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We are the survivors of a murdered loved one. We are parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, spouses, and friends of the victims. We have formed a local support group to help others through their grief.

Our support group is a chapter of a national organization started in 1978 by Bob and Charlotte Hullinger of Cincinnati, Ohio. Their daughter Lisa had been murdered three months earlier. Father Ken Czillinger brought them in contact with other parents whose children had been murdered. From these contacts, the Hullingers realized that "most people don't have any idea of what it's like to have a child murdered. It began our personal need". From this was born Parents Of Murdered Children, Inc., (POMC), an organization based on the need to share grief and find the road to recovery. POMC membership expanded from parents to include family members and friends, who as survivors grieve the loss of a loved one.

As parents and other members who have survived the violent death of a child or loved one, we share the cycle of grief and coping. Initially, strong emotions of shock, often guilt, disbelief and anger can take over our lives.

As time passes, we become depressed, confused, overwhelmed by crying, episodes of fear, and nightmares. We "build a wall". Friends do not "understand".

We may lose faith in God, the police, the justice system as the months pass. Friends do not realize the enormity of time needed for our mind and body to recover. Men often cope differently than women. This may lead to marital difficulties which adds to the grieving process and the time needed for recovery.

Becoming involved in a support group helps. We are all in the process of grieving and recovery. We are among friends who help ourselves as we help others by listening, sharing, education, and action.

 

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