Families across Birmingham remember the victims of homicide

As Laura Seals remembers the life of her son Donovan, other parents who lost their children surround her with comfort.

Seals says, "He was just taken away from me for no reason, and it's hard."

Donovan was headed to a friend's house on March 18th. Later that night, Seals got a phone call that her son was shot. He died two days later. "It's a pain you can't describe, it hurts. Day in and day out, almost every day I cry," says Seals.

Donovan and other victims of homicide were recognized at the Survivors of murdered loved ones luncheon on Saturday. Founder Carolyn Johnson-Turner says the annual event is a way to keep the victims' memory alive, she too lost her son.

Turner says, "You do not get over losing your child, you don't. There's no way to do that. It's a hurting feeling, it's a lifetime journey." 400 families were invited to the event and hundreds showed up. Turner says this luncheon is also a support system for the mothers and fathers of victims.

"Having other people who can identify with my pain, it helps me, we help each other, and we lean on each other. You don't expect to bury your child, you don't. And it's not something you want to hold on too but it's real, this is the ugly truth," says Turner.

Meantime, Seals still grieves, as this will be the first time spending the holidays without her son. It's been eight months since Donovan died, and she sleeps in his bed and cries at night. Seals says although this event is a pillar to lean on for support, she can't{} help but to think about her child.

"I try to boost myself up, but it's hard," says Seals.

Parents Against Violence is a non-profit organization, if you would like to donate, you can call them at (205) 370-4666