total hearts received for Moments That Survive

Jacqueline Elder

In memory of Susan H. Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center

My friend Susan was one of the first people in my life to complete suicide. She was 38 years old, an attorney, a therapist and a mother of five kids. A complicated divorce led to a custody battle, and Susan shot herself with a shotgun because of the stress of the custody battle.

It was the first time that I considered the psychic pain she must have experienced and her decision to end that pain. I did not have contact with her in the year leading up to her suicide, and I was shocked and sad when I heard that she had died. When I heard more of the complicated details of what she was dealing with, I thought that would be a tough one for me to deal with in my own life.

That was over 20 years ago, and I myself am now a suicide attempt survivor. My friendship with Susan helped me understand what drove her to shoot herself.

Guns are too available, and when folks are suicidal, they are so impulsive. Guns are easy to get, they work pretty darn well. Can we not get rid of them? Please?

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.