Grieving Newtown parents: "Empty for so long"

(CBS News) NEWTOWN, Conn. - The parents of children killed in December's elementary school shooting in Newtown met with reporters at a town hall to launch a program called Sandy Hook Promise. Its purpose is to encourage the national conversation on gun violence and mental health.

At the meeting was the Barden family. They spoke with CBS News about the death of their son, 7-year-old Daniel, and the conversations they had with national leaders.

"I feel like I've been empty for so long. To think it's only been a month. To know that we have so long to feel like this. I just can't imagine continually feeling like this," Jackie Barden said.

Daniel was survived by his brother James, sister Natalie, his mother Jackie and father Mark.

Watch: Siblings of Daniel Barden fight for change.

"He was an absolute optimist," Mark Barden said. "He really did see the good in everything; and wanted to see other people feel good."

When asked if she lets herself think about that horrible day, Jackie Barden said, "I think so. But I do try not to go there."

"It's too painful. And I don't really want to know details and -- but it does seep in," she said.

Mark Barden said he got a call from Vice President Biden, who is putting together an agenda on gun control, Sunday night. The parents also spoke to President Barack Obama.

"I actually mentioned that we were going to be adopting a kitten," Jackie Barden said. "I am surprised the process I had to go through -- a lot of forms online. And they called me and interviewed me. And then she was calling me to get some information on our family. I don't know enough about guns, but I think it's a little easier to get a gun than to get a kitten."

Click here to view the Facebook page created in memory of Daniel Barden.

  • Seth Doane

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