It has been over 25 years since my cousin, Julie, and her daughter, Jacqui, were murdered by a man they loved and trusted because he knew the relationship was over.
Everything has changed, and we will never “recover”.
This summer I stayed with my aunt and let the grief just take me over — and saw it as the shadow of what we lost and what mattered — an entire generation of family. My surviving cousin is incarcerated due to her mental illness. Perhaps her illness would be just as bad without burying her sister and niece, but we will never know. What I know is my elderly aunt has since survived two strokes and lives without her two daughters and granddaughter.
I recently connected with a relative of the man who killed my family. I wonder how they grieve, for their son and brother who was able to walk into a large discount store and purchase a handgun that would shatter our families.
Moms Demand Action has allowed me to turn my grief into action. Today, I take pride in every volunteer I empower with knowledge. Becoming a part of Moms is learning to talk to our neighbors, friends and families about gun safety – each new volunteer means there is one more family working toward a future that will keep more of our most vulnerable neighbors safer in their own homes.