Panelists talk about healing process after gun violence
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- UVA’s Batten School hosted a panel of gun violence survivors and those directly affected by gun violence on Monday. It was a part of the programming to remember D’Sean Perry, Lavel Davis Jr. and Devin Chandler, who were killed one year ago in a shooting on Grounds.
One of those panelists was Happy Perry. D’Sean’s mother.
"This has been rough. I find my strength in knowing that I need to move forward. And the love and legacy of D'Sean will move on, and will grow. And, I'm going to be okay," Happy Perry said.
The panelists shed some light on the grieving process and discussed how the community can change perspectives from mourning to moving forward, one year later. They said it looks different for everyone.
"Someone said it's going to get easier, it doesn't," said Tracy Walls, whose star athlete son was shot by his friend two years ago.
The group agreed that you have to find what helps you. That could be going to counseling or just creating boundaries with friends.
"No one can begin to understand the pain as precisely as anyone else's. I think especially when it comes to murder,” A’Dorian Murray-Thomas, whose father was murdered when she was a teenager, said.
"I love you. Those three words go a long way." Perry said.
They said finding the strength to live on without a loved one means continuing their legacy.
"I had that relationship with D'Sean, he wouldn't let me lay down. Finding joy in something that he wanted, and living as D'Sean lived. Every day he gives me something else to do on my to do list and I'm going to get it done," Perry said.
The Perry family made a foundation called the D'Sean Perry Spirit of Cavaliers LLC to continue his work of caring for others.
“Love conquers all. And that's what are all of you in this room. Because you are a community, you are UVA strong. And now I'm stronger because you're sitting here,” Walls said to the crowd.