For the Global Thinker

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Grief Like No Other

"A murder is an unnatural death; no ordinary rules apply. The intense grief experienced by survivors can last five years, a decade, even a lifetime." In 1997, Eric Schlosser wrote about the trauma caused by the murder of loved ones.


"For months after the murder Patty thought about suicide. Tim had meant everything to her. He was her joy.
Patty felt more comfortable at work than at home. She dreaded returning to her empty house, with its memories and pictures of Tim on the wall. Every night she would drive around for hours to avoid going home, and then finally get into bed and fall asleep crying.

Patty also found consolation at her son's grave. During the first year after the murder she stopped by the cemetery two or three times a day. Usually she'd visit the grave for fifteen minutes or so. At other times, including his birthday, she would sit there all day. His birthday was in February, when the weather was harsh and cold. One thing she could not bear was the thought of snow covering Tim's body. Whenever it snowed, she had to visit the cemetery and clear off his grave. One day after a snowstorm she arrived and found that someone who knew how she felt had already removed the snow from Tim's grave."

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