In Memory of my daughter Kaitlyn Elkins 1-19-90 to 4-11-13

I’m having this put in the editorial section of The News Reporter and The Bladen Journal. This is a message I want to put out that is very important to me:

In Memory of my daughter, Kaitlyn Nicole Elkins

On April 11, 2013, I got the most dreaded call that any parent could ever get, a call from the police in the town where my 23 year old daughter Kaitlyn was starting her 3rd year of medical school at Wake Forest School of Medicine. He said he had to talk with me about my daughter and that I had to go there to be told what he had to say. I begged this man to tell me then, as I would have a 3 and a half hour drive to Winston-Salem. My initial split second thought was, “Kaitlyn is in trouble! She’s never been in trouble in her life,” then my thoughts turned to other things and the blood left my body as he told me what happened. He said that she was deceased. I envisioned her getting into an auto accident and when I asked him what had happened, he said that she had taken her own life. My world and everything I’ve ever known came crashing to an end at that moment.

How could this have happened? My daughter seemed to be the most together person I have ever known in my life. Graduated valedictorian from Whiteville High School, graduated summa cum laude from Campbell university in 2 and a half years and got accepted to medical school where she could pursue her lifelong dream of being a doctor and she was doing extremely well in it. She had friends; she had just taken a Step One medical board exam that she felt she did well on. She was an artist, a writer, she had common sense and was wise well beyond her years. She was excelling and seemed to have the world in her grasp.

I had just seen Kaitlyn the weekend before as she had come home for a few days for Easter. We had a wonderful mother/daughter day and we went shopping, out to eat and the movies. We had a wonderful time and she seemed totally happy. How could this have happened?

She wrote my husband and I a two page suicide note, (as well as letters to some of her friends and her sister Stephanie.) In this letter she stated that she had been sad all of her life and had worked very hard all her life to hide it and protect us from it. She said that she knew she would have been a successful doctor, wife and mother, but that she was exhausted from the weight of the sadness she has had all her life, could not go on, and this is what made sense to her. She stated that I might wonder why she had not sought help and that she did not know why herself.

She was a high achiever, but we never put any pressure on her to succeed because she set these high goals for herself.

The reason I am writing this letter is to tell all parents, friends, or spouses, that no matter how happy someone seems to be, there may be a devastating depression within that they are hiding. Parents, ask your children from time to time, “how are you really doing” and make them talk about their feelings. As you do this, I hope that they are forthcoming with you, my daughter was not and we had a very good and close relationship.

I’m devastated by her loss, lost in a sea of “what could have been”, the wonderful life that she could have continued to have had. But I celebrate her life, thanking God that I had the honor of having this beautiful being in my life for 23 years. But I wish I had more.

If this letter helps at least one person to come forward with their depression, or a loved one to ask about it and have that child open up to them, then it is worth it.

Rest in peace my beautiful daughter, the peace that I thought you already had. And as I’ve always told you, I love you bigger than the universe.

Rhonda Sellers Elkins



About gatito2

My name is Rhonda. I'm a registered nurse, for the last 20 years, that has not been able to work since the day I learned of my daughter's death by suicide 4-12-13. (She actually died 4-11-13 and her body was not found until the 12th) Me and my husband have been married for 32 years and he's a wonderful man. We grieve in different ways. He works, I write. This is my journey through this horrible land of losing a child..
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8 Responses to In Memory of my daughter Kaitlyn Elkins 1-19-90 to 4-11-13

  1. Aimee says:

    Rhonda, this is such a beautiful piece of writing and tribute to your lovely daughter. I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending love.


  2. gatito2 says:

    Thank you so much Aimee.


  3. gatito2 says:

    Reblogged this on My Bright Shining Star and commented:
    When I first started this blog, of course I had no followers and didn’t even know to put tags to my posts so people could find it. I have posted over 200 posts to my blog since then, and now have some followers. I wanted to re-blog one of my first entries so you can read about it from the beginning and how the story started….or ended. My blog layout is where you have to scroll down a good bit to get to the beginning, so for any of those that never read this, I’d like to post it again. Thank you.


  4. Carrie Lange says:

    hugs to you, dear!


  5. daveskilt says:

    Today is a day I could sit and cry with you, then smile through the tears. I strongly appreciate the love and care you show not only with your life, but with your open heart pouring out. Thank you.


  6. Tommy says:

    Dear Rhonda, I am a pre-medical student and I came across your writing while trying to see if medicine is really for me. If my parents would ask me that question how I’m really doing in my life, I would say I am actually very sad and tired. I may not have went through as so much studying or stress that your daughter went through, but just at the thought of what I have to face, I cannot say that I am happy nor excited. Thank you for your writing. I got to ask myself the question since no one around really asks me that question for me. Thank you for asking that question to me Rhonda. I really do hope that after some time, I would be very happy with my choice and truly be able to love the people around me and have true happiness within.. I am truly sorry.. sorry for what had happened and I cannot imagine the heartbreak. Thank you for the writing Rhonda.


  7. Holly says:

    Hi Tommy,
    Sadly, Rhonda passed away August 29, 2014 but I know that her writing has helped quite a lot of people. Her eldest daughter is my best friend and I only knew Rhonda for a short while before her passing. I know Rhonda would be happy to know that her writing has helped you, which was her main purpose.



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