A story for every victim

Times coverage: Survivors seek solace

Photo: Donna Brown, whose son Clifton was murdered, holds a picture of him at a meeting of the San Gabriel Valley chapter of Parents Of Murdered Children. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Each murder begins a new chapter for the friends and family left to pick up the pieces.

In a story in Wednesday's Los Angeles Times, reporter Corina Knoll profiles the support group Parents of Murdered Children. The group's monthly meeting allows people to share their heartbreak and grief as they mourn over time.

Below is an excerpt from: Bereft parents try to fill the holes in their hearts

Here is the woman whose daughter-in-law stabbed her son to death and smothered her two grandchildren in their beds. And there is the mother who discovered her daughter's limp body inside the family van. The timid couple who have thought about taking their own lives since their son was knifed in the back — they come here too.

At the Santa Anita Church in Arcadia, they gather for a monthly meeting of a club no one aspires to join. They are the San Gabriel Valley chapter of Parents Of Murdered Children.

It begins like any reunion, with hugs and laughter and doughnuts and coffee. But when the cups are set aside, when the green vinyl-covered chairs are pulled into a circle, when the overhead lights brighten against the slowly dimming sky, members talk about unspeakable events and haunting dreams.

The only agenda here is to share. Share what it's like to wait for a break in the case, for a killer to be arrested, for a trial to begin, for a parole board to meet. Share whatever you want.

Keep reading: Bereft parents try to fill the holes in their hearts

Photo: Donna Brown, whose son Clifton was murdered, holds a picture of him at a meeting of the San Gabriel Valley chapter of Parents Of Murdered Children. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

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