Preparing for the worst
It can be difficult to prepare for the worst, and you should always maintain hope until you have proof positive that your loved one will not be coming home. If the worst does happen, Hostage International is here for you. You do not have to go through this alone.
Death and the return of the body
If your loved one has died and their body has been recovered, you will need to prepare for them to be returned home. The UK government will organise for this to happen and will make arrangements for you to be there to meet the plane if you want to. You should tell your government contact of any special arrangements you would like to be made – perhaps according to the wishes of your loved one, or cultural or religious needs. You can also discuss with them who will be present and any support you require for this.
Once your loved one’s body has been released, you can make arrangements for their funeral or burial service. We can help you with any neccessary paperwork and maybe able to help access government funds.
Death with no body
In some cases, it is not possible to recover your loved one’s body. This can be very distressing for the hostage’s family. If this happens, the UK government can help you to obtain a death certificate, which will be needed to begin to get the hostage’s affairs in order. If you need to find a lawyer to assist, we can help to arrange legal advice.
Some families find it helpful to arrange a memorial service for their loved one. Others have been compelled to visit places that were special to their loved one as a way of being close to them and beginning the grieving process. There is no right or wrong answer about what to do. Listen to yourself, be kind to yourself and find the right way for you.
Outcome unknown, presumed dead
In a small number of cases, a hostage is presumed dead but there is not proof positive, such as a photo or DNA evidence. This can be very difficult for families. While you might accept the death of your loved one, it can be difficult to move on without this evidence. This can affect your ability to grieve. We can ensure you receive the right care and support from professionals.
Dealing with grief
Losing someone you love or care deeply about is very painful. You may experience all kinds of difficult emotions and it may feel like the pain and sadness you’re experiencing will never go away. These are normal reactions to a significant loss. But while there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there are healthy ways to cope with the pain that, in time, can renew you and permit you to move on. See Dealing with grief.
There can be many legal issues that arise as a result of a kidnapping and the death of a hostage. You will need to obtain a death certificate. You will need to deal with your loved one’s estate and belongings. They may have died without writing a last will and testament.
Hostage International can help with all these issues. You do not have to go through this alone.