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.