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I Lost the Woman I Loved and Our Son Lost a Mother in Orlando

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Deonka “Dede” Drayton worked at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.


Written by Emmy Addison

Deonka Deidra Drayton and I had a cruise booked for September. She was so excited to go. We had been on and off for nine years and felt we needed to take some space to figure things out.

We were already talking about moving back in together after the cruise, if things went well. But a crazed gunman walked into the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 11, 2016 and started shooting. He killed 49 people, including the woman I loved. She was only 32.

We had only been separated for two months when one man’s hatred ended our dreams of getting back together. Now we’re never going to have the opportunity to not be separated anymore.

I met Deonka on Myspace years ago. She had seen a status where I thanked everyone for their birthday wishes. She replied with a “happy birthday” and we went on from there. And now I’ll never see her again.


I Can’t Accept That She’s Gone

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Deonka Drayton and her son loved each other fiercely.

I know her name is on the list of people who died. Her phone is going straight to voicemail and she’s not returning any of my texts and calls but I still can’t accept the fact she’s gone.


The worst part was leaving the hospital knowing I had to go home to our son who loved her and who she loved so very much.


He’s only two; he doesn’t understand. But every time I look at all her pictures in my phone, he just points and says, “Mommie.”


I Just Want Her Back

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Deonka and Emmy had plans to get back together.

She was a great parent to our son and they loved each other so much. She always made sure our son never needed for anything.


She did whatever she had to to take care of her responsibilities whether it be home or just life in general. Her heart was truly whole. When she loved, she loved hard and just like any body walking this earth she just wanted to live happy with no worries.


At a time like this there isn’t anything that I didn’t love or miss about her right now. Good or whatever, I just want her back.

Saying that me and the family are hurting and really missing her doesn’t even describe the pain we are experiencing. She was truly loved more than she knew and we will truly miss her.

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Article written by:

Zamara Perri

Zamara Perri is the founder and editor of the Black Lesbian Love Lab blog. She loves black love and loves mangoes, cats, reading, cooking and writing about some of the challenges and joys of black lesbian relationships.

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  1. Avatar

    Sorry for this tradegic incident, my heart goes out to all the families of the victim’s!

  2. Avatar

    My heart goes out to all the families of these victim’s! God Bless

  3. Avatar
    Belinda Rochon

    So sorry for all the precious lives lost

  4. Avatar

    Wow…. my wide and I have a 4 Month old together. I can’t even imagine what you are going through. Our thoughts and prayers for are with your family.

  5. Avatar
    Priya Sridhar

    Is there anything we can do to help?

  6. Avatar
    Dorene Mack

    My heart aches badly for all the lives lost,the injured, & the family, friends and loved ones of those victims!May God give you all the strength you need to get through this tragedy!

  7. Avatar

    Sister, words cannot express how sorry I am for you and your son’s loss.
    Instead, I will work to ban the sale of the kind of weapon used in your love’s murder. It is not enough, but in her honor, I will do my part to prevent the kind of agony you feel from the hearts of other women.
    Aunti Laura

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