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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Missy Costa Beasley

In 2012, my mother, a 70-year-old woman, shot and killed my 26-year-old son. My son was sound asleep on her couch when she placed a pillow over his face and shot him twice in the head.

My mother had suffered from few things in her life, but mental illness was certainly one of them. So many times the “red flags” were overlooked and ignored because she was masterful at disguising them to most everyone. She had attempted suicide several times prior to killing my son. She had been hospitalized several times over the years for mental health issues prior to 2012. And yet on July 6th, 2012, she was finally successful in her attempts, and after murdering my oldest child in cold blood, she sat down beside my son in her rocking chair, put the gun to her forehead and killed herself. She did not leave a note this time.

It could have been prevented, in so many ways. She should have never had access to a gun. She had a long history of prior gun violence. Of prior mental health issues. My son is gone. My son is dead. It should have never happened.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.

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