Vera Pearson continues to search for answers. Days before Halloween, her son Samad Brailsford, 24, was shot and killed in Norfolk, Virginia. Brailsford was a father who always brought joy to his friends and family.
Pearson is now seeking justice for her son and inspiring other mothers who have lost children to violence. She recently spoke with our publication to share her courageous story.
Take us back to the day you lost your son. What do you remember most about that night?
I was devastated. I was in shock when I got the phone call. And my mind was racing. I just knew I had to get from North Carolina to Virginia. I had so many thoughts in my mind like, ‘This can’t be true,’ ‘I hope he’s okay.’
What was your next step after hearing the news?
I had to go to the courthouse first. That was my first step. I had to file for visitation of his two kids. It’s a process and you just have to wait to get a court date. I know my son loved his kids and I’m going to do everything that I can to stay in their lives. I’m not going to give up. I can’t. I just want to say that when this happened with my son at one point, I just didn’t want to go on with life anymore. But I also had to remember about my other kids and that he would want the best for me. So I’ve been trying this for the last two weeks like every single day. I would write down a whole list of things that I need to do to try to get through this. Things like contacting the detective, getting the police report, and planning his funeral.
How are you moving forward as authorities are looking to solve the case of your son’s death?
I’m just trying to keep going forward to get justice. I just keep hearing my son in my ear telling me, ‘Mom you have to do this, you have to be strong. Not only for me, but you have three other children that you have to worry about and five grand children.’ I just keep hearing that. He was just that type of person that was always positive and motivational.
Parents across the nation have to deal with the untimely deaths of their kids. What’s your advice to them?
Keep God first. Keep praying and think about all the positive memories that they held with their child. Keep trying to fight for justice and be strong. Try to stay busy and stay around positive people. The less you’re by yourself can be helpful. I try to stay busy and think about if he was here what would he want me to do. I know he’s in a better place. I know this because he’s a good person. I just try to stay focused and keep praying to keep my strength and keep my sanity. Because if I break, everybody’s going to break. Everybody’s still depending on me to be strong to get through this and I have to do this to get justice for my son. I was a single parent so I had to try to raise my son to be a man. I would say find anybody that’s close to you or somebody you can confide in. You can never deal with it by yourself. It has to be a point to where they can get someone they can talk to and let their feelings out.