Bereavement due to traumatic death

Carole - Interview 08

Female
Age at interview: 59

Brief outline: In November 2004 Carole's 23 year old son was murdered by an ex-girlfriend. He was stabbed. Carole was devastated. She has found most help via family and friends and by running. She has also had counselling, arranged via work, which has helped.

Background: Carole is an NHS employee. She is married and has 2 children (1 died). Ethnic background/nationality: White British.

Audio & video

In November 2004 Carole’s 23 year old son was murdered by his ex-girlfriend. He was stabbed through the heart. At the time of his death he was living in a town some distance away from the family home.
 
The family was devastated by the news of what had happened. Carole’s 88 year old father was unwell and Carole was very worried when she had to break the terrible news to him.
 
After two post-mortems Carole’s son had a full Military funeral. This was because he had served in the Marines and had fought for his country. There was a very special service at the church and then a ceremony at the crematorium. Carole’s son’s ashes were scattered in his favourite climbing spots. There is a tree and a commemorative stone at the Military base.
 
There was an inquest, followed by the court case. The court case took place in October 2005. The jury could not reach a verdict so there was a re-trial. There was another judge for the re-trial, which took place in 2006. The woman who was on trial was found guilty of murder. She is now in prison. She has written a letter to the family but they do not want to see it.
 
Throughout this terrible time the Military and the police were very helpful, and the police liaison officer was very supportive. However, the press reporters were horrendous.
 
Carole felt desperately sad and was devastated after her son’s death but only really started to cry about two months later. Family members have supported each other. Carole rang Compassionate Friends but did not get a return call. She tried to find help via CRUSE but could not find a suitable counsellor and was told that there was a long waiting list. She has had counselling through work, which she has found helpful. However, she has not been able to find a counsellor who has had very much experience of helping others bereaved by murder. Carole could not get any help via Victim Support. She has been in touch with SAMM, Support after Murder and Manslaughter, and she has attended some of their meetings. She has found most help via her daily running. Carole will never forget the son she lost. His death has left a huge gap in her life.
 
Carole was interviewed in 2008.

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