Most of us have had an emotional reaction to the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, but probably not as emotional as the group that gathered in a Heights church basement on Tuesday night.
They belong to an organization called POMC -- Parents of Murdered Children. And they don't belong by choice.
"Some of them for years, some of them are new, some of them are fresh, some of them have been doing this for decades," said victims' advocate Andy Kahan. "But it's shoes that no one else wants to walk in."
And some of the people at Tuesday's meeting say the horrifying details of Friday's massacre are dredging up raw feelings here in Houston.
"It's really tore us up because we're reliving the pain that those parents are feeling," said Ruth Marin-Eason, whose son Raul was murdered on August 5, 1998. "And it's something that we just can't help because we've been there."
Members will tell you that grieving parents often go through a phase where they blame themselves for their inability to protect their children from the unforeseeable.
"Don't let the ‘what ifs' eat them up," advised Carolyn Hardin, whose son Steven was murdered on April 17, 1998. "Because I know right now they're going through ‘What if I hadn't sent my child to school? What if I'd kept him home."
Hardin's advice to the families of the 20 children massacred on Friday? Join a group like Parents of Murdered Children, where other members have already walked a mile – or more – in those shoes.