closure,be able to come at peace 4 both etc…I 2 am still learning how to forgive,not except blame,knowing they r @peace n not blame me,want me 2 let go cuz no matter how hard tried,was not in my hands n 2 be happy n alive again.

  22. If somebody got into an accident with their parents in the car and they wake up after the fact something I don’t know what happened to that person but they find out their parents have died and they no longer have the ability to speak can that really happen someone not be able to speak anymore after something like that if there’s no physical damage

  23. My husband wanted to divorce me. He was always away from home and fooling with other women! I was suffering a lot. My life was very painful, I became depress and wanted to do anything, just cry and was in pain and argony… my punishment was endless. But Dr. Isi made it come to an end. Inbox me if you wish to know more about my result or you can as well get to Dr. Isi with the below info.

  24. My mother died a slow, painful, and horrific death from complications from a car accident she had experienced two months earlier (She died 19 Dec. 2018). The man that hit and killed her cared only about his company truck and the image of his local business. The insurance company (Erie Insurance) insured both parties (my mother and father had had insurance with them for over 60 years. Mother never had a true car accident or a ticket in her life until her fatal car wreck), and instead of helping my mother and I went after us like hell hath no fury in favor of the driver who killed her! (I am still battling with them, and I imagine that this will eventually end up in court. We had our insurance bundled with Erie Insurance, and they suddenly and illegally dropped my home owners insurance, and they are refusing to pay what they legally owe me if I don’t sign a “hold harmless agreement” preventing me from ever suing them or the man who killed my mother. I refuse to sign such an agreement, and I have reported the insurance company to the state bureau of insurance. I would like to just move on, but Erie Insurance will not let me). I am so angry with the SOB who killed my mother and the insurance company that I am often beside myself at night when I get home, and I am all alone in the house where I had lived with my mother for 47 years. I have a rage that I have never experienced before that moves just from the bottom of my soul leaving me crying and screaming in anger and hate!! The rage is so powerful it is almost frightening! On 13 Oct. 2018, my mother was attempting to pull out onto the highway from her church when she was suddenly and unexpectedly struck by a truck driving at high speed operated by the owner of a small, local hardware store chain (He was travelling 50 mph in a 35 mph zone, and made absolutely no attempt to stop. In fact, there is the real possibility that he may have actually sped up to hit her!! It was a very violent crash (She broke her right foot almost off at the ankle. She broke her neck, both hands, back, and hip (so badly that the surgeon said he had only seen similar injuries in skydiving accidents). The artery in her neck was partially dissected by the seat belt. I was told by witnesses to the crash that she had broken the glass out of the driver’s side window with her head. Even under these circumstances, my mother was found at fault for the accident by the state police who mistakenly argued that it was actually a 55 mph zone (I took pictures of the signs. The sign for that area clearly states “35 mph,” etc. We would have fought this in court had mother survived). Miraculously, she remained conscious during the entire accident. She was horrified that she was going to burn to death (and this was a realistic fear). I tried desperately along with other motorists free her from the vehicle, but we were unable to do so. She had to be cut out of the car with the jaws of life, and transported to UVA trauma center in the advanced life support ambulance. Her partially detached foot was hanging and dangling off of the stretcher (lots of blood, etc.) I saw the driver who had hit her (We live in a small community where most of the older people know each other. He actually knew her, my uncle, and my cousin, but he pretended that we were complete strangers at the scene of the accident). He did not speak and would not speak to any of us nor would he formally identify himself nor provide insurance information( to mother and I or the other motorists trying to help). He listened calmly and did nothing as mother screamed for help, and asked us not to let her burn to death! Mother thought at first that the accident was a hit and run because she had not heard from him (At the time of the accident, she was in a deep ditch, and could not see the highway or the truck that hit her situated on the highway, and moved away from the scene of the accident by the driver). He would not exchange insurance information, but he could and would talk calmly to the police on the scene in a detached manner while everyone else was trying frantically to save my mother. He could also tell the cop convincingly that it was all my mother’s fault and that she had “pulled out in front of him…” He presented as a complete and utter sociopath on the scene and afterwards.

    My mother screamed in pain for the next week, and all of the pain medicines known to medical science could not calm her pain in the hospital. I stayed in the ICU with her for a solid week. The man who hit her never called or checked on her. Not one word. The state trooper came sheepishly to the emergency room, and told mother while she was lying there in her hospital bed screaming and doped up on opiates that she was at fault and had been charged with failure to yield the right of way. I asked if the other driver had been charged, and he said “No.” “Not even for speeding?!,” I asked. He responded “No.” He also told me then that both sides had Erie Insurance, and that he had gotten all of the information for insurance, and turned it in for us, etc. My uncle arrived at the ICU, and helped me to get home to get a change of cloths, etc. (I had been wearing the same cloths for a week, and had not left my mother’s side at the hospital). When I got home, I found a rude and intimidating message from Erie Insurance (Blue Ridge Insurance Office) that told me that the driver who had hit my mother was unable to read the police officer’s handwriting on the police report regarding insurance, and that “since she is at fault,” she was “legally obligated to provide that information” after all “Mr. ****, of *****Building Supply Company had to get going again because his truck was totaled….” There was not even one half-hearted: “Is everyone alright?” The language was purely cold, accusatory, and repeatedly emphasizing that “Mr. ****of ****Building Supply” was very inconvenienced by this situation, and did not have any more time to waste with us, etc. “He had to get going again….” I called them back and provided them with the information requested along (This was ironic since we both have the same insurance company and I had already formally filed a claim while with mother for Erie Insurance while in UVA) with an unfiltered piece of my mind!!!! I also went online on Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Google, and everywhere else I could find and shared the gory details of the accident and “Mr.***** of *****Building Supply Company’s” reaction to the accident. In reaction to the public shaming, he had his marketing director contact me, and had her write me an email (full of inaccuracies/lies) telling me that he did not know that mother was seriously injured (as if I had not watched him at the scene of the accident, and knew exactly what had happened. He was distancing and doubling himself as far as he could from responsibility of any kind and couldn’t even condescend to lie himself. He had had to have someone he had hired help him with that), and that he thought that she only had a “scratch on her leg.” I noticed several days later that he took down every post that he could from every website, and only left himself 5 star ratings on all of the review websites. What a dishonest sack of *****! Also, what really steams me is that he knew full well that her leg was not just scratched! As a matter of fact, she died of VRE (vancomycin resistant enterococci) infection, and a pleural effusion (dropsy) that had come from the bacteria from the leg wound sustained in the accident! The dirty *******! I took his “scratched leg” comment as a verbal punch in the face! My mother suffered in and out of the ICU and nursing and rehab facilities for two months only to slowly suffocate on her last day! She was literally begging for her parents, hallucinating, complaining of being unable to breath, etc. on the last day of her life for hours on end! I sat next to her as she took her last breath in terrible pain. I will never forget the look on her face, and I have SUPER RAGE AND HATE!!!! I will not do anything rash, illegal, or immoral, but it takes a great deal of will power not to do so. I cannot get legal justice for my mother! It tears at me!

    She was very religious, and I am fairly religious. She was a christian, and I am a messianic jew. I watch religious programming on TV regularly. I watch Shabbat services on Friday nights (reform Judaism) and Sunday (messianic services). I watch Talmud study regularly. I am trying to study Hebrew, and work on secular professional development classes, and more IT graduate work to keep busy along with working full-time as a teacher and tech director for a small private boarding school (I have missed at least five weeks of work during this horrible situation, and it is causing me trouble at work. I will need to do extra professional development just to stay afloat anyway, and remain competitive). People (friends and relatives) have told me that God will judge and punish the man who killed my mother. I do not blame God, and I know that he will serve justice. I know that whatever happens is God’s will, and that it will all eventually work out for the good. I know that one should be just as thankful to God during terrible times as in good times. However, I can’t help but want to seek some form of secular justice as well! The man that hit my mother just got off Scott free with manslaughter, and has literally destroyed my family, ruined my life to a certain degree, and he is very smug about it!!! He knows that he got by with it. He drives away in his new truck (that was written off as a business expense anyway), and my mother is DEAD thanks to him!!!!! To top it all off, the damn insurance company is actually making it harder for medicare, etc. to pay the bills by refusing to turn in paperwork, etc. like they are supposed to do. I feel like I am being hit on all sides. I know that it will all be straightened out eventually, but I am in hell now. Also, I have to admit that sometimes I wish that I had died in the accident along with mother. I’m not suicidal (Mostly because I believe that if I kill myself I will go to hell, and never see my mother, father, grandparents, friends, etc. again). I keep on going through life, but nothing matters or seems as meaningful as it once did. I am an only child, and I am all alone now. My father preceded my mother in death eight years ago with terminal cancer. Hospice services were in our house 24/7 for several months, and I found him dead one night just after the nurses had left. I am not very old (48 years old), but I know more dead people than I do living. I can literally ride down the road to my house from work, and count off at least ten or fifteen dead friends and relatives. I walk into a house full of warm memories from the past (That seem like a cruel mockery now). I look at abandoned homes, businesses, etc. that are full of good memories of a time that is no longer here. I feel like the living dead, but I cover it up with a warm smile while I work and interact with a world that I no longer feel a true part of. I just don’t feel like I belong anywhere anymore, but I keep on going anyway. I am becoming more and more of an oddly religious nihilist. The secular world means next to nothing to me. I am disillusioned with the rules, laws, and the whole structure of society (Yet, I don’t violate those norms. As a matter of fact, my life is very structured, conservative ,etc. externally). The world feels corrupt to me. Honestly, I will not hasten going to it (In Talmud study, I learned that it is a mitzvah to take care of oneself), but I honestly look forward to the next life more than I look forward to any given new day in this world. I feel like I belong on the other side now more than I do here. I enjoy studying, and graduate work helps, but it is not a replacement for all of the people I have lost. I have just been left with voids that I can’t fill. I minored in philosophy in college as an undergraduate. I have worked in special schools with psychiatrists, and I am familiar with the works of Viktor Frankl. I have read books like “Man’s Search for Meaning” in an attempt to find solace, etc. However, that is just the point, I can’t find the meaning no matter how hard I search and try.

    • Grieving the loss of my own mother. Its been two months. She was terminally Ill but the end was traumatic and has left me with a lot of questions and complicated feelings. I came across your story and I just want you to know I think that guy is a giant piece of shit. Everyone involved in mishandling your paperwork at the insurance company can also go straight to hell. People can be so terrible and I’m so sorry to read about your experience and your poor mothers experience. Thats not fair. Thats not ok. And I dont know how you move on from that. Grieving is hard enough and having to fight for justice on top of it is beyond stressful. I hope you find strength and that their businesses fail.

