SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A Savannah mother who lost her son to gun violence is using her pain to provide healing and support for other grieving mothers.
Nearly eight years ago, Alan Dwayne O’Neal Junior was shot and killed in the Tatumville area, just two streets away from his home. He was a brother, an uncle and an only child. His nickname was Poody, short for Pooh Bear.
His mother, Barbara O’Neal, said she still relives the day he was murdered. She started the group “Mothers of Murdered Sons” to help other moms cope with similar losses.
“My purpose is my pain,” O’Neal said. “My purpose is to help other mothers. To help them to know that we’re in this together. This is not an easy walk. You can’t walk this walk alone.”
O’Neal said the pain of losing a son never goes away, but the support from her peers gives her strength to keep fighting.
On the anniversary of her son’s death each year, O’Neal puts a sign up to honor him and to encourage anyone who has information about a crime to come forward so families are not left in the dark.