I received the following from a grieving dad that lost his 16 year old son to murder.  He speaks with honesty:

I got the news that he was shot when I was at home. In traveling to my parents’ home, I got the next call that he had indeed lost his life.   I stopped the car and I, my wife, my daughter and my mother-in-law just started crying. I got out of the car and started to openly sob on the street.

I definitely can’t forgive the person that did it, or anyone who was there at the time. I want them dead in the worst way. The person who killed my son got life with no chance of parole.  This is not enough for me.  I want him to suffer each day a little more than each previous day. He killed my son because he was talking about something that happened previously.  To take a humans life is unforgivable. 

I sometimes find it hard to forgive myself because I should have done more in his life to help change his life. My son started to get away from me.  I knew this.  But I never thought it would turn out like this.  It’s heartbreaking.

I have become removed from everybody.  I don’t call anybody, I don’t return calls, emails, text messages, etc.  I don’t go to church.  I don’t socialize at all. I just do things that bring me joy around the house and that’s pretty much it.

I am now an advocate for stricter gun laws.  I also think that if a person takes another persons life needlessly, then capital punishment laws should be in place in all 50 states.  Don’t waste time or taxpayers money.  From sentencing to death chamber should be no longer than one year.  I miss my son deeply and feel ashamed that he had to go through such a horrible thing, but it just angers me so that, as a society, we have allowed ourselves to become such pushovers to criminals to take away the things that we cherish the most. Tougher laws need to be in place to protect the innocent and not the other way around.

Leave a Reply

User Comments ( 3 )

  • Ed

    Thanks for your support to all of us, Kelly. We are all in this together and hope that you receive the support you need from us as well.

    Just after I typed that message, I met up with my motorcycle riding group. We came across an accident that had just happened. A biker was down. As it turned out, he was part of a sister riding group of the one I was riding with but I don’t know any of the members of that group. I jumped into the middle of the thing without really knowing why. I stayed with him up until he was loaded into the ambulance. I wasn’t quite sure I know why, but I felt ownership of this man’s well being. When I got home tonight they told me he died from his injuries. He was a complete stranger, but I cried like a baby. He has a family and tonight they are grieving. This forum knows all too well what that is like.

    I’m not really sure why I feel compelled to share this story. Maybe it’s because it’s a reminder that death is around each and every corner. But so is life. And what we do with the time that we are here is up to us.

  • Ed,

    I am so sorry you have been struggling so much lately. This journey is one with many ups and downs. You friend is correct from the standpoint that you must find a way to look at thing differently. It’s the whole “bitter or better” mentality. You can continue to be pissed off at the world or think about what our children would want us to do and be. I like to think they want us to be “better”.

    There is nothing we can do to bring our children back, but there are ways to continue to live our lives that honor them. Whether it is making positive changes to our own lives or reaching out to others to help them. I have found that by taking up the cause of this GrievingDads.com project, I have been able to help some of these dads not feel so alone in their thoughts and feelings. That helps me to become “better” rather than “bitter”. Every person needs to search for what makes them better.

    I hear “I will never be the same person” from many of the dads I meet. They are mourning the loss of their child as well as the loss of the “guy they use to be”. Just keep in mind that in the early days, weeks, months and years following the loss of a child, you only have to make it through the day you are in. Don’t stress about tomorrow. Take it one day at a time.



  • Ed

    I can’t even begin to imagine the anger I’d feel had my son been murdered. I don’t know what I’d do with that anger and wish you peace. The loss of a child is horrific enough without the senseless act of murder layered on top.

    Last night I was telling a friend how I’ve been struggling a lot recently. She said something that I hope will help others. She said a friend who lost her one year old baby learned to turn things inside out and look for the “blessings.” I’m not a religious person but this made some degree of sense. My son committed suicide. The first thought (or blessing) was that I happened to be nearby when I got the call and was the first one of the scene. My wife and other sons were spared of the desperate fight to save his life and the images that come with that. Another blessing: He lived for four days afterward, providing time for friends and family to say goodbye, touch him and kiss him. It’s a matter of turning things inside out, she said.

    I’m sure it’s not easy to do in your case, but I offer this up because I hope it will help. There are so many regrets when a father loses a child. It can destroy us if we’re not careful. I always ask myself what Joey would want me to do. How would he want me to deal with the pain and how can I grow from this.

    They say time heals all wounds. Not this one. But as the weeks and months pass, I continue to look for ways figure out what I can do to be a better person and turn his death into something positive. I will never be the same person. It’s been ten months now and there have been waves of sadness and waves of hope. The struggle continues.