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Grieving San Antonio mother helps families of homicide victims heal during the holidays

"I didn't have the desire to live," Terry Salazar said. She channeled that grief into support for others.

SAN ANTONIO — Terry Salazar is close with all six of her children.

"We spend a lot of quality time together," Salazar said. "We love to sing, to do karaoke."

But the voice of her oldest son, Abel, is no longer heard.

On Sept. 30, 2016, Salazar said, the 33-year-old was giving a ride to a friend of a friend. She doesn't know all the details, but said that something went wrong. Abel's passenger shot him several times, killing him.  

"I didn't have the desire to live," Salazar said. "I fell into a deep, deep hole of darkness."

It was hard for her to get out of bed. She felt like the tears would never stop.

"The wailing when you're laying in bed at night, when you think no one is listening—I've been there," Salazar said.

So she started her God Sees Yours Tears ministry. Now, she said, it has more than 11,000 members nationwide. Salazar said using her painful experience to help others through their own grief saved her life.

"I had to. Because if not, I would've died," Salazar said. "I would not let grief make a victim out of me."

This Sunday, she is hosting her second annual "Day of Remembrance" to honor homicide victims. 

"I want to be that voice and make that difference," Salazar said. "Let them know there is hope."

Friends and family members will come together to honor and celebrate the lives of their loved ones during the holiday season, when they're missed even more. 

"I don't have my son to put the star on top of our Christmas tree anymore," Salazar said. "We all miss him."

Salazar said Abel was a Christian rapper who found joy in sharing his faith. 

"People who listened to his music could tell the relationship he had with God," Salazar said. "In highs and lows, he knew who to call upon."

She plans to play his music this weekend. It's her way of picking up where he left off.

"This was his dream," Salazar said. "For us to serve God together again."

The event will be held at Kingsborough Ridge Baptist Church. It starts at 5:30 p.m., and is free and open to the public.  

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