Mom starts support group to help families of homicide victim's - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Mom starts support group to help families of homicide victim's

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

No parent should ever have to bury their child, but unfortunately, it happens.

A Sumter woman is using the death of her son, to now help others.

Flipping through pictures is something most parents love to do.

"He was the jokester of the family," said Maggie Richardson, about her son Mike.

Mike was 20 years old when he was shot and killed.

It was thirteen years ago, but Richardson remembers it like yesterday.

"That phone call came in at 5:12 p.m. on that Monday afternoon," said Richardson.

Mike was home for a quick visit, a short break from the Marines.

"I never got to see him, until I got the call from the hospital," said Richardson.

It was devastating, and took time for the mother to heal.

"God has been with me since day one. He told me I just need to lean on him, and trust him, and he'll take me through this journey," explained Richardson.

She's forgiven the people responsible for killing her son.

"I just could not move forward in my life if I had not forgiven them for taking his life," said Richardson.

Now, she's moving forward, by helping others.

"These families that have lost a loved one to homicide, murder, needed someone to talk to that walked in the shoes that they are now walking in," said Richardson.

She's started the Sumter chapter of Parents of Murdered Children.

"Tell your family members how much you love them,because you don't know when that last day is," encouraged Richardson.

For Maggie Richardson, she'll always have the memories.

"Mom, I love you. More than you'll ever know. Those words still ring in my ear today," said Richardson.

The group meets the third Tuesday of each month 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Birnie Hope Center in Sumter.

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