On March 14th 2010, a beloved son, boyfriend and father of five was taken away at the hands of a cold blooded killer. 29-year old Willie Bender, Jr. was shot several times in the back outside a home in Moultrie.
"It's like we right there from the day he died. They shot him, robbed him, and took his clothes and his pants," said step Father Clint Harrison.
From that day forward, life has been at a standstill for Bender's parents. The Harrison family says not knowing who the killer is makes it even more painful.
"From the day that he died, I haven't moved forward. I'm just right there, because no one knows nothing. It's been three years and no one has said nothing," said his Mother Sakandral Harrison.
Unfortunately, the Harrison's aren't alone. Coping with the murder of a loved one is one of the most painful and unfair challenges anyone can face. In addition to the flood of emotions one goes through. terms with the nature of death, planning a funeral, dealing with law enforcement while grieving a loved one's death. Can and will take a toll.
"I go daily sometimes, I just think about him so much. Some days it's not that bad...it comes and goes..." she said.
"See I have to live with her... and when it hit home it hurt," Harrison said.
Experts say the most important factor in healing from loss is a strong support system, and thankfully the Harrison's found that in each other.
She says her husband's sense of humor helps ease the pain.
"I had to be her crutch in a time of weakness, what's the sense of both of us breaking down," Harrison said.
Instead of counseling, they've turned to God. "I kept her spirit up. We forgave whoever did this. We go to church, we read the Bible to make it to another day," Harrison said.
And sometimes, they find solace talking with friends who's loved one was murdered too.
"Talking with friends, I laugh, but deep down in my heart, I'm hurting," said his mom.
Although they will never fully recover from Bender's tragic death. They hope someone is able to provide police with enough information so they can arrest whoever is responsible.
It's the closure they hope is the key. To move them forward from that tragic march day. Psychologists say each person grieves differently. However, if the pain is getting worse as time passes, they recommended talking with a grief counselor or therapist.
If you have any information about the murder of Willie Bender Jr., call the Moultrie Police Department.
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