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

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Naya's Mother

In memory of Naya M. Ruffin

On April 29, 2022, at around 12 a.m., I was suddenly awakened by a phone call from Indiana, notifying me that someone had broken into my youngest daughter’s apartment, and that my daughter had been shot.

In a severe panic, especially since I live in Georgia, my husband and I got on the road to try and get to my daughter ASAP. Unfortunately, though, this all came to a halt about an hour later, when my oldest daughter called me and said, “Momma, she didn’t make it!”

Hysterically screaming in the car, I attempted to open up my car door while going 80 mph on the highway. I had lost all hope to live and wanted to be with my ladybug, the nickname she had asked me to call her since elementary school. I am so proud of my ladybug, though, as she stood up against her attackers. She gave her life to save her own one-year old daughter, who, incidentally, was only a few feet away in another room, sleeping.

Now, I am living each day in a nightmare and with disbelief that my daughter is gone and that her killer(s) are still FREE!

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