Brooklynn Mae Mohler
March 29, 2000 – June 4, 2013
I was up all night with my sick, five-year old girl. She finally relented to sleep so I got online. I couldn’t sleep anyway. I Googled an old poem I wrote after my brother died. I do that every few months or so just to see where it has traveled, but always dread what I will find because it’s a poem about grieving. I received an email just yesterday from a woman whose husband was killed in a homicide, asking if she could read it as his funeral. The poem is both a source of joy to me, knowing it helps people, and a source of sadness, hearing stories of untimely deaths.
Last night it led me to a woman whose daughter, Brooklynn, was accidentally shot in the back by her best friend because her friend’s absent father didn’t properly secure his handgun. I could barely read the description in one of her blogs of the day it happened, discovering her body, etc. Horror beyond words, and yet this poor, sweet woman said my poem “provided solace” for her in her “darkest, most agonizing moments.” This is why I write. This.
I was feeling frustrated last night not only because my daughter was sick but because I needed sleep so I could work today. Maybe I was led to that page to give me some perspective. My girl just had a little cold. She woke up this morning. I held her a lot tighter last night as she slept, savoring her every breath, while I prayed for Brooklynn and her family.
Hundreds of children are shot accidentally every year in America due to improperly secured handguns. The man who left the handgun sitting around that killed Brooklynn was not punished for the easily-preventable loss of this beautiful, vibrant, 13-year old girl. Stupidity and bone laziness are not crimes, I suppose, but why he didn’t get charged with child endangerment or involuntary manslaughter is a mystery to me.
One of their main messages is to ask a simple question if you let your child play at their friends houses – ask their parents, “Are there any unsecured guns in your house?” Please visit the site below and do what you can to help her courageous parents as they promote handgun safety awareness, and push for laws punishing irresponsible gun owners for the lives that are lost because of them.
Link to the poem –