A mother's grief: The impact of gun violence

Gun violence victims

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - It's a club, they wish they never were a part of.

"Ugh its so hard," Jane Bockheim-Kelly, said as she began to cry. "He was a father of two, little boy, little girl. He was a great great dad, great son." 

Jane is talking about her son, Michael Bockheim a Wyoming man gunned down in January 2012. He like Jeffrey Owners, Julius Vinson, and Kwaze Kelley all fell victim to violence on the streets.

"It's a hard realization to wake up every day," a pain Jacqueline Kelley knows all too well. The emotions so raw she continues to struggle to accept the reality, she lost two sons to a trigger. 

"I can't even put a picture of my baby up here yet because I can't believe that he's gone," she said. 

Young men with their whole lives ahead of them, leave an eternal void. 

"I was looking forward to my son being able to take care of me I'm 64 now," Jerline Riley said as she started to cry.  "I had so many things that I was waiting him to do and now I know that won't happen." 

But rather than dwell they stand together, trying to change the world. 

"Bring awareness to our community, awareness to our parents, awareness to our children to those who are out here doing things," Tanya Wilkins, said. Her son, Julius Vinson wasn't shot but was also a victim to the streets. He was assaulted and killed this past March. 

These women are part of Moms on a Mission a local group calling to end the violence on the streets. 

Though all these moms agree, there's no one answer to fix the issue, education, religion and simple communication could all be a part of the solution. 

"I really love my son and until the day I leave this earth I want to be seen speaking for him," Jerline Riley said as the other mothers nodded.

"Letting others know you don't have to be sitting in these chairs with your son being gone so far from you all you can do is talk to others and pray." 

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