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Arkansas mom grieving son's death as Mother's Day nears

Mother's Day can be a day full of love and happiness for many, but for others, it can be a day of grief for those who have lost a parent or a child.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — For some Mother's Day is a day of celebration, while for some others, it could be a day for grievance-- whether its the loss of a mother, or a mom losing their child.

With constant reminders on social media showcasing everyday interactions with loved ones, things can get hard for those who are grieving during the day. 

It's especially hard when the loss of a child happens prematurely due to a violent crime.

Angela Williams said the first Mother's Day without her son was a hard one. 

RELATED: One dead after shooting in southwest Little Rock Sunday afternoon

22-year-old Anthony Curenton was shot and killed in southwest Little Rock back in 2019. Following a disagreement with his girlfriend at the time, Williams said one of her [the girlfriend's] relatives shot Curenton. 

"It's hard. I think about him every day, 24/7. I live in a house where he was raised up all his life. We have pictures all over the house from when he was a baby to now," said Williams. 

She said the last time she spoke with her son, he called her to ask for gas money so he could get to a job interview. She met him at a local station and filled up his tank. 

Curenton followed up with his mother later that day, calling her later to tell her that he got the job. 

"I got a call from the manager who was trying to get in contact with him that Monday, because he never showed up. He was murdered the day before. They had my name on file and I had to break the news to his new job," said Williams.

A part of her grieving process was carrying around a binder detailing her son's life and his death. 

She keeps an envelope inside the binder that reads 'don't open for nothing or nobody.'

"This is actually information from the prosecuting attorney's office from when he got murdered," said Williams. 

Inside are pictures, along with detailed information full surrounding her son's shooting.

She keeps it sealed as a reminder to never revisit the dark time that consists of what's inside the binder. 

She never opens the binder, and for a while, didn't really open up about the grief she was feeling.

"I think it's hard sometimes even to talk to your family because they're grieving too," said Susan McDougal, director of Pastoral Care at UAMS.

She, along with other pastoral care members, all said they're used to grieving mothers. 

As a level one trauma center, the group is called to every emergency inside the hospital for violent incidents. 

McDougal said as chaplains, the best thing they can do is listen and they encourage people to eventually open up and talk.  

"It's very therapeutic. For one thing I think it helps you know who you are. You lose who you are I think in the space of it," said McDougal.

For Mother's Day 2022, the group encourages you to reach out if you know a grieving mother. They said that it could make a big difference.

That consideration goes a long way and for Williams, it's been 3-years later since her son was taken from her. The grief is constant, but has a slow and steady pace of healing. 

She's been going to counseling every two weeks. 

"I have to sit and talk to other parents that have been through what I've been through, because at the moment of his death I thought the world was over," said Williams. 

It still doesn't take away the pain of knowing she won't have him there celebrating her this year. She still remembers the first Mother's Day without her son. 

"It was the worst Mother's Day of my life. The whole day was about him. Thinking about him. I didn't get a Happy Mother's Day. I didn't get a Mother's Day card, but I have a daughter that has four kids to try to comfort me in that area, but it still isn't the same," said Williams. 

She said she hasn't thought about this year's holiday, but just as she always does on any given day, she'll probably go visit her son's grave. 

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