  25. My boyfriend lost his sister 3 weeks ago after he got back home from the funeral
    He sent me a message saying please don’t come over tonight I asked if everything was ok he said No ..I was worried about but gave him a few more days to grieve. I went over a few days later and he said he didnt want to be around people and hadn’t been to work in almost 2 weeks . Then he told me he didn’t feel chemistry between us and said he feel he could not love me like I love him. I left his house and I never stop worrying about him I take him food over with a note and leave it at his front door and ring door bell and walk away . I have been giving him space but yet making sure he is taken care of and he knows I still care and won’t ever stop caring he needs someone. I guess what I am asking is do you think I doing the right thing by staying in life and doing things for him and being invisible to him so he can have space and still see I am there and I care. Did he really me to say what he did to me about chemistry ? What does this mean or what should I do

    • My husband wanted to divorce me. He was always away from home and fooling with other women! I was suffering a lot. My life was very painful, I became depress and wanted to do anything, just cry and was in pain and argony… my punishment was endless. But Dr. Isi made it come to an end. Inbox me if you wish to know more about my result or you can as well get to Dr. Isi with the below info.

    • Hello. I am can tell you that when someone has a loss like that they cannot think of anyone else. they cannot love, or be there for another. Space is the best thing. He will come around when he is ready. You must live your life too. You can love him from a distance and wish him well. But you cannot force him to change his mind. I only hope you realize you cannot make pain better. he will have to endure it and go through it alone. That is the only way the pain can be carried and lessened by oneself.

  26. My boyfriend lost his sister 3 weeks ago after he got back home from the funeral
    He sent me a message saying please don’t come over tonight I asked if everything was ok he said No ..I was worried about but gave him a few more days to grieve. I went over a few days later and he said he didnt want to be around people and hadn’t been to work in almost 2 weeks . Then he told me he didn’t feel chemistry between us and said he feel he could love me like I love him. I left his house and I never stop worrying about him I take him food over with a note and leave it at his front door and ring door bell and walk away . I have been giving him space but yet making sure he is taken care of and he knows I still care and won’t ever stop caring he needs someone. I guess what I am asking is do you think I doing the right thing by staying in life and doing things for him and being invisible to him so he can have space and still see I am there and I care. Did he really me to say what he did to me about chemistry ? What does this mean or what should I do

  27. I think I might finally be on the right path to finding some support for myself. My story is quite long and involved but to shorten it a bit my grandson was brutally murdered 11 days after his first birthday. On his mother’s birthday actually, his mother is my daughter. We didn’t know cause of death until the funeral directors called us in 7 months after we buried him and told us homicide, blunt force trauma to the head and asphyxiation due to smothering. Two grown men that have years of exposure to tragedy and pain then told us “it’s my job to tell you you can call the coroner and ask any questions you have about the autopsy, but I am telling you as a loving member of the community, you do NOT want to know.” and then him and his brother put their heads down and couldn’t look at us and cried. I stood next to my daughter when the lead detective told her the coroner had Trey and an autopsy would be performed. I couldn’t even think of that word without throwing up for weeks. After my daughter found her son (she knew he was dead because we had watched our grandmother pass away 4 months earlier, his chin was on his chest like grandma’s was.) the killers stone cold bitch mother called 911 but then suggested she drive him herself to save time. Instead of offering to take her herself she sent her out, panicked and possibly drunk because she had been out having a drink with a friend and she wasn’t intoxicated, the cops at the accident could see that and so could the head detective I’ve talked to many times said, but his mother didn’t know it. On top of that my daughter was sent a bill for over $6000 from the state for damage to the road and traffic control. Yes, six THOUSAND dollars. I hear people talk about life being unfair and I keep my mouth shut. The accident has really hampered the case. They know who did it but they can’t make an arrest because they don’t want to risk acquittal and have double jeopardy. So we sit and wait, and have for 2 and a half years and counting with no end in sight while they are free and living life. The killer had a son about Trey’s age and we thought he’d have more fun playing with his friend than grocery shopping with us or staying home with an aunt and uncle. SO MUCH MORE to add to guilt, what if’s and frustration. Some days I want to go on a kill or be killed rampage because of the amount of anger and rage I feel. It’s like an hours long panic attack on steroids and then after I feel tired like I did in the early part of it all, tired right into my soul and bones. Trey’s father was tragically killed a year and a half after his son. Lots more and all of it horrible. We’re a nice normal family raised in nice normal homes far removed from real hardship and our kids were raised the same way. I can’t even wrap my head around all of it yet. I need support, I’ve asked church members for it, I’ve talked to counselors, hell I even talked to my psychiatrist about it. It’s all over their heads. I don’t want responses of I’ll pray for you, we have lots of prayer and you can if you want of course, we’re Christian and know the Lord but what I need is real support. Being a grandparent it’s very hard to find any. Love to you all and thank you for taking the time to read my story.

    • I also lost my grandson at 14 months old, I would love to talk to another grandmother and not feel ashamed of how i feel.

  28. My son was killed in a car acxident 1/21/18. He was my only child. My world. My everything. I had just started dating a guy ive known all my life. He was the one who had to tell me. I couldnt function. I hid from everyone. My family. My best friends. I quit going places. If I had to go to the store it was at 2 am. I couldnt be alone because of the nightmares. I didnt know what to do. Jason was my supporter. My keeper. He helped me when he could. I started doing small things. Then I started freaking out. Lashing out. I never was a jealous angry person until then. I questioned everything and everyone. Jason amd I eventually ended that. We remained friends so to speak. He has his own things to deal with. I started therapy and went dor awhile. I was put on depression medication anxiety medication and a sleep aid. My mind will not shut down. The therapy really didnt do anything that made me feel better. It helped to a point. Imthe year before jared my son died, he was only 26, one of my beat friends son was killed. He was 3. The day after Jared was killed, another young lady died in an accident. The month before, a young man overdosed. Two weeks after Jared, his dog died from a broken heart, then my brother in law died of a heart attack. In July my aunt passed away from cancer. And all I could think was how dare they get to see my son before me. It wasnt fair. It wasnt right. I didnt deserve to lose my only child and then everything keep going downhill. This is the forst article I have seen that my mouth actually fell open and I just knew it was written about me. No one knows what to say so they stop speaking. No one knows that all I need is maybe a smile or a hug or to let me know they are right here for me. No one knows. And I dont know what to tell them. I pretend. I smile even when I dont want to. I laugh when all I want to do is cry. I get up everyday when I dont want to open my eyes. I speak when all I want to do is scream. Thank you for thus article. I knew I wasnt alone in this journey. I never want anyone to have this journey, but I know deep down now there are others like me. 💙

    • Jennifer please know you are not alone in this horrible tragedy of the loss of your only son,. July of 15, 2004 on our way to a parade my daughter and two grandchildren and myself were involved in a accident and I lost my beautiful daughter that day, I was driving and I cannot get past this guilt that I have even though the other person was charged with the accident. She was my only child. I do know your pain and are not alone with this life changing experience.

    • Jennifer,
      Although you don’t know me, I wish to share that I care. If it helps, I’m here now listening to you and embracing your pain.

      In your time, you will heal. This doesn’t mean you’ll forget or will totally get over what happened. I certainly wouldn’ t expect that you would. In your time then, I pray for your peace and a joy that surpasseth all understanding.

      Perhaps in our own grief, we can be hope for others who also grieve.

      My best to you,

  29. My youngest brother had a long history of illness and the inability to care for himself. He was on mountains of prescribed medications but nothing could truly ease his pain and disability. He had a seizure disorder and experienced several accidents causing traumatic brain injuries. Our physical and mental healthcare system completely failed him.
    He truly wanted to live and be independent but he was not able to comprehend that he needed to help himself by allowing others to help him. I was his caretaker of sorts, helping when and where he would allow it – more to ease our mother’s torment than anything else.
    Yesterday when we had not heard from him in a week, I went to his apartment and found him dead in his tub. It was evident that his last days or hours were torturous. It was not an unexpected discovery but I cannot get the image of his face out of my brain. I can handle the family contact, the arrangements and the closure but I can’t unsee his face.

  30. My mom had been sick for a while…but she worked everyday as if nothing was wrong.
    She had been having a hard time for a while now and she started self medicating.
    She was a beautiful, young, strong woman.
    She was tierd, sad, mad, and everything else all in one.
    My dad had came over to tell let me know my mom was having another “bad” day and that he just wanted to let her cool down just like any other time and go back and reason with her.
    I ended up driving my dad back home.
    We ended up pulling up into the drive way and seen the garage door open and my dad got out of the car to walk to the front door
    ..had an urge to turn my brights on towards the garage.
    Thats when i seen my mom hanging.
    I screamed for my dad to get her down.
    At the moment i called 911.
    Everything went silent for a minute and then i started talking my dad thru CPR.
    He did amazing. Listened to everything i said.
    He got a pulse back faint….but it was there.
    We later lost her at the hospital.
    Sometimes the room will go quiet in my head and all i will hear are all the sounds from that night.
    I have woken up covered in sweat since then.
    I also had to break the news to my 12 year old brother right after losing her.

  31. I lost my older brother 63 years old. He went to collect rent from some tenants that were behind on thier rent. A 21 year old angry person stabbed my brother to death 8 times with a pair of scissors. He claims it was self defense but my brother had no weapons except a chair he held between him and his attacker. The murderer was between my brother and the front door. I can not believe he died such a violent death. He was a kind person and had let this same troubled punk stay rent free for 2 months earlier in the year as he was in between jobs. I can not believe our court system let’s this kid walk free while we have waited for our day in court . He reports for piss tests and has failed to show for 2 and the court system still has not pulled his out on own recognition. Everything has been very hard. My Sister inlaw had cancer and we had to watch her go thru dying with out the comfort of my brother being there with her 6 months later. I had my Mother inlaw who lived with me also pass away from catching pneumonia 5 months after my brother was murdered. My Sisters and my Sister in laws family and I have had to deal with multiple property sales out of town and multiple days taken off work. We have financially had to hire lawyers. That said and all what hurts most at this time is his murderer walks free for 17.months now and the court system does not give me any hope that justice will be served. People in earlier comments are right the victim gets made out to be the wrong. My Brother smoked pot so that is out there. It doesn’t matter that the murderer is on probation for 2 previous pot busts. They also are trying to make my brother the bad person because he was trying to collect back rent. They refer to this not as a homicide but a rent dispute gone bad. You can paint it anyway you want to but when you are a 21 year old and you are attacking a 63 year old man and you stab him 8 times and you are near the exit door. I don’t find it self defence. They tried to say he was defending his domain. That was dropped when it came out that one of the renters that left and went to the bank to get the rent had invited him in to wait for him. So they were not in fear of thier life and my brother was not threatening. I can not wrap my head around why this punk killed my brother. I can except my Mother inlaws death as she lived a good long life. As painful as it was to lose my Sister inlaw she was no longer suffering the pain from her cancer and my brothers murder. I feel like everytime I except my brothers death at this piece of craps hands and my wound heals then we hear from the court that he will not except a plea bargain deal or he has not complied with court probation. It feels like some one ripping my scabs off my wound. I don’t know if I can heal from this one. I take care of my Mother who has alzheimers my sisters and I have not told her. It is hard on holidays she looks for him. I have not told her My Sister inlaw has passed away either and use the excuse she is sick and he is taking care of her. I don’t know if things will get better after we go to trial later this year. So far I see no remorse from this guy I know that even if they put him away for 16 years it doesn’t bring my brother back. I may find closure. I thank you for this site as it let’s us get out our feelings it’s hard to talk about. It’s hard to talk to family members and husband as you can see the pain they are going thru also. I have not gone to counseling as I have been busy talking care of everything. I don’ know if it will help at this stage. I feel for everyone going thru this pain in life it does feel like a hole in you that will never fill in. I have never had any violence in my life and it is something that does change your outlook on life.

