What kind of reaction is expected of a family member after learning that one of their loved ones has been taken away from them by way of murder? This news is a shock to the heart and can cause the body to feel numb. What’s worse is finding out that the police have no one in custody. As one of the family members, you may somehow feel accountable, asking yourself, “What could I have done to make a difference in this situation? Is there anything that I could have said? Or maybe if I could have intervened during the time of the incident, it may have never happened.”
Certain crimes are so horrible that they tend to stick out in your mind like a “sore thumb” on your dominant hand. The tragedy becomes a part of your life now, and you’re wondering how you’re going to deal with the hurt. You spend your life trying to understand why this had to happen; meanwhile not trusting anyone while trying to cope with not only your life but your family’s broken life as well. As the unsolved murder then becomes a mystery, you may be wondering why this person has not been caught, and this hurts terribly. If only they could apprehend the killer, then you could bring some form of closure to this horrible mess.
Regardless of how death occurs, it may place one in an unfamiliar territory and can be very difficult to handle. Finding the right words to say to the family may be crucial at this time. People may try to console and comfort them by saying things like, “it’s going be all right or time heals all wounds.” While these things may be true, during this time the heart may not hear or comprehend the message spoken. It could still be trying to adjust to the unbearable truth of losing their loved one. Tell it to the heart, how do you make it understand? In my honest opinion, I believe the one thing anyone can say that may be soothing to the heart is, “I am sorry for your loss and I will be praying for the family, and I am here for you.” Anything more could just be upsetting or insulting and puts the hurting person in an awkward position of trying to believe that you’re trying to be compassionate. We should never try to console anyone by telling them about an experience that you remember. Doing so may not help matters much. Instead, offer them hugs, or a shoulder to cry on in silence. Also just listening, nodding and showing love through actions are some things that can be comforting. Bring food and paper items to their house, in other words, just be there. Observe anything that you feel they may need and fulfill that need. Lastly, it may be comforting to tell them that God loves and cares for them and He will walk with them through their situation, for the heart longs to be comforted during times like these.