Nothing can prepare a parent for the death of their child. Equally, nothing can prepare a person for the horror of losing someone they love to homicide. When these two things are combined, the trauma, shock, and devastation are unfathomable.
It’s every parent’s worse nightmare — your child dying. But that is what happened to me and us as a family when my son Alex was killed. He was murdered in a private house, in a place where he should have been safe, by someone he knew.
The night I found out my son had died by homicide I felt my soul leave my body. I went into shock and collapsed. A part of me died that cold, dark December morning.
Life since Alex’s death has been unbearably hard. The grief of child loss through homicide is so all-encompassing that you risk never finding your way back to life again.
To find the path towards healing following the loss of a child is without a doubt the hardest thing a parent will ever do. There is no ‘getting over’ such a loss. But it is possible to learn to rebuild a new life, even if this learning takes a lifetime. I have learned to bear the loss of my son even though I don’t feel strong enough to do so. I’m learning to manage my grief.
My experience since Alex’s homicide has led me to also become an advocate for victims and survivors of homicide. I now write about my experience and help families in similar situations. I wish to break the taboo surrounding child loss, and in particular loss through homicide, and in so doing, honour my son and all those children and loved ones taken too soon.
In sharing my story, I hope to help and inspire others.