  32. My ex husband & son’s father was murdered in 2018. His brother informed me that there would not be an open casket because there were also signs of torture on his face & body. I had not spoken to or seen my ex in many years, but the circumstances surrounding his death continue to haunt me. I also am having a hard time explaining this all to my son. I’ve told him his Dad died due to gun violence, but he’s only 11 & can’t bring myself to tell him all of the details. I really feel like I’m grieving alone because I don’t really talk about it with anyone. Thank you so much for this article. You don’t know how much it’s helped.

  33. This tears my heart apart to read so much grief, pain and senseless loss!!! It seems insurmountable.

    My brother Tommy was killed at work; smothered by concrete powder. The negligence of his foreman, his workplace cutting corners, his complete willingness to do any and every job. I have tried to not dwell on the aspects of how he died, but as all of you know here, that’s entirely impossible.
    We had had a falling out 4 years ago, and Haden’s spoken in years…the complications of that added to the trauma of his death, and loosing him before I could repair our relationship. I can’t possibly think of anything that could feel worse at this moment.

  34. I lost my oldest son Mauryon at 14 years old. I was at work about to get off when I got the frightening call. I rush from work to get home and I see yellow caution tape around my home. I ran up to my house and an investigator was standing there with tears in his eyes and told me that I couldn’t go in there. I screamed whattt happened to my son. My 10 year old son said, “momma he was playing with a gun and it went off.” Wtf!! What gun!!!! We never had a gun. It is still unclear where he got the gun from. My son said he seen him take it out of his book bag, so I figured he got it from someone at school, but no one has owned up to it yet. All I can thing about is I wish I had been at home, I feel like I didn’t protect my son from things like this. I hated that I needed to work because my children are young and still needs guidance. I have talked to my children about guns and literally everything else that could harm them. But yet and still they get around kids in school and pick up bad ways and habits. I get so upset because I didn’t think my son would ever participate in horse play of that nature. I kiss him so much, he was the sweetest with a really kind heart. Me and my husband have 3 children 14,10 and 4. This seems like a dream. Sometime I feel as though I don’t want to be here to feel any pain. I hardly have any support as my mother died 4 years ago and my father in 2000. I have 3 brothers 2 are distant and my youngest has been very supportive. My youngest son and daughter seen everything so we are all in grief counseling. I have turned to church and reading the Bible more. It has been 3 long months without my baby and I hurt so bad. I thought we did everything possible, I taught them right, shared life stories with them, this should of never happened. He was just a baby, I feel so guilty about everything. I sometimes feel that I shouldn’t be happy because he is not here. He was the life of the party, kept me laughing (and fussing). I love him and miss him more than he could imagine.

  35. My mother was murdered by an ex boyfriend on the 27 February 2018. The 26th was her birthday and she spent the day in court obtaining a protection order against him. The last time I saw her was the night of her birthday. At 4pm on Tuesday 27 February I got a call from my brother to say my mom was shot. Her killer turned the gun on himself right after shooting her point blank in the face. She was my best friend. I lived next door to her. The past 10 months have been hell. I am living my worst nightmare.

    • A trauma and grief counsellor may be needed here. You are so strong and brave to have survived this long with this nightmare having unfolded around you – you will need help in pushing through. Thinking of you X

    • my exhusband just did this to his girlfriend and himself two weeks ago. i’m in utter shock and disbelief. we have a elementary age child.

  36. My youngest son Mike died August 17, 2015. Nightmare. He had actually been scheduled for spinal surgery for August 10. He called me to tell me his surgery was cancelled because his insurance was cancelled. I heard tears in his eyes He so wanted to get the surgery, do rehab and get back to work. He didn’t have much savings , that plus he paid half the expenses for rent, food, etc. He lived with his son, daughter in law and grandson.
    Long story, essentially his boss was paying him under the table (he read blueprints, did estimates, ordered material, etc.). When he heard my son was looking to see if he was eligible for any financial assistance, he told the insurance company my son was no longer working there-afraid they would discover he was not withholding state and federal taxes. Within days, my son was in the hospital; he had a heart attack. Don’t know why they released him only on meds, but one week later, he called me. He was back in the hospital. They took 2 liters of fluid from his lungs. Withing couple days, we knew he had a mass in his lungs, spots in his lungs, adrenal glands, kidneys, liver, spleen and throughout his bones. He was given 3-6 months to live. I got him to my home the end of that week August 15, a Friday, with hospice and a caregiver to help me. He stopped eating Sunday. He died Monday am. My one son who leaves far was able to fly in that morning. I sat next to my son all night talking to him, kissing him, patting him. I never knew when he was awake or. His spoke to me twice. The last thing he said was that he loved me very much; that was around 2am. My other kids and his on got there early to mid morning. I told my grandson I thought his dad needed him to tell him it was OK to let go, to leave us. My son raised his son alone and they were exceptionally close. After my grandson talked to him around noon, he came out of the room and said his dad had a tear in his eye. We all went into the room and he was gone. My son was a loving, kind, generous person. He had an innocent, wacky sense of humor. He waited till his son was out of the room so as not to die in front of him. I hurt; the pain is still so strong. From planning on a spinal fusion to death; I still am reeling. He had told me he was losing weight because he couldn’t eat with the back pain. I still wonder how no physician suspected any of this. I was searching for a spine surgeon who took Medicaid so that he wouldn’t have to sit at the computer. Yes, it is good he did not have the surgery. That would have been awful on top on his cancer. However, I still can not believe what his boss did. Of all the people who helped raise money for expenses, this man just send flowers. I hurt when I think of how he suffered. He told me his was never so afraid in his life. I am grateful that he did not suffer long and that his family was there for him. But I cry, as of now. His daughter in law said, “When Pa walks in the room, he brings the sunshine with him.” His friends would not take the train into Chicago to the Cubs game because they said it was not the same without Mike. I feel “shell shocked” still after 3 years. I miss him so. I loved him so. I talked to a psychologist who had no idea of what grief is. I told a story that I thought a particular woman in my book club would enjoy. My one son and I went to the gravesite to put down a grave blanket for the winter. The Cubs had won the world series and Mike’s friends has put the small “W” flags all around his site. As my son and I got into his truck, the radio started playing, “Take me out to the ballgame”. When I told this to the woman, she asked me if I was looking for pity and said some members of the book club were wondering if I was stuck in my gried. Astounding. just a few months after my son died.

    • I hope you left that book club!!

      Wow, I am crying for you and your experience and your poor son. I cannot believe how silent and deadly his killer was – pretending to be back pain (severe back pain though, but wow). At least you know he touched so many lives, his mum, his children, his good friends.

  37. On March 11, 2018 I lost the first man I had ever really given my heart to and loved with every ounce of me. He was the father of my child and we went through hell and back for years but we were really trying to make everything right bc we did love eachother and for our child. We were halfway through the process of purchasing a home together and being the family you so rarely see these days. Then one night he wanted to go out with some of his friends for their bday and I told him he could go. He went out and had drinks and pain pills he was prescribed from a motorcycle accident he had 2 weeks prior. He ended up making bad choices and mixed in some of the other drugs these “friends” did his heart couldn’t handle it. I spoke with him before I went to bed and told him I had a bad feeling but I didnt know what it was. I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach eating at me and instead of having a fit and telling him to come home, I took a benadryl and went to bed. The next day I tried to call him and he didnt answer, I text, no answer, i called his mom, his best friend and no one could get ahold of him. I finally took my children to a friends house to watch them and I went to his apartment 45 mins away. Nobody else was concerned, I knew something was wrong. There was no way in his apt bc he had a privacy lock on the door. I called the police, they busted down the door and found him behind the door dead. That was literally the worst day of my life. Then one of his ex gf he dated during he and I split ups told everyone, to the point where it was all over fb, Instagram, everywhere, that he killed himself over her. I did find out he called her that night after I got his belongings from the medical examiner and went through his phone. I’m a mess of mixed emotions. I dont want to feel anything anymore. This girl was what started all of our issues to begin with which is why we went through so much hell from the get. I dont know how to deal with it. I just try to shove it away and not talk about it, think about it, and just focus on my kids for now. What hurts the most is I prayed for so long for the Lord to help him find the Lord and get his life right and get away from the evil woman who flat out said she didnt want him to see his child, who brought him into the drugs, who destroyed everything in him and mine and my daughters life and for him to go when we were trying to get it right, me being the one that finds him, and her being one of the last people he spoke with, then her spread that rumor is beyond the most heart wrenching experience I have ever imagined.

  38. On a sunny summer afternoon on August 16, 2015, the love of my life headed out to run an errand and get gas in his truck as he did most every Sunday. Realizing he was terribly late returning, I tried to
    reach him by phone . The calls and texts were not returned . Using an app on my phone I was able to locate his phone location. He was a the gas station . But why so long? I decided he must be having truck trouble. But why wasn’t he answering my calls and texts? I called my Mama and she assured me my dad would drive there and help him out.
    I had a nagging feeling something was just not
    right… Finally my phone rang …. it was my Mama . She simply said , “Put on a clean shirt. We are coming to get you. We are going to the hospital. Dave has been shot.”
    Those words rang in my head… shot? Dave? Did he walk into a robbery at the gas station? Did somebody rob him? Shot? Dave? I ran to the end of my driveway and waited . It seemed like an eternity. I called my daughter . I called my close friend. Surely they said there must be a mistake. Finally my parents and sister arrived . No one said a word . The silence was deafening . The looks in their faces caused me to panicked. I asked had he been shot in the hand .. in the foot … did he walk into a robbery…No one answered . Mama simply said , “
    We just need to get to the hospital .”
    When we arrived at the ER, I ran to the door as my sister told me to wait on her. Once inside, I raced to the desk, told them my name, and asked to see my husband. Quietly, the nurse led me into a small room with tall windows with green glass. It never dawned on me I was being escorted into the family room. I was told he was dead. I knew they had to be wrong . They had the wrong person. I asked my sister to check . Upon her return, her face told me it was no mistake. Dave had been murdered. …shot at point blank range as he put the cap on his gas tank of his truck. Murdered by a thug , a black man who at sentencing could only tell me that on the day he killed my husband “ his mind was in the devil’s playground” . He did not know my husband nor did he rob my husband . The murderer’s driver was his pregnant girlfriend. 3 years later, I am still involved with the court system . Each time I am allowed , I address the court. Just last week, I was in court again. The murderer , who plead guilty, was trying to have his conviction overturned. His girlfriend? She only got 2 years probation for her part. Absolutely mind boggling. I can not begin to describe the heartache , fear, anger ,anxiety, and emptiness that has been mine since August 16, 2015. My life was shattered as was my heart . For no apparent reason, this thug felt entitled to take my husband’s life. I will never understand or ever stop wishing I could turn back time. It is only through my family , friends, and faith that I am able to survive this traumatic life changing tragedy. My prayers are with you all.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story and heartache with us. I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending you so many many prayers. Unfortunately I know your pain. My father was murdered when I was 15 years old. 20 years later and the pain still remains as if it happened today. Murder is something so different and that no one can understand unless they’ve been through it. I’ve been told to move on and that it isn’t normal to grieve for this long. Well those people have no idea what I’m going through and I pray they never will!!

