LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — 6 News is spending the month of September taking a look at the impact of gun violence on families across mid-Michigan. Crimes often get reported but are sometimes missing the personal stories of how the victims’ families were affected.
On March 20, 2021, Lashanda Walker got a call letting her know that her 25-year-old daughter, Krashawna Walker, had been shot while in Jackson. “We got there to the scene and she was laying on the ground and I just … It was a freak out moment … just screaming and I needed to be near her,” Walker said.
Her youngest of five children was shot in the chest. “By a woman that she had yelled at over not wanting her to hit her car,” Walker said.
Krashawna was rushed to the hospital and was in surgery for about an hour before a doctor came out to let Walker know she didn’t make it. “It’s just heartbreak. It’s something that you don’t get over. It’s something that you carry with you differently every day,” Walker said.
“Some days, I think about Krashawna. We call her Muff, that was her nickname. I think about her and I laugh, and I have good memories and good thoughts. Some days, I wake up and it’s very different. It might be sad or angry — you have a million emotions carrying with you forever,” Walker continued.
She had support from family and friends, but that wasn’t enough. “A part of you is gone and you will never get it back,” Walker said.
Walker sought professional help.
Jan Bidwell is a clinical social worker, and she discussed the difference professional help can make. “It’s really important to recognize when somebody has experienced gun violence, or any kind of violence, to understand that it fractures families, it fractures relationships and it fractures our soul. There is no get out of trauma free card,” Bidwell said.
Bidwell explains people may have nightmares or intrusive thoughts, but shouldn’t avoid painful feelings. “Because grief is never terrorizing, trauma is terrorizing,” Bidwell said.
She recommends getting a therapist, on a website like Psychology Today, and finding someone you are comfortable with and who is grounded in mindfulness. “When the danger’s gone, it’s really important to come and be with your breath, which we know stimulates the part of our body that can rest and digest,” Bidwell said.
These are all things Walker was able to learn after finding her therapist on Better Help. She was finally getting some relief after living with fear and anxiety by journaling, decorating, or just watching a movie. “It was so refreshing to really own and identify those triggers — know that you know they’re not gonna go away overnight,” Walker said.
But Walker said this is something no parent should have to go through. She hopes parents, her community, and young people heading down the wrong path, learn from this. “Step into their adulthood, step up into maturity, stepping up into the person you want to be. You don’t want to be that person all looking at somebody’s child lying on the ground and you did nothing. I would feel awful. I could never live with myself like that,” Walker said.
If you need resources on how to deal with your trauma or looking for a way to help your child you can visit the websites below: