Thirty years ago my nephew was killed unintentionally by a friend to whose house he went to play. A rifle had been left in the basement. It was lying on a table, where it had been cleaned. There was one round in it. And, in an instant, a wonderful boy was dead. Words can’t express the grief and anguish of that day. My brother, my sister-in-law and family were devastated. I try to forget the phone call from my brother and the days after. The emotions come back too fresh for the years that have passed. Telling the story always makes me cry. At one point, at the airport, my mind snapped and I believed that if I got back on the plane and went home, time would be reversed and Robbie would be alive. Grief does strange things.
To this day, family asks if there are weapons in homes where their children are going and, if so, how they are secured. I weep with survivors and wish I could carry their pain. I think together we can.