Surviving Homicide / Sudden Death

I was a key support person when our nephew was murdered, then 10 months later our own son was murdered. The following are practical tips borne out of experience and heart-break.


Accept Help

  • People will ask, what can I do? When you are in shock you cannot think clearly, you can barely function. Here are few practical things people can help with. (refer to the list)
  • meals / food / groceries
  • lawns / gardens
  • housework
  • business support
  • financial support
  • child care
  • transport to appointments / a quiet drive out

Victim Support services will offer

  • personal support
  • financial support – for funeral and court expenses
  • Professional counselling, (fully funded) this can be an existing counsellor you already trust or you will supported to find a qualified person in your area. We endorse this service as the counsellor is trained to monitor your general well-being, recognize signs of depression, monitor your support structures, listen and give practical advice. It also relieves some pressure off family and friends who are supporting you, they cannot be all things to all people!!

GP (Doctor)

  • Is able to attend to medical needs, stress levels, sleeping patterns, shock and trauma. A multi-vitamin can help boost physical wellness.

A broken heart affects every part of you and progress can be slow.

Family / friends or some-one who really understands

  • Allow them to love you, and help with practical things.


– Make a daily decision to get up and get through the day ahead

  • Because you feel like you have lost all control of your life it helps to develop little routines so can you can make at least tiny steps forward;
  • Meal times (even though you don’t feel like eating much)
  • Exercise, start by walking a few letter boxes down the road and back and gradually increase as you are able. Energy will be at an all-time low.
  • Sleep patterns. Possibly try staying up later in the evening and you may find that you are then tired enough to sleep.

TV / reading / music

  • Light movies, books, soothing music. This can give your mind some relief from the constant torment of what has happened and help you to unwind before bed. Avoid any violent or action programs.

Be kind to yourself

  • Energy and concentration spans are at an all-time low. Say NO to people, meetings and events until you are stronger.
  • Have a massage, walk along the beach, sit by the water, potter in the garden……

Work /school

–    Your counsellor will help to guide you when the time to return is right for you

–    Begin gradually, a few hours at a time. It can help distract the mind having to concentrate. Routine is good

Writing / journaling

  • It can help to express your private inner thoughts.

Try and look for a little thing each day that you can be thankful for. It can help lift your mind from constant negative thoughts.

Wendy Marshall.