If you want to help a family that was robbed of a loved one through homicide, the most important gift s are to be there and to listen. Being there shows them that you care deeply about them and listening to them talk, cry, or even scream offers them an outlet for their confused and volatile emotions. If you knew the victim, please don’t send them a sympathy card. Write them a personal letter. Tell them about some cute or caring thing the victim did. This will let them know the victim will never be forgotten. These letters will always be treasured by the family. Don’t worry about what to say. Don’t say anything except “I’m so sorry.” Just be there and listen with your heart. Don’t get discouraged if you feel like you’re not helping or you’re confused about how long to stay. Let your compassion be your guide.
Joyce Miller, LPC