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What do you say to a murder victim's widow?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Inky_Wretch, May 14, 2009.

  1. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    One of my childhood friends was murdered today.

    He was working for a water company, running a backhoe or something. He wound up getting caught in the middle of a property line dispute between two neighbors out in the county. One neighbor killed the other and killed my friend, who was an innocent bystander.

    His wife is actually online, letting friends on Facebook know what happened and how their 12 yo daughter is taking it. I'm a freaking writer, but I've got nothing right now. Just an "I'm so sorry" doesn't seem like enough.

  2. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Jesus, that's horrible.

    I got nothin, other than I feel terribly for you and your friends.
  3. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    Holy shit, dude.
  4. Trey Beamon

    Trey Beamon Active Member

    I'm so sorry, man.
  5. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Thanks y'all. But it ain't about me.

    His wife us still online, chatting with friends and telling stories. I'm floored by her strength.
  6. Just tell her you're there for her and her daughter if they need anything at all.

    Also, did they arrest the guy or did he take the coward's way out?
  7. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Arrested. The reporter working the story said he'd just been released from prison, for killing his own brother.
  8. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Wow. Sorry to hear that, Inky.

    To her, you can start with 'I'm sorry for your loss.'

    Then, in a few days, share a few stories of your friend and listen to her stories. If you think there's something she or her daughter need, do it.

    There will likely be a lot of people who will bring food or items to the house, and that's awesome, but I recommend gift cards to places like Subway or Applebee's, because in a few weeks the home-cooked meals will run out and there will be a night she won't feel like cooking. She'll need those then.

    In about six to eight weeks, make it a point to check in with her. As hard as it is now, it can be just as hard when the immediate crisis dies down and life starts getting back to "normal" but it's not. Just say "hey, thinking about you."
  9. ArnoldBabar

    ArnoldBabar Active Member


    Cadet is wise.
  10. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Sadly, it is wisdom through experience.

    Also, I'll add this: If your newspaper does reader comments on the website, tell her and the family not to read them. Tell her you'll collect any copies of the paper she wants, including when the obit runs, but tell her to not go online. Nothing good can come from it.
  11. albert77

    albert77 Well-Known Member

    I picked this up from the long thread on the plane crash in Buffalo,where a family member was calmly talking to a reporter about his sister who was killed. Your friend's wife is running on adrenalin and shock right now; it's still not quite real and that's fueling her reaction. And you're probably feeling some of that, too. But at some point soon - it could be a week, two weeks or a month - it's going to hit home. And that's when you need to be there for each other with a shoulder to cry on or just a comforting word.

    BTW, thoughts and prayers are lifted in your direction. So senseless.
  12. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Condolences Inky, I've done stories on grieving, check in with her the next week will be hectic I imagine, but make a point to check in every two weeks or so, invite them to participate in stuff, ball games, picnics. One story I did focused on a kids grief camp. It was brutal for me. One minute the kids would be crying talking about a parent or sibling who died, the next minute they'd be laughing. I imagine you friend's daughter especially would like to hear stories about her dad when he was a kid. Maybe send letters to both of them if its okay with the mom. The thing is, there is no one right way to grieve. Just be there for them, make an effort, if they're not up to it fine, don't sweat the awkward pauses. There will probably never be "closure", but maybe you can help yourself and them deal with the loss over the next weeks and months by just being available, helping out with yard work, running errands, stuff like that means more than you know.
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