Parents of Murdered Children

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Hear from Parents of Murdered Children, an organization that helps those who have lost children in this tragic way.

Christina Estes: On a sunny Saturday afternoon -- A group gathers at a park in Phoenix. It's a group that doesn't want to see its numbers grow. But it does.

Little girl: Robert, Carl.

Beckie Miller: I think there's 1409 names.

Christina Estes: Including Beckie miller's child.

Beckie Miller: I first got involved with parents of murdered children about three months after my 18-year-old son Brian was robbed and shot to death in Phoenix in October of '91.

Christina Estes: The local chapter of parents of murdered children provided the understanding Beckie couldn't find anywhere else.

Beckie Miller: It's the most devastating event a parent or a loved one can go through. You can lose someone to illness and accident, and it's still -- it's still very difficult. But when it's cold-blooded murder, it adds another dimension that nobody's ever prepared for.

Marisela Carrion: I felt like I wanted the world to stop. My son was murdered, hey, time-out, and everybody was going on with their lives.

Christina Estes: Her life changed in September, 2003. That's when her son Jesse, her nephew Timmy and their friend hector were killed.

Marisela Carrion: For me, I didn't work for nine months after that. I couldn't. And all I wanted to do was sleep. And I thought if I could just sleep, and sleep long enough, then I don't have to feel this pain.

Christina Estes: The pain hasn't disappeared but she's learned to live with it thanks to parents of murdered children. Still, there was something the group couldn't fix: The pain that consumed Jesse's older sister.

Juliet Carrion: We were best friends and often people thought we were twins because we were so close.

Christina Estes: Years went by before Juliet used a Mother's Day card to express her sorrow.

Juliet Carrion: I said hey, I'm alive. I'm still here and I very much need you. I need my mom. And it was like the lightbulb went off for her. And I wanted to respect her time frame of grieving and -- I didn't want to sound selfish. But I did need her. And she apologized and ever since that day, I feel that she lives her life for a purpose.

Marisela Carrion: I need this in order to make it through each day.

Christina Estes: Cherished photos and happy memories bring comfort and so does little Jesse, the girl born three months after her father died.

Marisela Carrion: Split image of her, her demeanor, the way she acts, she loves sports, she's exactly like him. Exactly like him.

Beckie Miller: If we don't remember, then how will we ever effect the change that it's going to take to stop the violence from happening in the first place?

Christina Estes: Back at the park, Beckie miller oversees a ceremony observing the national day of remembrance for murder victims. [bell ringing] [reading names]

Christina Estes: Some might find it easier to flee the tears rather than keep facing them but not Beckie.

Beckie Miller: I handle it because somebody was there for us when we needed them to hear. And so many of your family and friends, it's hard for them to hear about it. And they want their life to get back to normal and they want you to get back to normal and yet, that's not something you ever get to do. You actually have to rebuild or sometimes, I say redesign your life.

Christina Estes: While the redesign includes loss, it also includes the addition of an extended family. And while they never wanted to join this group, they are grateful to be part of it.

Beckie Miller: Charter President, Parents of Murdered Children; Marisela Carrion: Mother of Murder Victim; Juliet Carrion: Sister of Murder Victim

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