Fundamental Things to Know About Grief

By: Homicide Survivors 

What is grief?

Is there a timeline?  Am I doing it wrong?

Grief is the emotional response to losing a loved one; it can feel lonely and frightening. Most of us have little idea of what to expect along the way.

Here are some fundamental things to know about grief:

  • Grief is personal and will show up in various ways —emotional, physical, spiritual, cognitive and behavioral.
  • Everyone grieves and it is a natural part of being human.
  • We don’t ‘move on’ from grief; we move forward with it. Your grief is as unique as your love for your person.
  • Grief and joy can co-exist.
  • You may find yourself making others feel comfortable with your grief. It’s okay to set boundaries and allow relationships to shift as you move forward with your grief.

"Grief follows me like a sinkhole I can easily fall into."

Grief and Homicide

Losing a loved one to homicide can be a painful and daunting experience. In our support group, survivors discussed the ability to name & define what grief means to them and feel validated about how we experience grief mentally, physically, and emotionally. 

Below are quotes by different survivors defining grief in the many ways it is experienced:

“Grief is private.” 

” Grief is isolating.”

“Grief is debilitating

“I don’t know who I am.” 

Grief is horrible; it’s painful.” 

“Grief is a lack of a resolution.” 

“Grief is lonely, a helpless feeling.”

“Murder becomes an everyday word.” 

“I have to prove how ‘whole’ I am to people.” 

“Our minds know, but our heart will never accept it.” 

“Grief follows me like a sinkhole I can easily fall into.” 

“Grief doesn’t want you to go anywhere or do anything.”

“I am not strong at all; I don’t know how I am doing this”

“Grief changed me in being able to set boundaries with others.”

Grief from homicide is unique compared to an accidental/natural death.”

“Support group is a supportive place I can express myself without judgment.”

“Experiencing grief can make you a better listener and helper to others in grief.”

“In the support group, I can express myself; then after group, I can go back out into my new normal.”

If you are a Survivor of Homicide and would like to learn more about our support groups please visit:

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Arizona Gives Day is April 4th!

Every year, families in our community are shattered by the loss of a loved one to homicide. Please consider joining us this Arizona Gives Day and donating to our cause. Your contribution will ensure we continue to provide services to Survivors, such as advocacy, support and assistance.