October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Read and share stories to honor survivors whose lives have been changed by domestic violence.

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Kerrin Diamond Cole

In honor of Barbara Nugent

Three years ago, my dear, beloved best friend from college was shot to death at home by her husband of 10 years. He then shot and killed himself. Their bags were packed for an Asian cruise the next day. Clearly, something went tragically wrong the night before their planned departure.

Barbara was an extremely loving, beautiful woman, inside and out. She lit up a room wherever she went, and she wholeheartedly embraced everyone she met with her bright smile and warm heart. She was the life of every gathering and cared deeply about her many friends and family. In our 40-plus years of friendship, we saw each other through life’s ups and downs. Barbara was very outgoing and loved nothing more than to make people laugh. She was deeply caring, generous, loving, strong, the most dependable friend, and never, ever wanted to burden anyone with any struggles that life brought her. She deeply cared about dogs and horses, and she supported horse charities.

We will never know what happened the night Barbara was murdered. Just days before, in a text exchange, her last words to me were, “I love you from the bottom of my soul.”

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