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In memory of John Wesley Elkins

I was 11 years old when my mom got the call. I don’t know who called her to share the news, but regardless, all I remember hearing was my mom answering the phone and then her cries of anguish. She had been told that her father, my grandfather, had taken his own life. I found out later that he had taken a shotgun into the closet in his house, and he lost his battle…

I wasn’t even able to say goodbye. My mom did not want me to see his open casket at the funeral. I am the only one of my siblings who have active memories of him. I miss you, Papa, it’s been 19 years, but I miss you so much.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.