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His birthday is in five days. He would’ve been 40.

Two years ago, my husband, the father of my now four-year-old, called me. We had just separated, and he said he’d always love me. I told him I’d always love him too. The next day, he dropped off our daughter at his mom’s after a day of swimming, drove home, went into my home office, carefully laid his wallet, cell phone, and gun receipt down on my desk, and then shot himself in the face. I don’t know how long he waited before pulling the trigger. I think about those moments often. What was he thinking about?

I don’t remember most of the six months of my life after his death, but I do vividly remember seeing the time-stamped gun receipt that showed he called me from the parking lot of the gun store. It’s cliché to say it, but the rest was like a dream. It felt so real at times, but so distanced other times. I honestly don’t know how I survived it. How I still survive it. I miss him every day. He was my best friend.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.