total hearts received for Moments That Survive

Joan Gilbert

In memory of my son

Headlines sometimes scream the words: “Murder in Our Community!” My son’s case was no different. First came the announcement in the paper with gruesome statistics. Then came the television news reporter asking for anyone with information to contact authorities. Meanwhile, my family and I reeled in the horribly violent loss of our adored son, brother, grandson, friend – none of which was part of any public story. Murder, where one human being knowingly takes the life of another, in any instance, is incomprehensible. As humans, our brain tries to make sense of everything we encounter. I have yet to know of anyone who can explain how murder is part of the natural order of life. Surviving such a loss requires strategies for managing grief in ways I had never given a thought to, and never experienced before or since. This is my forever challenge. I realized there was an emerging movement to tackle the increasing gun violence across our country, and the power of personal stories became important to the mix of alarming statistics. I found that connecting with others locally and across the country with similar experiences and passion was part of my story. Now I volunteer with Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action to bring awareness and political action to the story, as well as to support my need to honor my son’s life in a productive way.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.