      • You are absolutely right. My husband and I lost our son to suicide on Aug. 19 2015. The pain of that loss and unanswered questions surrounding his difficult life and ultimate death are as fresh as though the death happened today. No one can get inside your head and read what you should do. Grief is personal and private and in some cases, traumatic.

  39. APRIL 21, 2018 is etched in my mind for the rest of my life. I can not undo it, I can not unsee it. It took me 40 years to finally meet the love of my life, 10 years to become best friends, partners, and love to love completely. And less than five minutes and a stupid choice to end it and take it all away. My husband chose to perform a dangerous act of sexual gratification on that day while I was working, after not being able to reach him after several attempts, I left work to go check on things at home because I just had a really weird feeling. I found my husband watching porn with a ligature tightly around his neck. I cut it from his body and heard the last air to ever pass through his mouth ever again. His eyes were looking at me and I was in shock and panicking trying to understand exactly what was happening. It took until after I called the police to grasp the reality that I just found my husband “DEAD”. Oh my God….no,no, no,no,no,no…THIS is not real! Somebody please wake me up! I still can’t believe it on most days. I wake up(when I can sleep) screaming. I cry every night until I’m exhausted and as soon as my eyes open each new day. Nothing feels right anymore, doesn’t mean the same things, doesn’t taste the same, and every single thing I look at reminds me of him. I called the authorities so quickly and then they took him from me without being able to hold his hand just for a moment or say goodbye. I sometimes wish I would have waited a little longer to be with him as odd as that sounds, but I never again got to see him, or touch him, and I’m left with those last haunting images until my last breaths come. I have dreams of him telling me things, but I never want to leave my dreams because we’re together. I miss him in every single aspect of life, and I’d do just about anything for five more minutes. I go to the cemetery everyday still, only have missing a couple, although I know he’s not there. BUT it’s the closest to the part given to me for all those years. How could this happen….it’s like a cruel joke. I have to try and put on a somewhat happy face and continue to pretend I’m ok but I’m dying inside. I keep expecting him to walk back through the door, but he never will. Kind of like he’s just away someplace or had to take an extended leave but he’ll be back. I still text his phone everyday and tell him I love him and share my day with him. I don’t know how to live without him, I never pictured this life for myself in any way possible. I just want to feel his comfort in the worst days and months of my life…and there’s just Nothing! I just want to wake up!

    • That is a date we share Cora, with the same ending. I wish it weren’t so, I want to wake up from this nightmare as well. My husband shot himself that day and I found him. Still so many unanswered questions, he was the love of my life.

  40. This article touched me in soooo many ways. The love of life was murdered 7-28-18 and I’m in so much pain mentally and physically . As I read each story , I PRAYED . It’s really hard for us all and to know that someone understands, helps . MY heart hurts even more for your losses. LORD HELP US

  41. Yvette, this article really helped me. To hear all these stories lik e mine I’m not alone. On February 15, 2015 my oldest son Alex 30yrs old was found dead in a car burn up. Then on December 29, 2016 my baby boy Andrew 30 yrs old was shot and killed in ATL where he was a song writter. by a blood gang member my son not in a gang but buying a hot dog at a gas station getting gas. They caught the monster the trial not yet scheduled. We are still in shock and in trauma we all have PTSD. My husband and i lost both our sons. My daughter now is alone. No siblerys left. My heart is broken as a mother I was the first face the seem when I brought them into this world. I think it’s unfair that I can’t keep at least one. But we all feel this unfair feeling. I hope we all find peace and meaning to our lives in the years to come. Peace!!!!

  42. June 24, 2018 I played my four month old son down while I vacuumed. He was put how doctor told me at am angel to to severe throwing up and had his blanket. I checked on him periodically and finally I go back and I remember he was just motionless and I saw he was blue and eyes barley open. I screamed call 911 I began CPR for 15 mins waiting I. That time I thought he’s gonna be OK he’s got to be he gave me a gasp and then nothing. They rushed him to hospital as I’m screaming help my baby. Save him. We got to the hospital and they worked on him for 45 mins no pulse doctor said he isn’t going to make it.. I lost it my son was no longer here. That night I cried laying there thinking if I didn’t lay him down he would be OK did he suffocate did he just stop breathing no answers to why my son is gone. I’ve been struggling so hard my whole world is just falling apart. I have no answers to whyy son passed away..

  43. Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve been struggling with grief for so many years, and just tonight I connected the words “grief” and “trauma,” wondering if my grief is actually trauma. Reading this article, and the subsequent comments, I feel like it has been waiting here for me to discover it.

    My mom killed herself, and I how I found out was like something out of a movie.
    My dad killed himself a few years later. They had been divorced a long time, and the incidents were not connected.
    My oldest friend, since the age of 3, killed himself a few years ago.
    My brother drank himself to death, and I found him after he’d been dead in his new apartment for over 48 hours.
    …there are others, but that’s the top 4.

    My life started to unravel this year because I couldn’t handle the grief. I’m taking some time off from work right now to try to figure things out.

    I was watching the movie The Tale on HBO tonight, which is about a woman, the same age as me, trying to figure out how her life was affected by traumatic sexual abuse as an adolescent. While this story is not my story, the emotional parallels were so similar (seriously, lines of dialogue were things I’ve said, fights with her partner were the same fights I’ve had, even the closing song is a song important to me). It made me wonder why it resonated with me so much, and I wondered if grief could be trauma. And, I found this article, and it is a revelation. It reframes my experience of grief entirely.

    • Corey – I’m so sorry for your traumatic losses. I have been scouring the internet for someone or some article to relate to my recent loss of my father. He too had passed in his apartment, by heart attack, and we did not find him (by aid of the police) until 4 days after his passing. This I particularly struggle with, those days alone in his bed, and the state of his body. Is this something you struggle with as well? Looking for someone to relate…

  44. 22 July 2017 ,that was the end of life as I knew it,when I lost my husband,my 12 years old son and my 8 years old daughter in a car accident I felt like I’ve died too but they just forgot to burry me,I can still see their terrible injured corpses when I close my eyes,I feel sick,overwhelmed,broken,empty ,lonely,defeated and weak,friends do not come over anymore,I cry every day I wish dearth can swallow me so that the pain can stop,I’m all alone,where do I go from here

    • When my twin sister and her daughter were killed in a tragic fire, CPS took her other two children from me just 10 days later. I felt like I had lost my whole family but I still had my mom. My sisters children were separated and placed with strangers, They did lose their whole family. I finally almost have my nephew back from CPS. I feel your pain of losing your whole family at once and am so sorry. And the same thing happened to my mother… Hardly anyone visits her anymore, I am there almost everyday but there were always people who visited, and now no one does, they mostly say its hard for them, but guarantee its harder for my mother that they don’t. So Sad.

    • It has been three and a half years since our 38 year old son took his life. I have seen a grief councillor but i think it was too soon after his death because I am only now trying to understand why I can’t and don’t want to move on. I feel that if i ‘move on’ that I will forget him. i feel that i will be letting him down somehow . i share alot of posts on Facebook concerning kind things that friends can say to survivors and they are getting the impression that i think that the world revolves around me. One message was particularly cruel. I have lost my parents which i took as a normal course of events, I have lost a cousin to a violent death which was more difficult but the suicide death of our son has me up on a soap box from which I am afraid i come down off of. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my feelings.

    • Though my situation is different from yours I share your pain and am grieving with you. I know that there are worse situations in death than mine. I am so very sorry for the loss that you have had to deal with. I am no one to tell you how to deal with this but may I suggest that when you pray that you use God’s personal name in addressing Him. The God of the bible is Yahweh, or Jehovah. He invites us to use his personal name and He is the hearer of prayer.

    • I have been scrolling through things like this for 20 years and never thought I would find another broken soul like mine, who just wanted to be able to seek the words with no questions no sad faces just release it and wonder if anyone will ever really understand, I pray that you read this message I see its been awhile since this post, but here it goes I’m going to share with you the same disparity I had to bury my young handsome 22 year old husband my beautiful 5 year old daughter and my precious 2 year old son and had to be left alone on January 30th 1999 that horrible night my whole life went up in flames, I don’t know you but I can honestly tell you that I love you and your courage and strength will stay with me forever, in loving memory of Joe, Heather, and D.J and the little angel who also perished that night, I hope you find peace in your life, and I know all to well how it feels to know I will ever have that, but maybe in my family you will find some comfort, your friend forever Stephanie

    • Faith I hope you got my reply

  45. My 6 month old daughter was brutally murdered by her father in 2016. I was 3 hours from home when i was informed she was dead. It took until nov 2017 for trial to take place. Her father did ths horrible act in front of the eyes of our other daughter that at the time was a year in a half old. I still am not right nor do i think i ever will be. I miss my baby girl so much its taring me apart! I blame myself for not being there to protect my baby girl…. and unfortantuley nothing will ever bring her back or take this pain away. I feel like im crazy and days just mix into others. I have 3 other children and i feel like im failing them due to not being the happy mom i was. How do i get my life back from here? I have no friends i spend time with and while the kids are at school i rather say in my room. Which upsets me even more. I just am so lost and drepeased i cant find my way back up again. I just want to find myself again.

    • I cannot even imagine the nightmare that you are living! I am so sorry for your losses. For me the saddest thing is how misunderstood i feel. No one seems to understand nor do they want to. Sharing your pain.

  46. U have just found the love of my life dead , it was sudden and no cause as yet. We had 40 years of love and passion, how can he have left me….cannot have life without him,although i have to for my 6 children and 14 grandchildren…I am broken….

  47. Thank you for this article and everyone for their stories. My husband was killed on March 1st, 2018, from losing control of our new car in the heavy rain and running into a tree 2 blocks from my work place. I wasn’t allowed to see his body as there was too much damage. He was only 54. We have five daughters, and we are shell shocked. I blame myself so much. If I hadn’t bought the damn car. If I hadn’t asked for a ride home from work. Did he suffer? Was he scared? I want answers so badly, to put purpose to this senseless death. The children and I miss him so much, one of them has even decided he is merely on vacation, fishing in Alaska for salmon, like he did every year. I don’t know how to wake us up from this nightmare.

