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Very Tough To Move On

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My 48 year old brother was shot to death December 12, 2004. We buried him the week before Christmas. He left behind his 3 grown children, 2 grandchildren, our father, my handicapped brother and me. I am the oldest sibling. He was extremely physically fit, was a black belt expert and

the last person we thought we would be burying. Then one night I got the call from his son that he had been shot four times. When we got to the hospital the police wouldn't even let us back there with him. About an hour later we finally found out he had died. The police investigation is still not completely over although the shooter also was shot to death that night.

For me this is the second sibling I have buried. My 5 year old brother drowned when I was 8. My mother passed away in 1982 from cancer. She was diagnosed in February and passed away in October. It was a long hard journey with her. I guess I was too young to understand how final death is when my brother of 5 drowned. I had many months to think about mother dying before she passed. It was still very painful, but this is not getting any better even 5 months down the road. We have filed a wrongful death suit and I am my brother's legal representative on behalf of his children. I had to muster up the courage to look at crime scene photos and pictures of gunshot wounds because of the investigation. It isn't any easier for my other brother either. I don't think it ever will be. I am even wondering if we will ever know the entire truth about the incident itself.

I am just not able to find peace with this. The pain is unbearable even now.


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My dear Cindy,

I am shocked and saddened to read your tragic story of loss, and I can only imagine how horrible all of this has been – and continues to be – for you. Losing your brother in such a violent and unthinkable manner is so very difficult to accept and to understand – and learning to live with it is a process that takes place not just over time, but over an entire lifetime. This is just too big to take in all at once and way too big for you to digest. You must let it in a little bit at a time over a very long period, as eventually your mind comes to accept what your heart cannot.

You will spend a lifetime struggling to come to terms with the "why" of this tragedy, and there will never be an answer that completely satisfies or makes sense to you – but as you travel the difficult journey ahead, I want to suggest to you some things you can do to help yourself. As a survivor of homicide, you can you learn as much as you can about the subject. Read what others have written about it (see, for example, the excellent book by Bill Jenkins, What to Do When the Police Leave; you can go to Amazon.com to order it or ask for it at your local library. See also Bill’s insightful Web site, Homicide: Resources for Death, Grief and Survivors of Homicide. You can visit other Web sites devoted to this subject as well, such as Gateway to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Information. See the links listed on the TRAUMATIC LOSS page of my Grief Healing Web site for other helpful resources. Such sites will assure you that you are not alone in this tragedy, will offer you some ways to manage your grief, and will help you to recognize that if others can survive this most devastating of losses, then you can do it, too.

Please know that we all are thinking of you and holding you in our collective embrace of compassion, hope and love. We cannot take away your pain, but we will not let you bear it all alone.

Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty T

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Dear Marty,

Thank you so much for your suggestions. I have ear-marked two of the web sites you mentioned and will also share them with my brother. I am working on scrapbooks for his children. The eldest his daughter was the only one of his children who had very many pictures of their dad. I got with my brother and my aunt and we rounded up a lots of pictures. I also went throuhg my brother's personal papers, yearbooks, certificates, etc and got a lot of scrapbook items there. I didn't mention my dad earlier. He had originally planned to come for Christmas with us on Dec.19th. It would have been the first Christmas all three of us would have shared with him in about 20 years. For him this is the second son he has also buried. He stayed with me while he was here. He is 74. We worried about how he would hold up. We went to the mortuary ahead of his arrival to make sure our brother wouldn't be a surprise to so we could be strong for our father.

I think because I am the oldest sibling I had to make sure I held it together

more so for other people. They had to end up taking my other brother Paul to the hospital for chest pains. I was really worried about him and still am.

Thanks for listening.


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