Feelings when someone dies from violence
Numb and shock
When someone dies through murder or manslaughter you may at first feel numb. It might be hard to believe this is happening to you and it might feel like there’s been a terrible mistake.
You might find yourself questioning why it happened and spend lots of time asking yourself if you could have prevented it. You might wish it had happened to you instead. Feelings of unfairness, disbelief and despair may be heightened.
Anger and feeling a need for revenge
Anger and the need for revenge are also common reactions. It’s very normal to be angry, to feel cheated or to have ideas about revenge. If you feel overwhelmed by these thoughts please reach out. Find out ways we can support you.
If the person who carried out the murder or manslaughter hasn’t been arrested or is unknown you may feel frightened and at risk. This again is a natural reaction experienced by many people who have been bereaved through violent crime. It is important that you share your worries and fears with people whom you trust and the police.
When someone dies in a violent way, it is often traumatic for those left behind. You may find yourself having to cope with troubling images, flashbacks and disturbing memories. Learn more about coping with traumatic grief.
A death through murder or manslaughter will often result in police investigations, a post mortem, trials and court attendance. You may feel frightened and frustrated by what seems like a never-ending cycle of procedures. You may feel that you have to put your grief on hold whilst focusing on court attendances and other procedures.
An inquest is a special investigation held if it’s not clear how or why someone died, or if their death was ‘unnatural’. There will often be an inquest after a violent death. An inquest can be an emotional experience for relatives and friends.
Press and community interest
There is often media attention following a violent crime or murder, and the person who has died can become “public property”. This is a difficult and often frustrating experience for people who are trying to grieve in private. You may feel that you have little control over the public interest shown towards the death of the person you were close to and this can lead to self-isolation and separation from your family, friends, community and wider society.
You have the right to retain your privacy. If media intrusion is too great or you feel you are being harassed, notify the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) or the police.