Shared story from Anonymous

Note: This story contains mention of suicide.

My 18-year-old son lost another friend to suicide by a firearm this weekend. The friend was 17 and lived in Texas. Heartbroken, again. The second friend in 6 months. My son asked to go to the grocery store with me last night. I just listened to him talking about his two friends he has lost and hugged him by the ice cream and again by the produce. There is a beauty to that… conversations about the heaviness of life… while shopping late at night… with a son who is a foot taller than me. Oh. My. Heart.

His first friend’s death about 6 months ago was the impetus for founding the nonprofit and the Hold My Guns project. The weight of it all is suffocating today. I love guns, and I love people. There is no dichotomy by those statements. The conversation about mental health and gun safety is not anti-American.

I noticed that I get the same hard-headed negative energy pushback from people who don’t want to engage in the mental health convo, as when a person is trying to better themselves through education and yet their family sees it as being uppity. Stigma is a bitch.