Marcia

Hello, I’m Marcia. I have two children by Julius Moore Sr. He lost his life to gun violence on March 16, 2019, in Maple Heights, Ohio. He moved from Chicago to Cleveland to start a new life. He was a loving, dedicated and supportive father. Our children Oubrey and Omari were only 1 and 2 years old at the time.

Since his passing, I’ve started a nonprofit in memory of him: Guns Down Hopes Up. We provide free resources to children in our similar situation. This has been by far the hardest tragedy I have ever been through. We will miss him dearly.

Stop gun violence, please. Guns down, hopes up.

Laura Brown

My partner and the father of my children was gunned down and killed driving up Central Avenue in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on January 14, 2021. His name is Mark Solano, and he was 37 years old. Our children are 8 and 6 years old, and they are now left without a father. Their hearts, as well as mine, are broken. A senseless act that took a father, son, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin and friend. We love you Mark, forever and ever and ever. We will never let your memory fade. At this time, there is no one in custody.

Lawrence Richard Weidman

More than 30 years ago, my children’s father committed suicide with a gun. Even though there was a history of suicide in his family, he also had a long history of alcoholism and had been drinking heavily before this.

His suicide has deeply affected his children to this day in many ways. Even though he and I had been divorced for many years prior, it seems like just yesterday. For a long time I blamed myself because I didn’t understand what he was telling me for several months beforehand, but I understand better now. However, the anger and grief still remain for all of us.

Christian Reynoso

How to explain what it’s like to watch the father of your child die?

Two-year-olds aren’t allowed in the ICU. She didn’t get to say goodbye. Perhaps it wouldn’t have mattered? Perhaps she still would have rushed to the phone, every time it rang, for the year following his death, with an expectant, “Daddy!!?”

Growing up, our daughter mourned her father’s loss, over and over. At each new milestone, she moved through a new cycle of grief and understanding. And so did I.

First day of school, first tooth lost, first softball game … My daughter and I did these—and all the others—without him.

2020 marked the year that Chris has been dead as long as he was alive. Our daughter is now 23.

Christian Reynoso was only 21 years old when he died of a gunshot wound. His friend Jose Chicas, a 19-year-old Marine, was shot too. He died in the street. They had just been leaving a birthday party.

Every new shooting illuminates how far away we are from being a society that truly cares about its people. I wish Chris didn’t have to die to make me pay attention.

Vincent Perez

I met Shane in 2013. It was fortuitous that we had met, mostly because when I saw him, I thought, “gross.” We initially met in passing at some fraternity rush event. I wasn’t prepared to even talk to him, let alone fall in love with him. Truly having no expectations, but always at the ready.

As we got to know each other, we danced as two birds would when courting one another. Carefully placed, radiant in color and passion that I never had anticipated. One of the first dates we had was a dance class called “Movement for Humans” at the Joe Goode Annex. I thought it was important for me to show him the world that meant everything to me. The world of dance. Disclaimer: I encourage everyone to take their significant other or loved one to a movement class. It will teach you a lot about the person you are moving with. Moving with Shane was like skipping stones over a still lake. Endless ripples with every step.

Carl David Matthews

It’s been almost 51 years since I lost my husband Dave. I still remember coming home that day, March 30, 1970. I noticed his car still there; I was glad he stayed home instead of going to work. He was supposed to start working second shift that evening. Before he was working third shift, which he liked because it gave us time to be together. I got home from work at about 5 p.m., so we had time before he left for work.

That Monday morning, when he walked me out to my car, I asked him if he wanted me to stay with him. He said no and gave me a hug and a kiss.

When I opened our apartment door and said, “Hey, I’m home; where are you?” there was no answer. Sometimes we would kid each other and play hide and find me. One of places would be the bathroom. One time I discovered that I could use a long hair clip to open the door. So I did, and laughing as I did, I said, “You know I can open the door.”

So I did. Only to find him in the tub where he had shot himself.

Angel Smith

Myron and I met at Jonesville Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia. Our courtship spanned, on and off, for seven years. During this time, I grew to learn his heart and his love for his career, family and friends!

After returning home from vacation on August 31, 2019, our story ended with my husband walking into a barbershop, unarmed, where his life was taken due to gun violence.

My life has changed drastically, as this event has forced me to transition from wife to widow, and from family to single mom of Dallas and Skye. I lift my voice as a war cry, to bring awareness to end gun violence—to reduce the occurrence of families being broken and men and women losing their lives unnecessarily. I want to show my children that we may not change the world, but we can help make it better through action! My advocacy with Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action helps me lift my voice and keep the memory of my loved one alive!

Moe

My husband was shot and killed by a stray bullet on November 11, 2020. My husband was a good man who loved helping people. He was my husband, Chef Boyardee, Batman—could fix a sandwich and cook, cook. Everywhere he went he knew someone, and he was loved by so many people. I just thank God for him and for his being in my life; through the ups and downs, he was still there. He would give the shirt off his back and the shoes off his feet, if someone needed them.

Marcella loved the Lord. I’m going to miss him so much, but I thank God he’s in a better place and he has no more worries. He was a great man and loved you—from children, anybody’s child. He was killed three years after my grandson was killed, in 2017. I’m going to miss them so much and the family. We love you, Marcella and Timothy.

Vanessa

His birthday is in five days. He would’ve been 40.

Two years ago, my husband, the father of my now four-year-old, called me. We had just separated, and he said he’d always love me. I told him I’d always love him too. The next day, he dropped off our daughter at his mom’s after a day of swimming, drove home, went into my home office, carefully laid his wallet, cell phone, and gun receipt down on my desk, and then shot himself in the face. I don’t know how long he waited before pulling the trigger. I think about those moments often. What was he thinking about?

I don’t remember most of the six months of my life after his death, but I do vividly remember seeing the time-stamped gun receipt that showed he called me from the parking lot of the gun store. It’s cliché to say it, but the rest was like a dream. It felt so real at times, but so distanced other times. I honestly don’t know how I survived it. How I still survive it. I miss him every day. He was my best friend.

Anonymous

My husband, the father of our two sons, took his own life with a gun after experiencing an allergic reaction to a medicine for bipolar depression. It was a Friday night, and neither the doctor who prescribed the medicine, nor his father who was a doctor, would return his call for help. If only there were cell phones then. As long as I am alive, he will be remembered with love.