The below is an extract from: Unraveling Family Secrets. Bert Hellinger interviewed on Family Constellations, By Humberto del Pozo in Santiago de Chile, September 1999.
What if someone is murdered in a family?
I will give you an example. It was in a supervision group. A therapist set up a client. The father had killed his wife, the daughters were left and are now in the care of the wife’s sister. And the two children are very upset. I set up the man, and the woman, the sister and the two children. The woman was immediately frightened. She turned to her sister for protection. The man turned away. He wanted to leave. He had actually killed himself after he had killed his wife. So I had to make them face the real issue. So I brought the wife and let her lie on the floor in order to show she is not alive, she is now dead, so she can’t just go to her sister for protection anymore.
So I reestablished the reality in this point. Then I brought the man back, let him look at his wife. And he looked at her and he could not move. Then I made him breathe deeply and suddenly it broke out of him. A very, very deep pain. A tremendous pain. And then he fell down on his knees and looked at his wife and he just cried. Then, only then could he really look at his wife. And then I let him lie at the side of his wife, because that was the reality. He was also dead. And then the two, they moved together with very, very deep love.
That’s the strange thing, that after that they are just united in deep love. And from this I conclude, and I has similar experiences in other constellations, even more traumatic, that at the end if both recognize themselves as dead, then the dead … they move together. A strange movement that those dead just move together, mingle with one another, come to peace with very, very deep love. Now this movement is for me only possible, if the perpetrators and the victims, whoever, are at the service of a false raging beyond them, far beyond them. And only if all of them look at this greater force, then the antagonism between them can cease and they become very humble in the soul of this greater force and what unites all of them I call then a greater soul and I don’t have a better name for that, but it goes beyond the fields, because a field is fixed. The soul is something that steers, it directs a course of history and of personal life. And in this soul we participate. And instead of looking at the individual as having a soul, he participates in a soul.
This soul has several levels. And in the foreground there is a level of very harsh laws. And beneath it there is something quite different. For instance I can set up a family, two people, and I don’t do anything and suddenly, they are driven by a force and they face the real issue, and this force directs them towards a solution, which goes beyond the laws which operate in the foreground. If we can reach that soul, we reach the healing force.
But perhaps just one more thing about the constellation with the man who killed her wife and then committed suicide. The two daughters were very upset. And the one was full of hatred. It was quite clear, she becomes a murderer with this hatred. This one went to her father, wanted to go to her father. And the other one was very upset in a different way. She wanted to become a victim. And I let them lie beside their parents. Then they were united with them, then they could stand up; no longer with hatred, no longer with despair, and they could turn away from the dead, leave them alone and look at life. That would also be a solution in there.