If anyone has an idea what pain Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, is feeling right now, it’s Sybrina Fulton, the mother of gunned-down teen Trayvon Martin. From national protests in a demand for justice, to biased media coverage and the criminalization of her dead son’s reputation, to an identified suspect walking freely, Fulton knows first-hand the emotional roller coaster that McSpadden and her family are going through in this time of tragedy.
Showing her understanding and support for the Brown family, Fulton has penned an open letter for TIME, sending her condolences and prayers to the slain teen’s loved ones.
“I wish I had a word of comfort but I don’t. I wish I could say that it will be alright on a certain or specific day but I can’t,” Fulton writes. “I wish that all of the pain that I have endured could possibly ease some of yours but it won’t. What I can do for you is what has been done for me: pray for you then share my continuing journey as you begin yours.”
In between sharing the ups and downs of emotions that she’s experienced in the aftermath of her son’s death and discussing her devotion to The Trayvon Martin Foundation, which provides support to other families that have lost young children to senseless gun violence, Fulton ends her letter telling the Brown family that neither Michael nor Trayvon’s life will be in vain as the fight for justice continues.
“But know this: neither of their lives shall be in vain. The galvanization of our communities must be continued beyond the tragedies. While we fight injustice, we will also hold ourselves to an appropriate level of intelligent advocacy. If they refuse to hear us, we will make them feel us. Some will mistake that last statement as being provocative. But feeling us means feeling our pain; imagining our plight as parents of slain children. We will no longer be ignored. We will bond, continue our fight for justice, and make them remember our children in an appropriate light.”
To read Fulton’s letter in its entirety, head to TIME’s website.