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Remembering Van

Our son, Van, had only been married for five months, with a son born the day after the wedding. His marriage was troubled right from the start, with lots of mental and verbal abuse. Then he found out that his wife was having an affair. They argued. He left, telling her and her grandmother that he was going to kill himself, and he grabbed the bag with his service weapon. (He was a security guard.) They didn’t call anyone.

Some time after, he posted a suicide note on Facebook. I was alerted to it by a friend. I called the police. I called him. I texted him. I called and texted him, his friends and everyone I could think of. No answer.

They found him hours later. He had shot himself in the parking lot of a shopping mall. Just as he said in his note, “alone when I die I shall be.” If only he had picked up my call. If only he had just come home. If only, if only, if only … January 20, 2019. The day our lives changed forever. We miss you, Van, and we always will.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.