On July 5th, 2017 Kimberly Kamara joined a club she did not want to be in. Her 23-year-old son, Niam, was gunned down and killed in Germantown.
“It was a roller coaster ride,” Kamara says .” Your emotions are all over the place.”
The Germantown mother was experiencing unimagined grief. Although others in her family were also coping with the loss of Niam, Kamara felt a parent’s pain is different; but knew few parents with similar experiences to confide in.
“When this first happened, I knew people whose children were murdered but I wasn’t close to them. So I didn’t reach out to them,” Kamara says. “When I got around a group of moms dealing with grief, that’s when I realized, oh my gosh, I am normal. It’s okay to feel the way I feel.”
Kamara says connecting with mothers in the beginning of her grief was so important, she kept doing it. Instead of watching other mothers or community members experience grief on their own, Niam’s mother created Never-Ending E-Motion or NEEM, an on the ground support group for people grappling with the murder of a loved one.
NEEM began when friends asked Kamara to speak with other mothers who recently lost a child. She says it is comforting for people experiencing grief to engage in discussion with like-minded people. NEEM provides an array of support; helping family members identify their loved ones’ bodies, visiting their homes, and just talking when needed.
“|When you are new to this, you don’t know what to expect,” Kamara says. “We could potentially save someone’s life because their pain is so intense that you don’t know what to do with it. They’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, thank you for talking to me,’ and describing, you know, what you might go through because they really think they’re crazy.”
NEEM is open to anyone who is experiencing grief. Kimberly Kamara speaks with the families, advises them on how to deal with homicide detectives and even helps write the obituaries to help the mothers. It is all her work now.