September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.  Read and share stories to honor survivors whose loved ones died by gun suicide.

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Christina Vanderlaat

In memory of the MSD students

On February 14, 2018, I got a text from my daughter, but from someone else’s phone. “Mom ILY please don’t come to school. There’s a shooting. Don’t come here. ILY. Tell them to come to third floor (that’s where she was hiding). They are shooting.” I was pacing back and forth outside MSD, heard that seven people had been shot, looked around me and saw the faces of the other parents… some who would never see their child again. I was in contact with my daughter, so I knew she was alive. It took several hours before I would reunite with her, several weeks before we could breathe normally, several months before she would tell me about the bodies lined up outside the 1200 building (she thought they were sleeping), and the nightmares about shootings that continue to haunt her. This family will never be the same.

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