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Mother of gun violence victim creates organization to support grieving mothers nationwide

HOUSTON – A mother lost her son to gun violence, but instead of focusing on the pain, she decided to listen to her gut and started an organization to help other grieving mothers.

Yvonne Ferguson will never forget her beloved 24-year-old son, Ken Roberson.

“I’m proud of him. I’m so proud of him. I’m so proud,” Ferguson said.

In September of 2018, gun violence took her son’s life. Today, she knows things will never be the same, but she had a feeling she just couldn’t shake.

“I wake up crying, and when I wake up … it’s always like, reach out to mothers … reach out to mothers,” Ferguson said.

It was a message so strong, she found that she couldn’t ignore it. She answered the call and created an organization called TEARS, Mom's Endless Pain, an organization aimed to be a support system for grieving mothers all over the nation.

“It’s my son catching my tears … that’s when I said, TEARS, Mom's Endless Pain,” Ferguson said.

Knowing that she can never take away those mothers’ pain, she wanted to create a community where mothers can find support, fellowship and comfort.

“I want mothers to know that no one should tell them how to grieve,” Ferguson said.

At the first meeting at the Houston Public Library downtown, Ferguson met with more than a dozen people who resonated with her cause, including a representative from District Attorney Kim Ogg’s office.

“We cannot completely assuage their suffering, and we are here to show sympathy and solidarity,” the First Assistant District Attorney David Mitcham said.

Ferguson is planning a walk in October for grieving mothers around the nation. She is also encouraging mothers to check out the website.

“Talk about their child. Mothers share pictures. Tell stories. I’m very interested. Tell me about your son. Tell me about your daughter, because their baby matters to them just like my baby matters to me,” Ferguson said.

While family members of Roberson shared how they are doing and messages of hope at the meeting, others who didn’t know the family also shared.

Elma Jackson Green came to get help for her friend who is in a similar situation.

“I wanted to come here and meet some people so that she could get out of that bed and come and see. Although it’s a painful life, there is one that she can start on the other side,” Jackson Green said.

Ferguson said she hopes her son’s legacy lives through this organization. She said it represents the kindness and lovingness that defined Roberson. She hopes mothers also celebrate their loved ones’ lives and their living legacies.

“They’re in heaven, so celebrate their heavenly day. Be like if you’re in New Orleans … singing … dancing. That baby exists,” Ferguson said.

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