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Last night, we stayed up late and talked about this being a strange Christmas, even though his friend was murdered back in February. We both agreed that deaths from violence, people we didn't know, were deaths we felt some appropriate sadness about, but we weren't affected long-term, and that was that.
Now, we have seen and felt the up-close pain and anger and endless loop of questions about why it happened, what might have prevented the shooting, why didn't we see this coming? We have cried with family and friends at the funeral, at memorials, and outside the courthouse after the jury let his killer go free.
We still have questions, and they will never be answered to our satisfaction. Every day, he and I, and so many others see/hear/feel things that remind us of our friend, which reminds us again of his death. Now, more gun violence that's unthinkable in CT. And now, gun violence right around the corner from us in Webster, NY. All of it reminds us again. And we know what all the survivors of those whose lives were stolen will be feeling.
It's not just the dead person, or the immediate family. One death by violence carries its sorrow and pain and poison to everyone who knew and loved the deceased. We all carry it around with us, getting the occasional unexpected reminding nudge from a headline, from a photo, an annual event, whatever.
Maybe we have to wait until everyone in the country has experienced the violent gun-related death of a loved one. Maybe then, enough people will be so sickened and devastated by the waste of lives, the ease with which a life is taken, the way the world just goes on, that they will say, "Enough!"
No solution we come up with will bring back all the innocent dead. Whatever ideas that are suggested, all our loved ones will remain gone forever. What my son and I want people to know is that no one should have to suffer forever because it is so fucking easy to shoot a gun at someone. A bullet is not a solution to somebody cutting into your lane, or playing music too loud, or hating your baseball team.