HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - A Hampton mom took action after her son was violently taken away from her.
“I was just drowning in my grief. I just wanted to die,” said Margaret Eaddy.
Eaddy has experienced a pain no parent should have to endure.
Her son, 28-year-old Jonathan Bradley Coles, dreamed of having his own motorcycle repair shop.
The father of four was gunned down on May 17, 2014, by Kwuame Edwards, who is currently serving his sentence in Nottoway Correctional Center. He expected to be released in June 2029.
Eaddy said she has experienced all the stages of grief.
“The stage of anger, the crying stage, the hurting stage, the guilt, the anger mixed with the madness,” Eaddy said. “It’s tremendous sadness.”
But she took that sadness and took action.
She started the group Mothers of Murdered Sons and Daughters (M.O.M.S.A.D.).
She said at first, the group had only a few family members, but now it’s grown to almost 150 members - not just of local parents, but also people from other parts of the world.
Eaddy and others are planning to take buses to Richmond on Monday to pray for the victims and survivors and encourage tougher gun laws with lawmakers. She said she is part of the group Education Fund to Stop Gun Violence.
Eaddy said she uses social media to console the parents, help through their stages of grief and give advice.
“I always tell the mothers that your heart has been shattered in 1 million pieces and God‘s gotta put them back one piece at a time - and that takes time,” said Eaddy.
Putting back together a heart that’s endured the worst pain imaginable while coming together in hopes of ending the violence.
“It’s a vicious cycle that’s going to go on and on until we address it,” said Eaddy.
Below is information on the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence's event on January 21:
Join us at the State Capitol in Richmond on Monday, January 21st to honor the memory & teachings of a great civil rights leader who was killed by gunfire. We will also honor the lives of all Virginians killed by gun violence and invite you to commit to reducing gun violence by raising our voice for responsible gun laws.
Agenda for the Day:
2 p.m. - Vigil to remember victims of gun violence Bell Tower, near 9th & Franklin (on the Capitol grounds)
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. - For those interested, we will be moving inside the General Assembly building to speak with legislators about efforts to reduce gun violence.
For questions and free transportation locations near you contact Kayla Hicks via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 757-550-0316.
There will be buses leaving Hampton Roads, Gloucester as well as local pickup in Richmond, NoVA and Roanoke.