'I'm just trying to hold on': Mother's Day anguish for Philly moms who have lost children to violence

The number of young people losing their lives to gun violence is sobering. Mother’s Day can be especially difficult for their parents and Sunday, they have a plea for people to put their guns down.

Daphne Brown points to a blanket with photographs and states, "This is why I have this photo blanket, for memories, because he was my only child."

Mother’s Day brings a compounded pain for Daphne Brown. It’s a difficult day for anyone that has lost a child. But, in Brown’s case, her 20-year-old son Sebastian was killed on Mother’s Day, two years ago.

"I’m just trying to hold on. It’s because of God that I’m not crazy," Brown explains. "There’s no reason to shoot someone and it’s sad because our young folk are getting younger and younger that are leaving this world. They’re carjacking at 10-years-old! Why? What is the reason? We’ve got to do better."

Brown joined other mothers who have lost their children to gun violence in a spa day in North Philadelphia, at Glossy Nails Boutique, ahead of Mother’s Day weekend.


Women who lost children to Philadelphia gun violence prepare for emotional Mother's Day

As Philadelphia continues to battle its ongoing gun crimes crisis, many women are mourning the loss of children who died as a result of violence, making Mother's Day difficult.

A partnership with Sixx Degrees Media who is working on a second documentary to feature mothers who have encountered this unspeakable pain.

"You’re also not seeing what’s happening to the families impacted and we want to continue to bring that to light and show how important it is to know what the families are also going through," Angelita Byrd, Engagement Rep for Sixx Degrees Media, said.

Movita Johnson-Harell is a five-time co-victim of homicide. She lost both of her only sons to gun violence. She has made it her mission to prevent others from her pain.

"I wanted to die, literally, I wanted to die. But, when I saw my child laying cold and dead on that slab, I whispered in his ear that I would try to keep every young person I could put my hands on from winding up in jail or in the morgue and that I would help every mother to not ever have to experience the devastation that my family would experience," Johnson-Herell described her mission. "When they can get a gun faster than they can get a job, then you get situations like you have. So, it’s going to take all of us in Philadelphia to come together to stop this violence, because we don’t want your mother suffering this fate."