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 US 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 US government will organize 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. The US government can offer support to cover these costs. Hostage US can help you to get through this period – you are not alone. We can help you to access funds from government and with any necessary paperwork.
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 US 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, Hostage US can help you to find one close to home with the right experience.
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.
You do not need to be alone at this difficult time. Hostage US is here 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. Hostage US is here to help. We can ensure you receive the right care and support from professionals. You do not have to go through this alone.
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 US can help with these legal issues. You do not have to go through this alone.