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In memory of Karl Friedrich Bean

Our father committed suicide in 1972, and honestly, the shock of that horribleness never left either one of us. Karl went from a blond, giggling child to a child fascinated by danger and destruction. As we grew to adulthood, we spent very little time together. About a month before Karl died by suicide with a gun, he invited me to go bar-hopping with him in Portland, Maine — our hometown. I agreed, as long as I drove. He knew everyone in these bars, and in every bar he was served free drinks. At the last place, he looked me straight in the eye, something he rarely did, and said, “Have you ever thought about what he was thinking when he did it?” I had to stop this topic because he was drunk, the bar was loud, and I was tired. We drove home in silence. I left to go back to graduate school in New York City, and he went back to his junior year at the University of Maine, Orono. One month later, Karl put on his Marine dress blues, drove to his fraternity in his car, and shot himself in the head.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.