Bereavement due to traumatic death

Adam - Interview 27

Male
Age at interview: 22

Brief outline: In 2005 Adam's brother, Lloyd, was murdered in the street. He was attacked by two men, who said that they were drunk at the time. Adam, his parents and friends were devastated. Since then Adam has worked hard to try to prevent other violent crime.

Background: Adam is a staff nurse. He is co-habiting. Ethnic background/nationality: White British.

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In 2005 Adam’s brother, Lloyd, was murdered in the street. He was attacked by two young men, who said that they were drunk at the time. They hit Lloyd over the head with a wooden sign, which fractured his skull.
 
Adam heard the terrible news when his father phoned to say that Lloyd was dead. Adam was in shock. He tried not to cry because he wanted to stay strong for his parents’ sake. When he told others what had happened he felt an urge to laugh because he couldn’t believe that Lloyd had died and he felt that he was telling a crazy bizarre story. He tried not to laugh because he knew that laughter would soon change to tears.
 
Adam was only allowed to see Lloyd after the autopsy, when he was already cold. Adam wishes he had been able to see him when he was still warm, soon after his death.
 
Lloyd’s funeral took place at the crematorium. There were over 1,000 people at the service and there was an RAF fly past to mark the event. The town held a one minute silence. Lloyd’s ashes are still in the family home. His parents haven’t decided what they want to do with them.
 
Adam tried to find help via counselling, but has not found it helpful. He found most support from family members and from friends who had known Lloyd, and who could talk about him and share memories together. At times Adam still feels very sad and upset about Lloyd’s death, but now some people expect him to have got over it and they forget that he might still be grieving. Adam believes in a spirit world and he is sure that Lloyd is still around him. This belief has been helpful.
 
Adam’s parents have found help via the Compassionate Friends. They also have wonderful friends who cooked meals and delivered food to the home during the early days after Lloyd’s death. Adam’s parents found this a wonderful help at a terrible time.
 
In August 2006 the two men were found guilty of Lloyd’s murder. They were sentenced to life in prison; one was given 12 years and the other 13 years. They will then be eligible for parole. Adam thinks that these sentences were much too lenient.
 
Lloyd’s things are still in his room. They have not been packed away. Adam says that it is hard to believe that Lloyd has really gone and that he is not coming back.
 
Since Lloyd died Adam has worked hard to try to prevent other violent crime. He gave a talk at the opening of an exhibition in his home town. The exhibition was called Anne Frank + You. He has also taken his power point presentation into schools and has talked to the children about the victims of crime and how violence can affect the lives of others. He has also started a website called Stand Against Violence. Adam is now making an anti-violence DVD, which he hopes will also be used in schools.
 
Adam was interviewed in January 2009.

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