The mother, founder of non-profit Sandy Hook Promise, posted a heartfelt tribute to the son she lost during the preventable mass shooting.
On December 14, 2012, one of the deadliest mass shootings in United States history took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The shooting left 26 people dead, including 20 children between six and seven years old. One of the victims was six-year-old Dylan Hockley, a first-grader. September 24 of this year marked the sad day that he had been dead for longer than he was alive. In order to honor his memory, his mother Nicole Hockley took to social media platform Twitter to mourn her loss and pay him an emotional and powerful tribute, Yahoo! News reports.
She posted in a series of tweets: Today it's been 2,474 days since Dylan was murdered at Sandy Hook. 2,474 days since he's been gone from my life. He was only in my life for 2,473 days. I feared today. Would him being gone longer than he was here mean I would forget him? His laugh, his eyes, the smell of his hair, his voice, the feel of his hand in mine? I am sad today, but I no longer have fear. I have forgotten nothing. My son lives on in my heart, in my soul, in the memories of our family and friends and in the work of me and his daddy. We will always love him and miss him. My butterfly is gone, but never forgotten, no matter how many days go by.
In an earlier interview with PEOPLE Magazine, the mother shared why she called her late son "butterfly." "There’s a theory that if a butterfly flaps his wings on one side of the world, it can cause a hurricane on the other," she explained. "Dylan is my butterfly. When I visit schools and look at the kids, I see butterflies. They’re the ones who are going to create the change that will change our country." Nicole is the founder of Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit organization that trains students as well as adults to identify the signs of gun violence so that no other parent has to endure the senseless, horrific, and preventable loss of their child.
For her work with the non-profit, Nicole was named one of PEOPLE’s 25 Women Changing the World in 2016. Speaking with the magazine, she talked more about her desire to make sure no one else has to lose their child through such traumatic and preventable means. The mother stated, "I want people to know that gun violence is preventable. “Dylan is with me every day in my heart. Sadly, the more I learned about his death and the person that took his life, I recognized there were all these signs in advance and there had been multiple opportunities for intervention. That’s something that drives me — to know that Sandy Hook was preventable."
She continues to travel across the country to discuss gun violence and teach schools and communities about indications of potential threats as a way to remember her son's legacy. "To honor my son’s death, as well as his life, I’m going to spend the rest of my life trying to save other [lives]," Nicole said. "I don’t want any other parent to ever be in my shoes and to know their child could have lived... Nobody can argue with preventing violence, especially when it comes to kids. Dylan could have had a very long and happy life but instead, it was cut short. He didn’t die in vain. His legacy will save thousands and thousands of lives."