Survivors Burial and Resource Guide: A Step-By-Step Workbook for Regaining Control
The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute provides crisis management and outreach services to families of murder victims. The Peace Institute is often one of the first responders to homicide in Suffolk County and its trained staff help illuminate a clear path for families in a time of crisis and chaos. The core component of this service is, our Survivors Burial and Resource Guide, is recognized as critical material for front-line workers that come in contact with survivors of homicide victims.
Families who survive the homicide of a loved are pondering an overwhelming number of questions. They often ask: Who can possibly understand what we’re going through? How can we get through this? Where do we begin? What funeral home do we use, and how do we pay for it? What if our child had a criminal record? How do we handle interactions with the police, media and other groups? The Peace Institute works directly with survivors to address these questions with the Survivors Burial and Resource Guide.
It was a cold December evening. I recall coming home from the hospital after I was told my 15-year-old son Louis was brain-dead. There was nothing anyone could do to save him. I remember leaving the hospital empty-handed, both physically and within my soul. There were so many questions running through my mind: Where do I begin? Which funeral home do I call? How much does a funeral cost? Who will help us?
News quickly spread about the murder of an innocent 15-year-old, and I came home to a house filled with friends and family. Everyone wanted to know how they could help. Even while I still didn’t know what to do, a support team came together to put the pieces in place to make final preparations—we needed a burial, and so much more.
Like your family, my family and I were not prepared to deal with the murder of our beloved child. There were so many things to do in such a small window of time. This step-by-step guide, created with the input of professionals, victim’s service providers, and survivors, was born from my personal experience. It outlines the support network that grew in the aftermath of my son’s murder and how you can build one so that you don’t have to face this process alone.
The survivor’s burial and resource guide is divided into four parts: Getting Started; Writing Samples; Navigating the Social Service, Political, and Judicial Systems; and Resources for Caring and Healing. This workbook and resource guide is designed to offer support, guidance, and strategies for finding peace after the murder of a loved one. It is NOT meant to take the place of information provided by a funeral home, place of worship, victim’s service providers, victim witness advocates, trauma responders, Violence Prevention Specialist, or anyone else that offers support. It should be used in conjunction with these resources.
In Peace and in Prayer,
Clementina M. Chéry
President and CEO
Louis D. Brown Peace Institute