  48. March 3 ,2018 my 18 yr old pregnant daughter in law was t boned by a semi going 70 moh,he drove into a cemetery and pinned her up against a huge tree. My baby boy watched as all this happened to his love and unborn baby. He was the first one to her. Her legs came off at the thighs in the wreck. She lost the baby,and passed the next day due to brain trauma. I loved her like my own. I can’t go on,I do feel like I’m going crazy. I pray to find peace one day. Y her,y now?

    • Christy – on December 29, 2017, our beautiful daughter-in-law, that was 34-weeks pregnant with our first grandchild, a little boy, collapsed and died. The baby was taken by emergency c-section, but only lived five days (he was without oxygen for too long after his Mama died.) Our family has been devastated. My son (husband and father to this new baby) is a Student Pastor – his faith is amazing. While none of us “get” why this happened to our family, we just trust that God has a plan. The grief is so painful and I can’t really say that it has gotten much better. I think it may take years. We all have OK days and really crummy days. We continue to rely on the strength and grace that God shows us every day. I hope that you can too!

  49. I’m so glad I found this website! I had been divorced 25 years and met a wonderful man on a Nickelback FB page who was going to the same concert last summer. He only lived 1/2 hour from me. He had lost is wife of 25 years 4 years ago. We talked everyday in March, had our first date in April and was inseparable after that. I had finally found my soulmate! All of my friends and family were surprised that this forever single gal had found a great guy! We had literally everything in common. I was falling in love with this man. We spent every weekend together and he moved in with me at the end of September and we had plans for our future. It was great to be in a relationship finally, I remember the morning he told me he loved me and he said, I don’t say it that much cause when I do, something bad happens. I told him I loved him and nothing bad is gonna happen. I’m not going anywhere! I got up every morning to find messages he had sent me when he got to work, he messaged me on his lunch break everyday. I got up on Halloween morning 2017 like any other day. Flipped open my laptop and saw he had not been active on FB in 14 hours. That was NOT like him. No message from him. Had a weird feeling then. I was scrolling FB and saw a local news station had posted about a 3 car accident that happened that morning on the road he took to work. I commented what time did this happen? Someone wrote 6:30. Checked back to see if he had seen my message, still nothing..not active on FB. THAT very moment I had a feeling in my heart and gut something was wrong. I just knew it. I wrote him again, I called his phone 2x..voicemail. Checked on the page that told about the wreck, it had been updated that air care had left without the patient, one deceased, two taken to hospitals. I’m not knowing what to do? Who do I call? He has a grown daughter who was at work. I can still remember and feel that panic..I just knew something wasn’t right, I was ready to start calling hospitals, I was ready to go wherever to be with my sweets! Then the noon news came on, it was breaking news, they were on the scene of this wreck and I nearly fainted….there was Randy’s car on its side, mangled. They said the person in the car died! My world was spinning…no! This can’t be right! I’m looking at his car on TV! Then a couple minutes passed and I hear a ding on my laptop, a message from his daughter, asking my #. She didn’t have my number but we are FB friends. She called and asked if I had heard about Randy and said those words…she was hysterical. I just slid to the floor crying. Since his license had his old address on it, the sherriff went there, which his where his daughter and boyfriend lived and informed his family. Then her boyfriend had to drive to her work and break the news to her. It took hours for me to find out. The driver of a big Ram truck fell asleep at the wheel and crossed the center line and hit him head on at 65+ mph, the car rolled, he was trapped in the car. I had 2 people tell me that day that he probably went instantly, didn’t feel anything. All I could do was cry, rock back and forth like a baby and cry some more. This can’t be happening?! The next day, his daughter came here to pick out clothes for the funeral, she thanked me for making her Dad so very happy…it was terrible…the loss. She had lost her Mom and then her Dad. She included me in going to the funeral home to take the clothes, I wanted to see him, to touch him, rub his hand. We all knew he was trapped in the car, but not for how long? He did wear his seatbelt everytime he drove. Then we found out the crash happened at 6:22 a,m, not dispatched until 6:33, EMS arrived at 6:42, In my mind I am screaming! WHY? Why did it take so dam long? I was so upset and still am. A nurse had jumped out of her car to go check things out and she said he was alert, saying he couldn’t feel his legs. That haunts me and will forever. I wonder if he went into shock? How bad did he suffer? What was he thinking during all that time? He was alive in the car close to 1 1/2 hrs, he passed away the minute they removed him. He held on that long with 2 broken legs, all broken ribs, blood filling his lungs and who knows what else! I cry everyday still..It will be 18 weeks this coming Tues. I dread Tuesdays, getting up and reliving that day all over again. It’s so hard to go to bed at night. remembering our evening before…how he said I love you baby, I told him I loved him too and then snuggled up against him, arm around me, falling asleep not knowing that was our last night. I’m thankful if you can word it that way that the last words we said to each other was I LOVE YOU. At 54 yrs old we found love and I feel like I was robbed of him in a tragic way. Our time together was too short but I have so very many wonderful memories I cherish. It feels so empty and weird here, his daughter came and packed up all this clothes and belongings 2 weeks afterwards and all I could do was cry..I remember him bringing it all in just a month prior. I did get to keep a few things of his, a few pieces of clothing I loved, I sleep everynight with the shirt he wore to bed the night before, his cologne that I open and smell ever now and then, still where he put it. We are still waiting on the court date for the idiot who killed him. He had Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valenties day with his family, while I missed out on all of those firsts we should have had. I’m so glad to have found WYG. I have nobody who really understands how bad off I am over this that I can talk to. His daughter and I still keep in contact, she keeps me updated on whats happening with everything and we have met for lunch, we vent to each other. Thanks for listening to my story. Hugs to all!

  50. Our only child was murdered by a childhood friend on June 23, 2017. He was just 18 years old. The trial is set to start in May. They are already talking about a plea bargain and I do not hold out any hope, in fact, nothing can bring our dear boy back to us so really there is no justice. We will wade through the legal system and try our best to cope with this horrible and lonely life we now lead.

    • Hi Jenny

      I understand your pain. My 26yr old brother was murdered in July last year. They have still not made any arrests. She was are just waiting and anticipating the day we are told they have got him.

      I hope the person who done this to your son gets a long long time in prison. There are so many evil people in this world.

      I was talking to a mother who lost her son last year and she said the trial was so painful because they try and make the victim sound like a bad person,it’s disgusting.

      I think when the trial comes I won’t be going to it but I will go on the day that a decision is made.

      I hope pray for you and your family.

  51. Thank you for this important information.

  52. Wow! Thank you for this! Thank you to all who have shared your lives here as well.
    As read everyone’s stories I am broken hearted for everyone yet knowing others understand is comforting in the fact of I’m not crazy or alone.
    May we all find a peace that passes all understanding.
    Lost my brother to suicide 9 years ago and I still have haunting images and what ifs and why couldn’t I save him. A piece of me went with him that day. I am still learning to live life a “new” way.
    Love and peace to all of you.

  53. My brother (26 yes old) was murdered on 8th July 2017. We’re still awaiting arrests. It has devastated us. There is no point in life. The only reason I am still here is because of my family. It has been nearly 7 months but feels like it was yesterday. Pain still not easing. It is like it is ripping your stomach apart.

  54. My 18 year old autistic son fell off the cliffs in Arbroath..Scotland on Feb 25th 2017 on a day out with his dad and my other autistic son…now aged 12…who witnessed this awful tradegy of his big brother’s death….later that day my closest family came to me to be by my side then unbelievably that evening….my closest cousins both were murdered in the street for absolutely no reason….they were only there that night to console me… it’s near 1 year since it all happened…it’s just me and 12 year old autistic son and I am no where near ever dealing with…or coming to terms with or moving on at all….if anything…I feel more traumatised now than I did when it happened…I’m totally stuck xxxx

  55. My Lydia 23 took her life on January 20 2016. I found her in the basement. will never get what i saw that day out of my mind. I can never go down our basement again. I now have anxiety, PTSD. I never thought my golden years, I am 64 would be spent in such unbearable pain. I will be out of this pain on the day I die. cannot wait. carrying this pain is so unbearable and my body, soul, and spirit is so tired!

    • My 33 yo son took his life July 26, 2016. I found him in his home after as well. That vision is forever embossed in my mind. I feel for you and your grief. It will never end. God Bless You.

    • Sandy,
      My heart aches for you, as my son John(23) took his life Feb 4th 2017, We are forever broken and left to attempt to pick up the pieces. Hugs my friend !

    • My heart is one with yours.

  56. Four years ago my only child shot himself while his father and I were in the house. I’ve been in therapy making very good progress. My husband and I will be moving out of the country in April. I want to move and generally feel happy about it but it’s bringing up all kinds of emotions I thought I had dealt with. I want to move but sometimes I feel so overwhelmed!

  57. My dad and younger sister got killed in a shopping centre collapse, together with 52 other people. Even though it happened already 4 years ago (November 21st, 2013) I still remember everything as it had happened yesterday. Me and my family was waiting the whole night until my dad’s and sister’s corpses were dug out, knowing that they are dead, but hoping and praying there were still alive. From my experience I know that the pain and this enormous grief never really leaves, there might be times when it feels better and I might think that maybe I have gotten over the pain, but then the grief comes back again and again and again. I go to work and do everyday things but I have lost any kind of joy since they died.
    Proceedings are taking place and it seems they are gonna go forever since so many people are involved in negligence that resulted in such terrible consequences. The only people that get me going is my husband and mom who is devastated and most likely will never get over this. I haven’t found an answer what I could do with all the pain that I carry with me every single day.

  58. Thank you for this piece, and your site as a whole.

    My dad was murdered in his home in Nov 2016. I’m stilling dealing with all of it, including the media and prolonged and unjust court proceedings. I have much to say .. but the one thing I want to note here is my experience of individual blasts of trauma over the last year. I had several such blasts over the weeks and months, including: the official knowledge it was homicide; the knowledge the perpetrators tied him up; the fact that a judge let one defendant, albeit charged with Murder 2, out of jail on his own recognizance; the prosecutor eventually downgrading charges from Murder 2 to Involuntary Manslaughter and soft-peddling a plea deal, in my opinion because he is counting on a potential jury as being prejudiced towards my gay father in small town Missouri…. As each of these traumatic events hit me, at first it was terrible and I was reeling. Over the course of a few days, I could feel myself “processing” this trauma. And after a week, the trauma stung a bit less. After two weeks the sting was pretty much calm. That doesn’t mean I’m not still traumatized or grieving, I just noticed how the trauma feeling in my body and mind change as I “acclimated” to the information.

    • Read your story and share your frustration at legal system. I wanted to say , ” Good for you, taking the action that you did”.

