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Murder Loss

The loss of a loved one is heartbreaking, but the devastation is much greater when the loss is due to a traumatic crime. You may find that your loss has an impact on all aspects of your life.

The shock and trauma of losing your loved one to murder may affect your personal relationships, work, social life, physical and emotional well-being, values, and beliefs about the world.  A sense of loss of control is common, and the suddenness of the death can be extremely overwhelming. In addition, there may be future criminal and legal proceedings, as well as the possibility of seeing the perpetrator. In some cases, the perpetrator may never be known or be apprehended. All of these difficulties can add to the complexity of your grief. 

Self-care while grieving the loss of a loved one to murder

Take care of your health. Grief can be hard on your physical health. It can help to exercise regularly, eat nutritious food, and try to get enough sleep.
Take time to adjust. Go at a comfortable pace and be easy on yourself. There is no rush.

Know that you are not alone. You and your family do not need to suffer alone. There are local resources available for victims of crime. Join a support group or an online community of other individuals who have also experienced this type of loss.

Maintain a routine. Routines provide a sense of comfort and security, especially for children. It can be helpful to maintain a daily schedule of school, work, and family dinners when you feel it is time. Routines can help provide stability when your world is feeling chaotic.

Rely on your support system. Talk about your loved one, if you would like to do so. Although it may be painful, it can help you process your feelings with others. When possible, accept offers of help and company. Rely on friends and family who listen without judgment.  Set boundaries for who you will share information with.

See your doctor. Keep up with visits to your healthcare provider. Let your healthcare provider know if you are having trouble taking care of your everyday activities, like getting dressed or fixing meals.

Seek professional support. Loss of a loved one to murder can be traumatic and produce trauma-related symptoms.  Seeking counseling can help you recover from trauma and rebuild a sense of safety. 

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