total hearts received for Moments That Survive

Tonia B

My brother was killed in 1998 by gun violence. Not only was he my brother and my best friend, he was a father to me; he was seven years older than me. My brother was smart: He played football and was a straight-A student who studied law. Someone shot and killed an honest man who would have given you anything if he had it. Best brother in the world.

When my brother was killed, I was seven months pregnant. I had my son on the day of his funeral. I couldn’t celebrate my son’s birthday for his first three years of his life because it was also the same day I buried my brother. I went to therapy at the time; I was 26 years old.

My brother was 33 years old when he was killed. I believe what helped me is that I met someone, when I was out one day, who told me he had lost two brothers. Talking to him let me know I wasn’t alone. It was God who had sent this person to me. Angel in Heaven. For three years, I thought about my brother everyday. Now 23 years later, I still think about my brother everyday. My son is 23.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.