  59. Im 29 years old and I lost my husband in suicide Dec 3 2017. He shot himself and was just left in our house for 1 or two days. I was notified by his son Dec 6 that he took his life, NUMBNESS AND SHOCKED! That feeling of cold creeps in your body the moment I read the email. He is 66 and has battling depression for many years, hes been seeing psychiatrist and I thought its being taken cared of- but who really knows? Weve been together for 5 years and just recently got married, I am an immigrant and moving in this country is such a big adjustment for me in all aspects. This year, it was a roller coaster for both of us. He hurt his back at work and decided to retire which I know that he is not ready, hes been working all his life and stopping right away will cause him some withdrawals- thats what I think that time. I have no friends, no family, only him! And we are okay, then suddenly I became depressed for a reason Im still trying to find out, and started affecting our relationship. I became a workaholic and I started to notice him drinking too much, sitting all day in the chair watching movies, irritable and some changes in the way he treats me- one day he is sweet after that hes not. Three weeks ago I decided to back away and a find my own place, which he helped me moved. This is to keep me healthy and need time to think. I know deeply that this decision made him worst, which I regret!!! Then he did it, he has no choice but to end his pain and suffering, I was picturing him that night or day when he did that probably he wants to take it back. Probably he was just playing with the gun and doesnt really want to end his life? What if he is calling me and reaching out his hands to me and I was not there? For sure he is!!! I am sure he is. Theres more that adds to my pain, I know hes family is blaming me for his death. Last Sunday, a detective phone me up, asking me to have some statements about how our relationship was. I came there right away by myself and then I find myself being accused if I did this to him? If I assisted him in doing this? Harassed me and accusing of lying, they wanted me to admit that I was in our house when he did it, which I was not. They searched my phone and downloaded everything, they looked my shoes maybe looking for stains of blood- I was helpless that time and let them do what they wanted to me. That is now my pain and I know the truth, I dont trust them! I wish I was there the moment I he did it, because if Im there…. Im not writing this. I wish I was there to say to him that Im choosing him and he needs to survive and choose to live a life with me. I am scared and I wish to write everything here about whats going right now with me and his family but Id rather not cause I know they are grieving too. Im thinking of going back home in my country but theres something telling me to stay after the police incident. I wont let injustice happen to me. For those who are in reading this, I wrote this for you.

    We all wanted Answers
    We all search for Meaning
    We all search for Purpose
    We all look for a Cure

    We got disappointed when we can’t find them.
    We got impatient if can’t find them.
    We got mad if those dont satisfy our curious minds and longing souls.

    But because of our flawed nature we Forget.
    The Answer is within us.
    The Meaning is within us.
    The purpose is within us.
    The cure is within us.
    That is LOVE.

    Show them love right now and reach out as possible as you can for life is so fragile.

    • Hi—
      I was very touched by your story and the emotions you are feeling. I wish I could reach across somehow and give you a big hug and hold you. I wish I could show you how much you are loved. There are so many reasons to give in and let the darkness take over. With love we see the light and are made whole. I suffer greatly too. Would you please do me the honor of speaking to me personally and sharing your feelings and compassion with me? You are a very gifted person.

  60. My Dad died in 2016. He had Parkinson’s, he was going blind, and he had Dysphasia (knowing what you want to say but your words won’t come out right). He wanted to stay at home with home health but my elderly mother was breaking down mentally. She could not understand what was happening to Dad. Against my protests, she had him committed to a locked facility that was meant for people who are delusional and combative due to Alzheimer’s. When I found out, I did not fight her because my mother was such a mess I was afraid she would hurt my father if he went home immediately. I thought we could follow the doctor’s plan of keeping Dad a week to monitor his medications then bring him home. Unfortunately, the facility did not know how to care for someone with advanced Parkinson’s. Within a week Dad was so incapacitated he was released to hospice care. He died in a matter of days.

    The guilt is overwhelming. In one of his clearer moments before his being put in the facility Dad found the words to beg me to help him. I thought I had set things up so he could stay home, but my mother had him committed when I was at work. I think over and over again what I should have done differently. I am angry with myself, with doctors and staff who did not care for him properly, with people who did not explain the nature of the facility fully to us, I can’t even begin to identify all of my feelings about my mother. My faith in the world evaporated in the blink of an eye.

    I appreciate having a place to tell my story. There aren’t enough places to tell stories like these. God knows we need to tell them.

  61. I found this article after a search for a way to deal with my ex-husband’s death one week ago (Dec 4, 2017). He was shot by the 22-yr-old schizophrenic son of a close friend. He and the friend’s wife were outside painting the porch when the son came outside with a shotgun and shot his mother multiple times, then chased my ex down the driveway and shot him multiple times. He’s in jail now and will never see the light of day again. My ex had his own issues with schizophrenia but he worked through it and was better–getting back to being the guy I married and not the one who started to abuse me (verbally, emotionally, not physically) and divorced me so many years later. I knew he was sick. I had wanted to stick around and help him get better. I’m just glad to know he did get better. The shooter will get better too and will be devastated when he realizes what he’s done. He was a good kid. This is all so fresh. I feel so bad for my daughters, my ex in-laws, and the family of the other victim, who are dear friends.

  62. Thank you so much for this article.And my heart goes out to each one of you❤️.
    I lost my Mother in March 2013.She had been sick for 30 years from several strokes, and the last 15 years she lived in a nursing home sitting in a wheelchair paralysed.
    I loved her so much and did everything I could to make her life a little easier through the years.
    She got pneumonia and they told us she wouldn’t make it, we were in denial..she had been lying in her bed for the last week, had some breathing difficulties during the nights but was awake and alerte.
    The last night her breathing was very fast for several hours. I rang the nurse who gave her morphine and sedatives.After 30 minutes I rang again, her breathing freaked me out and I was so afraid, thinking she was in pain.I asked the nurse if she could have some I hate myself for this! The nurse said yes and when she came with that second injection I saw my Mom trying to show me she did not want it.I ignored this thinking the nurse knew best.
    My Mom died 2 hours later, by that time I had gone to bed and a girl from the nursing home was sitting with my Mother.
    I blame myself, it feels like I killed my Mom and also I left her and went to bed, and my brother wasn’t there.I feel a trenendous guilt and wake up everyday with the feeling that I killed the one person I loved the most:( I don’t know how I can live with myself.

  63. So, since everyone else is sharing their stories, I might as well give mine.
    Early this year, I was just released from the psychiatric hospital. I went to bed happy to be back home.
    The next morning, I woke up to hear a conversation and sobbing. I knew something was wrong, and I didn’t even want to know. However, I had to get up eventually.
    I was informed that my brother, the most important human to me, had committed suicide. Being the stupid teenager I am, I screamed, I cursed, I pounded my fist against the wall until I couldn’t feel my hand anymore.
    Months later, I cry every night, I would rather be dead. I’ve written and gone over my suicide note multiple times. The only thing stopping me is the realization that I’ll hurt more people if I go through with it.
    Thank you for reading this…

    • I also lost my brother to suicide on 14th September 2016. There are groups out there that can help you to cope. I found Sobs and Cruse particularly helpful. I’m not saying that I don’t struggle, I have anxiety etc now but hang in there you most certainly aren’t alone and talking helps x

    • Yes you will hurt many more people. I read all these accounts of TREMENDOUS loss and they all make my situation pale in significance. I wonder how all of you get up and put one foot in front of the other. What i’m dealing with personally is the seeming indifference in people; I guess if they have not personally been touched by these kinds of tragedies they simply do not understand the morass of feelings that are ensued. Someone posted a rather cruel message to me telling me to get over myself because EVERYBODY has their own issues, which is true. This message forced me to try to look at my situation for what it really is and my actions led me to this web site. I will say this; we pray for God’s kingdom to come; the kingdom that the Lord’s prayer talks about. While i struggle with my own situation and try to make sense of my reaction I do pray for this kingdom to come.

  64. Last April 15, 2017 (black saturday) my mom died in a road accident. It happened that their car bumped with another vehicle that made a commotion with the two parties. My mom went home to get additional money to pay for the other car’s expenses. An hour before the accident, i just talked to her and said “don’t go back”. But it had nothing to do since my aunt and my youngest brother was still in the place. The time she’s crossing the street, it happened that she was hit by a hyundai tucson that made her dead on the spot. It was so hard to cope with what happened because it always comes in my mind that i must done something. Then, last August 31, 2017, two days after my birthday, my dad died due to his terminal stage of prostate cancer. We had our bond before he died by means of helping me with my school works and researches. His friend told me that he has a surprise plan for my birthday, however, it didnt happened because he was already ill and we have to spend it in the hospital until he died. I really miss them so much that i always cry everynight and when im alone, thinking of how can i deal with it? Its just a matter of 4 months? We love them so much that we can’t take it without them. What if they are still here? They must be here. It was so hard because sadness really hits me specially when im alone. However, im just being positive that God has a reason for what happened and He will dont let us in this situation if we cant deal with it. I have to move on for the sake of my siblings.

  65. I lost my sister on 7-25-2016 suddenly while visiting her. I still can’t believe she passed away. And now I lost my niece , her only daughter , like a daughter to me on 0ctober 28, 2017. She had turned to drugs and developed endocarditis last year. She had a valve replacement back in Oct, 2016. This Oct she was back in hospital with the same infection. She was receiving antibiotics. And then had a massive brain bleed… I flew again to be with her. She was paralyzed on her right side . But still could commicate with me by turning her left leg. I had hope for her still but then she had stroke after stroke and I had to make the hardest decision ever . This was the worse day of my life ever but I couldn’t leave her like that. She was only 22 years old…. I miss her Terribly.. I wish I could of saved her .

  66. It has been 20 days since my son took his life , he had turned 18 just 11 days before he died, I drove to the scene it is all still to painful to describe, my baby boy took not only his life, but I died that day to.I miss him so much and don’t think I can get through this.

    • Don’t give up. I lost my brother to suicide this year. Every day is hard but look for small ways each day was better than the day before. It has kept me going through some incredibly dark times.

    • There are no easy answers. We lost our son to suicide three and a half years ago and struggle daily to make a semblance of going on in a routine. My feeble advice to all of you out there is to pray for God’s kingdom to come. This is the kingdom that we were to taught to pray for in the Lord’s prayer. God hears the prayers of the contrite in heart and listens. Don’t give up. Pray for the peace that excels all thought and the power the surpasses all understanding.

    • My 48 yr old daughter died 3 yrs ago She was s nurse. She was the light of my life & my reas9n to live. She was admitted to the Hospital in Chicago. They made serious mistakes & ate responsible for her death. The jugular vein was shredded and inside og getting better thru the night, the told mu son-[n-law, they saod she started to get eorse. I wad there, complained to staff.. But i’m just his Mother-in-law & yhey told him her HEALTH DID NOT GO DOWNHILL!! SHE BLED OUT!!! JE WOULDNT LET ME SUE.I HANE NO PEACE. She died in vein.

