Allison Moorer on Growing Through Her Parents’ Murder/Suicide

Grow Through It: Loss & Grief

Allison Moorer, author of Blood: A Memoir, tells her story of surviving her parents’ murder/suicide, which occurred in 1986 when she was 14 years old. Her father was an abusive alcoholic, among many other wonderful things, who could not control his drinking or his behavior. Her mother was traumatized and could not remove Allison or her sister from the situation. When she finally left him, he could not handle it and ended up shooting Allison’s mother and then himself on the front lawn of the house her mother had rented to get herself and the girls away from him. After her parents’ deaths, Allison went to live with her mother’s younger sister. She began a new school and lost her grandmother all in about 10 days after losing her parents. Both families were shattered after this unfathomable circumstance. She was not put into therapy or cared for any differently than if event hadn’t happened. Allison carried on and went on to graduate from high school, earn a bachelor’s degree, enter the music industry, and make records. She became very productive and tried to figure out something to hold onto to bolster her poor self-image and identity.

She has had many ups and downs in her life and has had difficulty having relationships. She has not felt OK or safe in her life. Allison realizes now that she still has work to do to figure out some things and untangle things that never had the opportunity to be untangled. She learned that personal safety and agency is important, no matter what your age, and that we need to evolve to protecting everyone’s development. She learned that giving and receiving love is the most important skill. And she learned how important it is to be able to effectively express yourself. Allison’s advice to someone going through something similar is to get the child into treatment immediately. Do not let their openness close. Do not let them feel responsible or alone because they will have abandonment issues throughout their life. And for others, whatever gets you to recover sooner, do that.

Anjum Coffland on Growing Through the Trauma of Losing Her Daughters

Grow Through It: Loss & Grief

Anjum Coffland describes going through a divorce and her husband killing her two teenage daughters Tiffany and Brittany before shooting her in the legs and then killing himself. After the murders, Anjum went into survival mode and gets through it day by day. She pushes herself in hopes that she will be with her girls again one day. She advocates for changing gun laws so that it is not as easy for someone to get a gun when they are going through a divorce and in an upset state of mind. She believes that one phone call could have saved her family. She acknowledges that it takes time to heal and encourages anyone going through something similar to keep going, keep pushing. “Don’t give up on yourself,” she says.