From Patricia Simone, Cardinal Funeral Homes:
What To Do When the Police Leave:
A Guide To the First Days of Traumatic Loss
WBJ Press, 1998
Tragedy can strike anyone, anywhere, at anytime. It requires no special qualifications or
application processes. Victims and their secondary victims of crime, the family members
and friends, desperately need guidance through the first days of the loss. All too often
no supports seem to be available. Each individual tragic death will leave a wave of many
mourners; often hundreds and even thousands are affected by the senseless death of one
What To Do When The Police Leave: A Guide To The First Days Of Traumatic Loss is a useful
resource, suitable for many types of situations and losses. It is a much needed tool for
those who are confronted with the traumatic loss of their loved one.
This book is not going to answer every question. Some content is specifically American. It
is definitely not an exhaustive study of grief. It is however, a convenient, concise, and
comprehensive package, ideal for distribution to those involved in initial contacts and
death notifications. It is an honest, frank, and practical book to help grieving families
through the first days of the sudden death of a loved one. Clearly this book was developed
with the surviving, newly grieving family member in mind, as well as the police officer,
the funeral director, medical professional, victim service advocate, bereavement
counsellor, and chaplain so that their job may be made a bit easier.
So often, when it is time for the caregivers to leave, all that can be left behind with
the family are the bad news, some good wishes and perhaps the promise of a follow-up visit
or two. If the family members are "lucky", perhaps someone has thought to refer
them to a good grief support program. This book empowers us all to leave the family with a
resource, which provides the authoritative advice needed to make healthy decisions while
facing the issues in the first few weeks of loss.
The book's content includes more in-depth chapters with valuable insights and helpful
information, regardless of how much time has passed. Various chapters address: planning a
funeral on short notice, a checklist of immediate issues and needs, an introduction to
grief and its effects, accessing victim service programs, how to talk to children about
death, an introduction to the criminal justice system, a bibliography of additional
resources and lists of related organizations &emdash; including website resources.
Throughout the book we also find helpful, inspirational poems, writings, and quotations
from others who have suffered the unexpected, violent death of a loved one.
This book, combined with the personal contact of an empathetic caregiver, will be a
powerful tool in the effort to help families adjust to the very difficult days ahead.
Though this resource appears to be as complete as possible, nothing can substitute for the
personal attention of caring individuals. This book should be considered the beginning
step for families. When expertise is shared and when additional resources are brought
together, an ultimate level of service for the sake of good health and future well being
would be provided.
A must as a resource, this book should be made available to every family who must deal
with the consequences of violent crime in Canada and the United States. It should be
available in all private and public libraries and on the shelves of schools and various
social service provider agencies. It will help the reader understand that they are not
alone, that they will survive the ordeal and that there are things that can be done which
will smooth the way a bit, which will help avoid later regrets.
Bill Jenkins authored this book, after his teenage son, tragically became another homicide
victim in Virginia in 1997. Bill has since become active in victim support and rights. The
cover of this book is adorned with the purple ribbon, a sign of remembrance for loved ones
who have died through violence.
Cardinal Funeral Homes
Patricia's aunt and uncle were tragically killed in 1996 by a violent, repeat offender.
Her family, like so many others, were forced to confront the many issues of traumatic
grief and the criminal justice system. She currently is member of the Board of Directors
of the Victims Services Program of Toronto.