    • Angela, I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you. I lost a brother to suicide 3 yrs ago. Losing a son is extremely hard, I’m sure. I just lost my little brother 3 months ago. He was like a son to me. My mom was an alcoholic, and worked. When she wasn’t working, she was out, partying and drinking. I was the only girl, and she would constantly give me instructions, for dinner and what to clean. I bought her coffee in mornings, and had to cook supper for my brothers and me. Never the less, I loved my mom. She loved my dad dearly, and never got over the divorce. She died of cirrhosis of the liver, at age of 43. I was 21, my brother 18. My brother followed in moms footsteps and became an alcoholic. 2 1/2 yrs ago, he ended up in prison for non- violent crime, of too many DUI’s. Let me add that we were born and raised in New Orleans- The Big Easy! Easy….allright, easy to drink and drink, and drink some more. Even underage drinking! Not making excuses, just trying to give the picture of how it was. Everyone we knew drank, smoked pot. My brother had cancer when he went to prison, but wasn’t sure. He was scheduled 3 days after he got picked up for a pet scan, because his doc suspected his cancer had come back. He had colon cancer 3 yrs before. HE SUFFERED TERRIBLY IN THE HANDS OF A VERY CRUEL, UNJUST HEALTHCARE SYSTEM, IN THE STATE PRISONS OF OUR COUNTRY. HE COULDNT EVEN GET THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF PAIN MEDS, NOR GET THEM ON TIME.. I COULD WRITE A BOOK, ACTUALLY, I PLAN TO! Never the less, I worked for a year to get my brother out. The care was so bad, they put him on Lasixs, and didn’t bother to monitor him! He ended up in hospital., for dehydration. He was never same. With dehydration you can become disoriented, confused. He went back to prison, for about a week. He was finally bought to my house on hospice, and died 6 days later. My heart is still crying. And I get angry, too. Angry at how much my poor brother suffered the last yr of his life! I’m sorry. I’m rambling on about my brother, and you lost a son. I am only wanting to tell you, that I know you are hurting. Our grief lingers. Truth be told, we never stop missing our loved ones, that pass before us. It never goes away, but God gives us more strength, to get by. And God NEVER WANTS US TO BE THANKFUL FOR WHAT HAPPENED, but he does want us to look around, and be thankful for what we do have. Each day, we have blessings that God gives us, and sometimes we don’t realize them…..especially in our grief. Know that God loves you. He sent His son to die for you, me and anyone who wants and realizes their own personnel need for the salvation Christ offers. I pray God holds you close, like a warm blanket, on a cold Winters night. Take care of yourself. Find peace and joy. Your son would want you to. God bless.

  67. So many here and I’m sorry to each .
    This is a lot to read and process. Since my sons death I’ve felt it was horribly traumatic, on us both. I stayed by him for the 51/2 hours it took for his heart to give out. Horrible! this was after he had been run off the road by an oncoming car . Traumatic to day the least.
    Thank you for this as I see the double struggle with trauma and grief.

  68. I myself lost my father 5 years ago in an unexplainable drowning accident. He wasn’t even swimming, he was walking and the sand beneath his and 3 others feet collapsed taking them out into the ocean. My 7 year old sister at the time was rescued as were the other two who fell in but my Dad was sucked under in a vortex to not be found for 3 more days, the day before my birthday. I won’t get into all the details because the story is so long and I have relived that moment over and over again for many years. I wasn’t with him, he was with his younger children and second wife on vacation. I was his first born and we had a bond like no other. After the trauma of his death it took me a full year to not cry every single day. It took me over 3 to be able to look at his picture again. His death was so different and life altering that I didn’t have many people that could relate to me except for my immediate family. A trauma like this is hard to explain and have people understand what you are going through. Its taken me a very long time for the sting of it all to fade.

  69. Yes. Oh yes! This is my situation: traumatic and complicated grief. Although time does help (I lost my young adult son almost 6 1/2 years ago suddenly and unexpectedly), I sometimes find myself still not quite believing it really happened.

    Many therapist claim they are jacks of all trades (so therefore masters of none?). My feeling is that they would lie about knowing about traumatic grief. I saw a social worker a few times and participated in some child-loss groups a few times. I feel tired and not very optimistic that things will ever really change.

  70. My beautiful son took his life on 02-22-14 at the age of 37. What will haunt me until I die is that his roommate heard a thump and went in to check. My son was on the floor dying. His roommate took my son in his arms while calling 911. He says my son died in his arms. I feel the thump was my son changing his mind and trying to get help while falling off the bed. It breaks my heart continuosly.

    • Our son was 38 when he took his life. Two months before he died he phoned his father and I and told us that he was tired of living; his words were, “I don’t want to live anymore.” That whole summer was a nightmare until his life ended in mid August. We won’t know for how long he suffered but his problems started when he was 14. i share your pain, dear one, i share your pain.

  71. My son’s angel date is quickly approaching. He was 10 months 16 days old and died last August 31st, 2017. His cause of death is listed “undetermined” he was up from his nap sat to play on the floor then just stopped breathing and feel over unresponsive. He was pronounced dead one min after I entered the hospital. My husband has been on a business trip in OR, we live in MO, and hadn’t seen us in 11 days. I had to tell him over the phone that out baby had died and I held my son as he went from warm to cold in my arms by myself. His family and him had blamed me for the first few months after his death. I spent the first Thanksgiving and Christmas alone at his grave. My husband is still just not dealing with his death and already moving forward but having episodes of recklessness and arrests. I had to put him in the hospital with n Mother’s day, another first alone. He has recently been arrested again and I must send him a traveling for business hoping that being back to the road will bring him back instead of not being able to find work in our small town. Once again I will be planning and putting on a balloon release for our son’s one year anniversary by myself. I am not ready to let go. He was healthy, they can’t find a thing wrong and it had shattered my husband and I and the dream of what our life was going to be.

  72. I loss my 3 yr old son in 2010. He was ran over accidentally by my step-dad. I still have days when the hurt and pain of losing him hit me so hard, I feel paralyzed..but it’s not the fact of him being gone that bothers me the most, but thinking of the events of what and how the accident happened. He was with my mom and stepdad at the time so I only know what I was I play those thoughts and imagine what happened over and over in my mind to try and understand what my little boy went through at the time of his death. THAT is what bothers me the most..the unknown of “if he knew what was happening” or “if he felt any pain” and the guilt I put on myself that if I kept him home with me that day, he would still be here..

    • My Dad died in 2016. He had Parkinson’s, he was going blind, and he had Dysphasia (knowing what you want to say but your words won’t come out right). He wanted to stay at home with home health but my elderly mother was breaking down mentally. She could not understand what was happening to Dad. Against my protests, she had him committed to a locked facility that was meant for people who are delusional and combative due to Alzheimer’s. When I found out, I did not fight her because my mother was such a mess I was afraid she would hurt my father if he went home immediately. I thought we could follow the doctor’s plan of keeping Dad a week to monitor his medications then bring him home. Unfortunately, the facility did not know how to care for someone with advanced Parkinson’s. Within a week Dad was so incapacitated he was released to hospice care. He died in a matter of days.

      The guilt is overwhelming. In one of his clearer moments before his being put in the facility Dad found the words to beg me to help him. I thought I had set things up so he could stay home, but my mother had him committed when I was at work. I think over and over again what I should have done differently. I am angry with myself, with doctors and staff who did not care for him properly, with people who did not explain the nature of the facility fully to us, I can’t even begin to identify all of my feelings about my mother. My faith in the world evaporated in the blink of an eye.

      I appreciate having a place to tell my story. There aren’t enough places to tell stories like these. God knows we need to tell them.

  73. A good friend killed himself in my driveway in
    My brothers car right next to my brother a few feet away from me inside my house as I was looking out my screen door I seen it and ran to him to try and keep him alive ( I’m in the medical field). we called 911 on three different phones and couldn’t get thru for help those seconds were what seemed like forever blood was everywhere I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look on his face in that first sec he did what he did to himself. I have constant waves of an uneasy feeling in my heart when I’m doing anything nothing has eased this since. I just wish everyday we would of seen this coming. Or that I would of just got up to go out there and hug him and say hi maybe that would of changed the night before Easter this year maybe he would still be here 🙁

  74. My sister died unexpectedly 5/13/15 from issues with her heart that we were unaware of. In fact, I had taken her to the doctor two weeks prior and the doctor said to her “well, of all the things going on with you, your heart looks great” We joked about it, laughed even. She called me the day before, I was busy..didn’t call back. Emailed that I would call her the next day. I never got the chance. At 6:58am her husband called to say he found her at her computer hunched over and blue. He did cpr until paramedics got there. They worked on her another 40 minutes to no avail. She was my best friend, my sister. I feel like a cannon has blown me apart. I cry every single day and the physical pain is unbearable. I really don’t know how anyone survives these things. I can’t come to gripes with it, can’t make it real in my head. I don’t want to.

  75. Katrin, I will be praying for you. I don’t have any other worder to confort you. I also lost the man I love 2 months ago through suicide.

  76. My mom and dad were killed by a habitual drunk driver who never went to jail.

  77. Thank you so much for this article! It helps validate my emotions and PTSD and definitely my not being able to properly mourn my loss even though it’s been almost seven years. My grief is still so raw like it happened yesterday. I would love to find more info on dealing with traumatic death because I for one do feel like no one understands it. And society should stop telling me to get over it.

  78. My daughter’s godfather saw people die in combat. Two of them were his sergeants. He liked both of them really well but he seems closest to the one who was his direct Sgt: William Blanton. Sgt. Ferguson was commander of the other unit making up the platoon.

    I feel like I know the Sergeant Blanton through his memories and he “introduced” me to Bill. He took us to Bill’s final resting place on Veteran’s Day and talked to him as if Bill could hear him. That somehow made it more personal to me even though I never met Bill in life. I was 3 when he died.

    These are the photos of his two Sergeants. I got them from Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Fund. I don’t know how to upload personal photos. He has those too.

  79. The remaining killers of my daughter’s dad, my former husband, had their death penalty taken off the table too: no thanks to the people who had them tortured for further information and introduced a mitigating circumstance that would save their lives and make every exTREMIST Liberal feel more sorry for THEM than they do the thousands of their own people that these prisoners paid to have murdered in a terrorist act.
    Now all I ever see are 50,000 posts of “proof” that every Muslim on earth is a decent human being. Well the ones who paid to have all those people killed on September 11, and had concrete evidence tying them to the crime beFORE they were tortured, WEREN’T “nice little angels.” Being tortured didn’t turn them into nice people. It turned Dick Cheney and company into idiots. IMO. I have no ability to feel sorry for the two terrorist suspects who had evidence gathered against them before they were tortured and have shown no remorse for a single thing they did.
    Even other Muslim people I know think they did something wrong. The only people who seem to disagree are those who would be a 10L on the scale of How Liberal to How Conservative are you? That exists on Crowd Pac.
    When it comes to this issue I’m not Republican or Democrat. I’m a person who lost a family member. My daughter’s still family and it was her dad. It doesn’t feel political to me at all but I dislike the ones who did it and have solid evidence supporting that from beFORE they were tortured.
    Just because Dick Cheney thought he was Darth Vader (“We had to work the dark side”) doesn’t mean evidence didn’t exist before he (they) went and ruined the case.

  80. My 6 year old daughter (Makayla Joy Sitton) was murdered along with 4 other relatives in our house Thanksgiving night 2009. Here is a brief look into my journey of sorrow. I began writing to relieve my brain of heartache. My ramblings and poems can be found in the photo captions.

