First, don't be surprised at the strong emotions that come - shock, disbelief, anger toward the murderer, frustration with justice being delayed or denied, a seeming loss of faith in God and people.
Second, expect to be numb, confused, depressed or unable to stop crying. Sometimes survivors have difficulty releasing their emotions. You may feel as if you are losing you sanity, but you're probably not. These are normal reactions.
Third, it is natural to experience a primal kind of fear. Childhood fears of the "boogeyman" coming in the middle of the night and murdering you become real.
Fourth, be gentle with yourself. Grief takes much longer to resolve than most people realize. It affects the body as well as the emotions.
Fifth, as much as you want to, don't build a wall around yourself. You are not alone, and being involved with others will help your recovery, especially if you can channel your strong emotions into constructive action.
For The Families and Friends of Those Who Have Died By Violence
A Self-Help Support Organization
This chapter was established on November 16, 1981