CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Brought together by tragedy and working past the pain. Lowcountry families of murder victims gathered Saturday at the North Charleston Riverfront Park.
Loved ones honored murder victims at the Thirteenth Annual Survivors of Homicide Support Group picnic. A table of pictures was displayed of those whose lives were cut short.
Dr. Alyssa Rheingold said, "When someone loses a loved one to homicide, that type of grief is very different from grief from losing a loved one to sickness or illness. A lot of folks sometimes don't have support, so the idea behind our program is to be able to help provide support so people don't feel so alone in their grief process."
After losing their daughter Liza 9 years ago, Doug Warner and his wife were in need of support from people like them dealing with the same loss.
Warner said, "We were in a meeting with a group of people who have all gone through the same thing. When they look at us and say, I know exactly how you feel Doug, they knew exactly we felt."
The support group is a joint effort between the National Crime Victims Center at MUSC and the Charleston County Sheriff's Victim Services Office. Survivors can come together and grow stronger.
Warner said, "We laugh we cry, we get angry, we share all of the emotions that we go through and we understand these emotions."
Warner's daughter was killed by her husband and following her death Warner teamed up with the Victims Advocate program and created Liza's Lifeline of South Carolina. It's a way to help women get out of harm's way.
"We can do it as quick as two hours and get somebody on a train or on a plane or in a bus to get them away from their abuser," said Warner.
The families may grieve in different ways, but they share a commitment to remembering their loved ones who were taken from them.
Warner said, "You do everything you used to do, it's just different. We always had a good time, but now we have good times again but it's not the same. Nothing will ever be the same once you lose a child."
Support group meetings are held at the Crime Victims Center at MUSC. For more information you call the clinic at 792-8209.