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Fourteen years ago, I called 911 and told them my husband was going to kill himself. Two hours later, he passed his background check, bought a gun and killed himself. I tried to protect him, but there was no way for the police to tell the background check company (NICS) he was a threat — yet.

I became a widow at the age of 30, and we had a two-month-old baby boy. I also had a 5-, 6-, and 7-year-old from a previous marriage, and the loss/trauma was devastating. A year and a half later, I was hospitalized for wanting to take my own life. The risk of suicide goes up 64 percent after losing a loved one to suicide.

I didn’t want to die; I wanted my pain to stop. I’m a highly sensitive person (HSP), and that made all the feelings of despair, overwhelm and hopelessness felt that much more. For the first time, I understood what that dark hole felt like. Today I am happy and healed, and am an advocate/author/speaker, turning pain into purpose.

I made a petition that will open up that communication and save lives.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.