Justin Ayers

‘How can I smile when Justin is dead? How can I ever smile again?’: Mom feels immense ‘guilt’ for enjoying newborn son after husband’s sudden death by ‘stray bullet’

“I remember the exact moment I first smiled again after Justin died. I’d cried so much, I was caught off guard when it happened. I was a new mom. Instead of celebrating a life, I was mourning one. Days after our son was born, he was killed by a stray bullet. My friend was next to me, ‘Honey, it’s okay to smile at your baby.’ I protested. But then I realized, ‘OH MY GOD, I’M MISSING OUT ON MY BABY!’”

‘I gave birth, my life was complete. 3 days later, a stray bullet crashed through our window, striking my husband.’ Widow finds love after loss with old friend, hopes her son knows how ‘truly loved’ he is by ‘both of his dads’

“Our backyard neighbor squeezed the trigger. The bullet traveled over 200 yards to our home, crashed through our back window, and continued across our living room. My postpartum body was weak, but I dragged myself to Justin’s side. Overnight, I became a shell of the person I once was. Later, my friend tried to set me up on a date. ‘Will he think I don’t love Justin anymore?’ We immediately hit it off. ‘Hey Jess,’ he said, ‘It’s so good to see you.’ I hope my son will grow up to be like both of my husbands.”

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