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In memory of Keith Thompson

As a child, I grew up seeing photos of an uncle I never knew. I remember asking my mother who this person was, and she told me that he went to heaven a long time ago. When I was old enough to understand, she told me that her brother shot himself.

My mother grew up in a household where her father was an alcoholic; there was a lot of financial strain and physical abuse. There was no emotional support for her and her five siblings. One day, my uncle was in a horrible fight with his high school sweetheart. Feeling alone and afraid and hopeless, he took his father’s pistol and shot himself in the backyard of their house. Realizing what he had done, he ran into the house to get help. He’d hit a large artery and bled to death. He was only 15.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.