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

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Darren Grainger

I was startled by the ringing of my phone at 4 a.m. on June 1, 2021. It could only mean something bad was wrong. I answered to hear my daughter very hysterical and crying. “Mama, my Daddy, Mama, my Daddy (screaming), Mama, my Daddy is dead.” I arrived on the scene to see my old yard with yellow police tape, police cars everywhere and an ambulance in the yard. I was met by a detective and was immediately questioned, not knowing exactly what was going on at the time.

My daughter exited the side of the ambulance crying, with blood-tinged clothes. “Mama, my Daddy. Please Mama, not my Daddy.” I looked around, and that’s when I saw my husband of 23 years lying lifeless on the ground, covered with a white sheet. My whole world stopped as I tried to wrap my head around that: The man that I have loved over half my life was lying on the ground, DEAD! Shot twice (nonfatal) and then a third time to the chest, which was fatal. A 22-year-old out on bond for two counts of attempted murder decided to take the life of his own six-month-old baby’s Papa.

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