News You Can Use…Violent Loss Resources

Survivors of Violent Loss

News you can use… (Scroll down to see all)

  • New Name
  • New Features
  • Topic of the Month: Safety
  • Question of the month
  • Books
  • Poem: The Forever Changes
  • Subscribe and Give Your Tips
  • Who we are

Survivors of Violent Loss Blog has a new name: to more reflect what it is and its outreach. The new blog will be called: Violent Loss Resources and will be more like a newsletter. This new site will reach folks across the country and in various size communities, agencies and family forms. Each death is unique and has many complexities. The only similarity is that each of us knows violent death.
The poem, The “Changed Forever” ( see below), reflects we are forever changed when we have experienced a loss or worked with those who have.

The News You Can Use…. will feature resources for those who live and work with violent death…

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San Bernardino Team Needs Our Support

A team in San Bernardino, CA, has prepared to support survivors of violent loss. The team members are all committed to knowing how they can help survivors after murder and other violent deaths.

Read Connie Saindon’s entire blog at the link below.


Survivors of Violent Loss

What does a nurse, Director of Families and Friends of Murder Victims, a teacher, a Chaplin, Directors of Restorative Justice, therapist, missionary and survivor have in common? They are members of a trained team in San Bernardino and they need our support.
They have prepared for the past three years to be ready– to be ready for their work and support survivors of violent loss. Many are driven to make a difference from their own grief stories to show how they have survived. Many continue a career in aiding humanity, all committed to knowing how they can help survivors after murder and other violent deaths.
It was an honor to be among such incredible people again the week just before Thanksgiving. They had all given up there weekend to spend three days together learning more about The Journey, a ten week support group.
2013 sister 2013web2014DSC_0007 ssiters Trainee group 2013

They have formed a…

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“It is for us the living…”

What the Private Saw: The Civil War Letters & Diaries of Oney Foster SweetToday is the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

Private Oney F. Sweet fought at Gettysburg and wrote afterward that he saw 23 of his comrades fall in as many minutes.

Emerging Civil War

LincolnSeatedFour score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember…

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The Long-Awaited “Aftermath of Battle” is Now Available

New book: Meg Thompson Groeling’s “The Aftermath of Battle: The Burial of the Civil War Dead” is now available.

Thompson, a self-proclaimed “learner,” said of her book: “If there’s a theme, it’s that the things we take for granted—that there’s a way to replace a leg and there’s a veteran’s administration—were not in place before the war. These are all a result of the Civil War.”

Emerging Civil War

MegThompson-smby ECW correspondent Liam McGurl

ECW contributor Meg Thompson Groeling released her first full-length book, The Aftermath Battle: The Burial of the Civil War Dead, on Oct. 19—serving up a perspective as unconventional as her purple hair.

Groeling, 65, who is currently pursuing a degree in military history, has proven that being the outlier can be a beautiful thing. According to Groeling, while being a woman in a predominantly male-run field hasn’t always been easy, her unique perspective is one that adds to an important conversation.

“The book took just about a year, and there was a lot of research involved,” Groeling said. “The rest of the Emerging Civil War books are on one topic, one battle, one person or one incident, and I had to become an ‘expert’ on 18 different things. Because of the breath of the topics, I had to learn everything from who was the last Civil…

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Survivors Mission: Always Fly Away by Milena Sellers Phillips

New book from a mother whose 9-year-old son, Jonathan Sellers, was murdered, along with his best friend, 13-year-old Charlie Keever.

The author, Milena Sellers Philips, will be signing books at the Fallbrook library (North San Diego County, California) on November 8, 2-4 p.m.

Read Connie Saindon’s full blog post at the link below.

Survivors of Violent Loss

The Jonathan Sellers & Charlie Keever Foundation (JSCK) was founded by Dennis Sellers aAFA Cover V-200knd Milena (Sellers) Phillips in 2005

As difficult as it is to imagine how folks learn to live with violent death, it is as hard to imagine the work they do in memory of their loved ones.  The creativity and hard work that comes from such endeavors.  An important aspect of my work is to note on what folks do in the aftermath to honor their loved ones and do something to improve the world.

Here is an example of one of those efforts, just one more way this group has made a difference.

On March 27, 1993 two best friends, 9 year old Jonathan and 13 year old Charlie, left home for a bike ride on a beautiful March morning and never returned. Their ride was cut short when a sexual predator murdered them both. For 8…

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What the Private Saw: Antietam

What the Private Saw: The Civil War Letters & Diaries of Oney Foster Sweet

What the Private Saw: The Civil War Letters & Diaries of Oney Foster Sweet

On Sept. 25, 1861, Private Oney Foster Sweet wrote to his mother, Caroline Foster Sweet, from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He and his comrades in the 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery, Battery F, believed the war would be over in a few months, and they would be home by Christmas:

We live tip top, have peaches and cream and peach pie, etc. . . . I expect there will be some fighting near Washington soon and I want to be down there when they fight. . . . Do not worry about me, I will take care of myself. I think I shall like a soldier’s life first rate.

A year later, however, following the Battle of Antietam, he revealed a different mindset:

I went over the field after the fight and the dead and wounded lay so thick you could hardly step. Some had legs, arms, and heads torn off. Some groaning and breathing their last. I never want to see such a sight again and I hope I may never have the bullets fly so close to my head again. I have seen enough of war.

He did not know at the time that the war would last another two and a half years, that he would see that scene repeated many more times.

Confederate dead at Spotsylvania.

Confederate dead at Spotsylvania.


  • San Diego Civil War Round Table, October 21, 2015, 8 p.m.: Guest speaker: Larry Edwards, editor of What the Private Saw: The Civil War Letters & Diaries of Oney Foster Sweet. Location: Palisades Presbyterian Church, 6301 Birchwood St, San Diego, CA 92120, in the Allied Gardens area.


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NCVC Follow Up – Your comments and Questions answered.

Survivors of Violent Loss

Murder Survivor's Handbook: Real-life Stories, Tips & Resources         NCVC-2015 Follow-up

Thanks to so many of you for the support and encouragement we received on the work we are doing to help Survivors of Homicide and thanks to all of you who work with them as well.  By our continued commitment together we will increase what is available to such families.

This follow up letter is in response to the many requests and comments received.  

Your feedback is appreciated and I hope we have answered your questions below.

Some of your comments were:

I have come to many workshops and until now, they only told us what we did wrong. Thanks so much for helping me feel so much better with what I am doing.

I am responsible for funding in our state and we have six programs for homicide and so little resources.  I want  your book for our programs.

I have been working with folks for…

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