Homicide Survivors Vigil: Sharing a Commonality Helps to Ease the Pain

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.  (WHNT) -  When you lose someone you love, it's hard.
But when that person is taken abruptly and violently, it's a pain that's difficult to describe.

Thursday night, homicide survivors gathered in support of each other and to remember their loved ones in an occasion for reflection.

"This is when we get together to honor our loved ones that we have lost far too soon in this lifetime," said Tracy Wallace, a counselor.

"It is a healing process," said Leslie Freeman, a homicide survivor.

She and other homicide survivors attended a prayer vigil at Huntsville's Big Spring Park Thursday night.

Wallace, a counselor at the Family Services Center in Huntsville, said the event is therapeutic.

"There`s a connect," said Wallace.  "It`s hard to explain in words, but no one else unless they have walked in these people`s shoes understands exactly what they`ve been going through."

Freeman was the keynote speaker.

In 2007, she lost her husband, Eric.  The Huntsville Police Officer was killed in the line of duty.

Even though it's been years, some wounds time can't heal.

"This is a wound that will always be there," said Freeman.  "It will heal up some but the scar will always continue.  As time passes, I don`t want to say it gets easier but you learn to cope better with it."

She said one thing that helps is having others that know what you're going through and can help you get through the hurt.

"Perseverance is so hard. Because the individuals that have done this to our loved ones, if we don`t persevere, they`ve taken us also and that`s just not acceptable," said Wallace.

After a short program, attendees lit candles and then balloons floated into the night sky, release that came in support of survivors.

This is the 13th year for the vigil.

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