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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Patricia Anderson Gagen

In memory of Jeanne Anderson

My mother was the sole caretaker of my father, who had multiple sclerosis for 20 years. When he died at age 57, we thought my mother was adjusting to her new life. She was happy, had a good job and enjoyed being with family and friends. We had no idea she was hiding depression and planning her own death. She purchased a gun, took shooting lessons and then killed herself two years after my father’s death. My feelings varied from devastation, to anger, to guilt, etc. Losing my mother in my early 30s was heartbreaking. I still wonder, 20-plus years later, what I could have done to keep her from committing suicide.

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