Denise M.

This story discusses Gun Suicide and Safe Storage.

My youngest daughter’s name was Emily Elizabeth Marks.

She inherited her father’s brown eyes and his cheerful smile. That smile could hide even the deepest pain. From me she got her love of music and her quirky sense of humor. She was pure joy.

On April 27 2012, Emily was a sophomore in college. She had spent the previous 3 days cramming for finals. She was to take her last one, anatomy, that morning. When I left for work that morning she wished me off with that bright smile.

When I returned that evening, I discovered her body. She had found the gun and taken her life.

The gun was secured with a gun lock, but unfortunately the ammunition was stored with it. We are creatures of habit. She knew just where to look for the keys and to find the gun.

Unfortunately once you pull that trigger, there is no coming back. It is fatal. Guns are the most dangerous item in your home, but by storing them properly you can prevent tragedies like Emily’s.

What I want parents to know is that we do not want to take your guns away. We are only trying to share our pain so you can keep your family safe.

There will always be a hole in my heart, an empty chair in my home. Our family will never be complete. If only she had a second chance.


The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides 24/7 free and confidential support to people in suicidal crisis or mental health-related distress.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, text or call 988, or chat at