By Nicole S. Daniel
The Birmingham Times
This is another installment in The Birmingham Times/AL.com/CBS42 joint series “Beyond the Violence: What can be done to address Birmingham’s rising homicide rate.” Sign up for the newsletter here.
Felicia Morgan can remember the exact date and time when she learned she had lost her son, 20-year-old Sanquez Morgan.
It was May 16, 2019 — four days after Mother’s Day that year — and she received a phone call at 10:23 p.m.
“My whole world stopped and shattered right then and there,” she said. “All I could hear was screaming, ‘oh my God he’s been shot, oh my God he’s bleeding.’ I just kept asking ‘what’s going on? who are you talking about?’ until I heard [my son’s] name.”
It took her a year to realize her son was gone and he’s not coming back, Morgan, 40, said “Now, I understand. I get it now but the pain never goes away,” she said.
With her son’s passing shortly after Mother’s Day she now chooses to observe his anniversary and the holiday together, she said.
That many homicides occurring in the city involve younger children makes her sad, Morgan said. “It’s supposed to be the other way around. Kids are supposed to bury the parents not the other way around.”
Morgan wants any parent struggling with the loss of a child to gun violence to “hold on to God, love on your other children and love on yourself.”
Currently Morgan copes by giving her situation and emotions to God daily and “I even pray for [my son’s] killer, that’s how I know I’m growing in my faith and I pray for his family.”
She is also focused on mental wellbeing.
“I write letters to my son and talk to him. No, I’m not crazy but that’s helps me in addition to seeking God. If you don’t, a situation like this will drive you crazy,” she said.
Morgan misses everything about her son especially his smile.
“I was only 15 when I had my son. It was just me and him for seven years until I had another baby. We grew up together and he would always say ‘mama I love you.’ Even when he was mad at me he would still say ‘mama I love you.’
Since the death of Sanquez, Morgan has not spoken out as much as she would like but when she does she encourages people to find better ways to solve conflicts.
“It never hurts to talk. Put the guns down. Once you talk I’m sure you’ll feel different. Get a relationship with God and pray for better days.”
For a CBS42 report on this Beyond The Violence installment tap this link Beyond the Violence: Mothers helping grieving mothers find their voice this Mother’s Day (cbs42.com)
Previous installments of the series: