Homicide Survivors vigil provides hope in the healing process

Homicide Survivors vigil provides hope in the healing process
Families find comfort and support in each other after such a tragic loss

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - "It still hurts. It doesn't matter how long its been. It still hurts," explained Linda Balbastro, whose son was killed four years ago.

She spent her Saturday evening at the Homicide Survivors vigil in Tucson.

"Got a new family with them, you know," she said. "It's not easy every day missing him. Holidays, his birthday."

A family Balbastro never asked to be in, but now one she couldn't live without. Her son, Patrick, was killed while helping a woman in distress on New Years Day in 2014.

Balbastro explained, "He just stopped because he saw somebody who needed help. That's the way he was."

The Homicide Survivors vigil was put on by the local nonprofit Homicide Survivors and provides an outlet for those in mourning, like Patrick's sister Lorraine.

Lorraine Peru told Tucson News Now, "I will always remember him and all the great memories he brought to our family."

Hundreds of victim photos lined the park. It's just one indication of how large the family of homicide survivors truly is. Everyone had a story to share. Stories full of tragedy, but this group provides some help in the healing process.

"Sitting and talking about how you feel. It helps. It helped out a lot," said Peru.

Balbastro hasn't missed a vigil since losing her son.

It's why she's gotten involved herself as a volunteer.

"That's a promise I've made to my son," she said.

She's proud to help others like her who are grieving over the loss of their loved ones.

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