My heart goes out to you and your son, losing someone close this way, is incredibly painful. Twenty years ago my brother shot his ex-wife, their two kids, and himself when she starting dating after their divorce. To this day the grief and anger I feel about this is still impossible to resolve.

I spent most of my childhood in Texas in a culture of guns. I went on my first deer hunt at age 5 and killed my first buck at age 8. I have owned guns in the past and am hardly a “flaming liberal” when it comes to guns, but something needs to be done about gun ownership in this country.

Study after study has proven that the most likely victim of a handgun will be the owner, in a suicide. It just makes it so damn easy and it’s so damn effective. In my life, I have had 3 close friends “eat their gun” over the years and several times, in my darkest moments if despair, I have considered it myself. I don’t own a gun anymore. I gave it up fifteen years ago after my third friend shot himself. I don’t miss it and I actually feel safer.

I don’t know how you feel about therapy but it helped me after my brothers death. Also, if you or your son own guns (particularly handguns) you might want to get them out of the house. Multiple studies have shown that the family and friends of a gun suicide are at greatly increased risk of suicide themselves for up to two years afterwards if they have a gun in the house. Grief and despair can lead to some very dark and lonely places.

May you find a way to reach acceptance and let go of the anger you will feel at this act. May you and your son find your way to a place of peace despite the grief you will always feel.

My entire life can be described in one sentence: Things didn’t go as planned, and I’m OK with that.

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