    Grief shared is grief diminished.
    Joy shared is doubled.
    (My prayer is this album will encourage others in their time of mourning)

    Here is a video from Americas Most Wanted when they were looking for the murderer-

  81. My husband had surgery on one leg when Dr. saw another clot in the other leg . They decided to do next surgery the next day. But early the next morning before they came to get him, he had fallen out of bed. His ear turned black on left side of his head. They ordered a cat scan and took him to surgary. When surgary was done. The Dr. Informed the surgary went well but he now has a brain bleed. Next came coma around 20 min. After coming in to recovery. Ten days later I had to make the of taking him off the respirator. I went and said my good bye and talked to him and less then 15 min. he stopped breathing on his own. I have guilt that if I had just taken him home from the first surgary. I could have saved him and taken him back the next day. He has been gone two years and I can’t seem to focus ,think straight, get my life on track. My family Dr. Has been great but I have been given a special Dr. But I will be making sure it is a grief Dr. I have so much gilt over it.

  82. Thank you for this thoughtful article. It is so accurate for me, especially the rumination, the social isolation, the feelings of guilt, being responsible, blaming myself – the whole thing. Less than 2 years ago my 24 year old son died of a heroin overdose. Let’s talk stigma, shame, blame, isolation, guilt…those were both our feelings. I’m on my third therapist who I found through our hospice bereavement department. She is trained in Complicate Grief Therapy.

  83. My son Michael was killed on April 16,2015. He died in an explosion at his job. He had only been working there for 3 month. Michael got up that morning went to work and never came home, he was only 29. Your article is exactly how I feel, it’s like someone can see inside me. Everyday of my life I play over in my mind his last day. I miss him so much and I am so heart broken.

  84. Very good article! Like many here, I know that to be a fact…I buried my 16.5 year old daughter Kalei, 14 years ago. She was killed in a car crash. In an effort to understand and manage my grief, I analyzed and wrote about what I and those around me experienced. I self-published Forever Kalei’s Mom in 2015.
    The book is separated into 3 lifetimes: A Lifetime Ago (those new to grief will not be interested in that life), A Lifetime I Could Not Imagine (definitely for the new to grief) and A Lifetime Ahead (maybe a later read). I also blog as often as I can. If you think it will help you, my website is
    All that being said, what I really want you to hear from me is…from my heart to yours…I am soooo sorry.

  85. Thank you for this article. I lost my 21 month old son on February 5, 2015. Almost 1 year ago. He was struck and run over by a truck in front of me. I searched everywhere for information but you’re right it is so limited. We have dealt with the media and being blamed by other people. My husband and I and our 2 other children have basically become shut ins because that’s just easier. So thank you, for letting us know we aren’t alone.

    • I can understand why you would want to shut yourselves away, however, that is so self defeating. I hope that you will someday take the necessary measures (whether this means a move away or some other means) to once again take control of your lives and live again.

      • This seems a harsh response. After our losses we are entitled to what we find comfortable within the law. There is a reason we feel the way we do-at a particular time. We need that time to perhaps, hopefully feel happiness or peace again. Others have little to no inkling into any reason we may be feeling antisocial at a particular time, or how long we might feel that way. Self defeating to others could be self preservation for even more others, given the same scenario.

  86. Appreciate this article. 5 years ago, I found my son unresponsive in his bed following a seizure. His sisters saw him and assisted with CPR attempts and EMT assistance. We fortunately found a great counselor who walked with us through PTSD diagnosis and grief. It’s very real. 5 years later, the images are still very strong, but we’re trying to find Joy again.

  87. Thank you for this post. Thoughts are with everyone that has commented. My husband died at 37 in a motorbike accident a little more than 2 years ago leaving behind our girls (who were 8 and 11) and me. At the time of his accident he was 16 months in remission having been diagnosed with Lymphoma. I had just started working my way through the life changes that brought and was starting to accept that he was actually in remission and that it was ok to breathe again when he died. I share my ongoing journey through my blog

  88. In 2002 my brother in law took his own life. His daughter attended her daddy’s funeral on her 8th birthday. 7 years later at 14 my same niece found her mom (my only sibling) dead. Brooke was now an orphan. She became another daughter to me instead of simply a niece. Another 7 years later and Brooke delivered her baby boy the day after her 21st birthday on August 20, 2015. She was only 22 weeks pregnant. Maddox lived for 4 weeks. After losing her mom, dad, and baby boy, Brooke’s heart was irreparably broken. We lost our beautiful Brooke on Christmas night. I don’t know that this is a grief I will ever be able to overcome or if I even want to try.

  89. Thank you Eleanor!

  90. My son was murdered last month. Myself, my husband and daughters all feel as though we are going crazy. Denial has protected us but when denial slips away, reality slams us. This horror should never have happened. I don’t know how to go on. Normal is not normal anymore because my sweet boy is gone.
    We can check off every thing on that list.

    • Veronica
      My son also was recently murdered, I am not sure how to even begin to go forward in life, if possible can you contact me? Thank you

  91. It hasn’t been six months since my husband passed. He had been in intense chemotherapy treatment, and the doctors were so hopeful. He was scheduled for a stem-cell transplant on 8/15, but suddenly on Thursday, 7/30 he had to be readmitted. It only took a couple of hours to learn that he had relapsed. The doctor met with me outside of ICU to let me know that he probably wouldn’t make it through the night. He managed to hang on until Saturday night when his heart stopped. I deal with the guilt and blame, unanswered questions, no family support, everything that was mentioned in the article, including “I don’t understand why you’re still so sad” from those who have never experienced personal loss. I’m alone and miss him every day, feel like our dreams have been shattered, just trying to find my way without him. Thank you for providing information and support through this website.

    • My husband went through chemo hell and two surgeries that ravaged his body. We too were preparing for transplant when we learned his rare, aggressive had come back with a vengeance and spread to his liver. I feel so much trauma I don’t even know how to sort it out-his suffering and the fact that we had no quality time to spend with our young kids once he was diagnosed, the trauma my babies went through, mal-practice by a uncaring ass of an oncologist, being blamed for his death by my in-laws who didn’t agree with his treatment decisions and who tried to sabotage our family when we were so raw and vulnerable, the traumatic memories of having to intensely nurse him at home between rounds… It is so hard to sort those feelings and the anger from the sadness that is sometimes overwhelming at missing my best friend and my only love, and the agony of watching our children grieve. Thank you for sharing, although our husbands had cancer, as opposed to a sudden unexpected death, it was so traumatic. Seeing a train wreck coming at you doesn’t make it hurt less.

  92. A year and a half ago my youngest son, his beautiful wife of five years and my 2-year old grandson were found shot to death in their home. Their bodies were not found for 36 hours. The police did an investigation that spanned about 20 minutes before they made the tragic call that would forever change everything about his surviving family’s lives. They called it a murder/suicide. My son was a loving and dedicated father of three. He had two grown children from a previous marriage so we all experienced who he was as a father for 21 years prior to that day. But none of that counted for anything. Of the criteria that defines a traumatic loss – we have hit almost every single item on the list. It is multiple, occurred without warning, It involved a child and though that is not on the list – it definitely should be – it involved violence, damage to the bodies, caused by someone with intent to harm, was preventable, we believe that they suffered, unfair/unjust, media attention, had to make horrific decisions that at least equal medical decision, information was undisclosed, limited social support plus so much more; like being told my son caused another family this horrific loss of their child and grandchild and that he harmed the baby “he” and I both adored. And the trauma of feeling my son has to carry this terrible undeserved legacy and we have to live with the frustration and anger of knowing that we were lied to about the thoroughness and extent of the investigation while all criminal evidence was destroyed. While we were not blamed for their deaths – we have all suffered social stigma and resulting feelings of guilt because of the determination that “murder” was involved. There are so many layers that I cannot begin to heal. I thank you for writing this but I just do not see how in fact that one can even live through something like this and stay sane. I’m strong but no one is that strong.

  93. On April 14, 2014 I had to make the decision to take my husband of just six short years of marriage (he was 63) off life support after he suffered a catastrophic stroke that paralyzed from the mouth down. He was on life support for 10 days and he could only blink in response to a question. Was it traumatic ………. absolutely, for him and for me. I live with decision every day. I know as I have been told many times, it was for the best. Yes, it was the best for him for he would have never wanted to live that way. Day by day I could tell he was giving up until the 10th day he could not even wake up. It’s those that are left behind that have to deal with having to make such a decision and I feel that is always traumatic. I miss him, very much.

    • Thank you for this. My dad died 10 days ago in similar situation- massive stroke after sepsis from complications of prior stroke. It blinded him, had internal bleeding, and he would never walk, talk or have any quality of life. He could nod or shake head in response to ques. He died ten days later in an end of life unit (we followed dr advice to place him there). I wrote in comment section somewhere else on this site that I don’t feel able to grieve because the things we witnessed in those 10 days was horrific (what we smelled, heard and saw) and those are the things that I think about and they’re huge and terrible and scary. I know I’m doing the whole avoidance thing but it seems my only option if I want to stay sane,

  94. My spouse died unexpectedly in early November. He went missing on 11.6.15 after an ATV accident. We found his body on 11.9.15. My children and I continue to live and try stay afloat with SO MANY unanwered questions. When did he die? What caused the accident? I have searched for any documentation on sudden loss and have read “I wasnt ready to say goodbye” by Noel and Blair. I recommend this book to others whom has also entered the virtual nightmare of sudden loss.

  95. yes, thank you …I know people treat grief equally and it is equitably horrible but the sudden tragic loss of my son last year is incapacitating at times. others don’t get it. No time to anticipate, no time to grieve. Its an unexpected blow.

  96. I, too, have looked for information that might pinpoint what is considered a traumatic death experience. My husband died a little over a year ago from a sudden heart attack. I had to call 911, and then I had to give him chest compressions to keep a pulse until the ambulance arrived. When they got there, he had a faint pulse; there were about 6 guys working on him for over 40 minutes. While this was going on, I was trying to reach someone by phone. He passed in the ambulance on the way to the hospital (we live about 3 minutes from there). I still feel the same way about it all now as when it was going on…in disbelief. It was real, and reality when I finally saw his body. It has been over 13 months, but I still somewhat moving is slowness, somewhat in a fog.

  97. You’ll find an extensive list of resources related to this unique kind of loss on my website’s Traumatic Loss page, here:

    • Marty, thank you. Thank you also to WYG, I appreciate this article as it is difficult to find resources and information to help with traumatic loss.
      In August 2015, my fiance, our friend, and I were attacked by 3 crazy armed men (unknown to us.) Myself and friend were forced face down to the ground. We were made to listen to them torture and beat my fiance. The robbery/attack ended in my defenseless fiance being shot in the stomach. The men ran off after the shot was made. Our friend and I tried to save my sweethearts life and called 911 too. He died in my arms shortly thereafter. Nothing could ever prepare me or anyone for such a horrific loss. The aftermath I wont even get into because I could easily write a book on this neverending nightmare.

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