By Marissa Wells, Contributing Writer, Wave Newspapers

Pati Poblete’s world was shattered when her son, Robby, was killed by gun violence.

In “A Better Place,” Poblete shares the captivating story of how Robby’s death changed her and how she has used the horrifying experience to continue her son’s legacy.

Pati Poblete

The memoir takes readers on Poblete’s raw, heart-breaking journey from the scene of the crime to a worldwide quest to understand Robby’s unfulfilled plans — all while trying to make sense of what happened.

“A week after he was killed, I started writing letters to him every day for about a year,” Poblete said.

Realizing that her letters would not yield responses, Poblete began searching for books that could help her navigate her grief and allow her to understand that she was not alone in her feelings. When she could not find that book, she decided to write her own.

“What I was really looking for was just a raw and very honest story about all of the different emotions that someone goes through and how someone dealt with them,” Poblete said.

Originally, Poblete’s intended audience was herself, but it grew to include others who have been impacted by gun violence.

“It’s so easy to see headlines about mass shootings and daily shootings and feel nothing because we’re so used to it,” she said. “But to be able to understand even just one story, the depths of that pain, and then multiply that by the number of gun violence victims every single day, then you start to kind of get a grasp of how horrible these impacts are in all of these communities.”

“A Better Place” addresses the vast emotions that families impacted by gun violence experience.

“After my son was killed, I found relief and healing by turning grief into action,” Poblete said. “I am on a mission to reduce gun violence and help people affected by gun violence — especially parents who have lost children — find life after loss.”

In addition to being an author, Poblete operates the Robby Poblete Foundation. To learn more about the author and the foundation, visit

“A Better Place” is available online for $15.71 on and $15.95 on

This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Wave.