Although we might mourn the death of a murder victim, the victim’s troubles ended at the moment of death. The loss, however, doesn’t end for loved ones. The ramifications can be enormous. Imagine what the murdered person might have been meant to do in the hours and days that followed the abrupt halt. Everything else continues, although adapting to the altered circumstances. Just yesterday facebook sent me a heads up that an old friend has a birthday coming up this month. Unfortunately, I know that she had cancer and passed away a few months ago.

What if she had been murdered? How different would be the thoughts and the mourning? Nadine had never told me of her cancer, but I learned of it from a mutual acquaintance. Had it been murder, I would be tortured by thoughts of what might have happened to her before death liberated her. Her sisters, brother and mother would suffer every day for the rest of their lives. Nadine’s absence from family events and gatherings would insert a dark presence in her stead.

Nadine tailored her exit from life with the wisdom and taste that had always marked her professional performance. She returned to the place where she’d been born, Jamaica, and enjoyed the sand at her feet and the ocean on her body until her death.

The unending burden on the ‘survivors’ carries on for up to three generations. The murder of one’s kin becomes a family legend, retold proudly for its colour and intrigue.

Murder never ends because the shock and loss have a relentless impact on those who cared about the victim. Not just loved ones, but business associates, employers and employees, doctors and dentists and insurance executives all are impacted atypically.

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