Once again I wake up to pain that is unbearable. The realization that Kaitlyn deliberately took her beautiful light and self away from us all hits me with the weight of the world. I cannot describe the pain that a mother feels when their child takes their own life. It’s a pain I never thought possible. I always thought that if I lost one of my children, it would hurt so bad I would simply lay down and die. But something worse happened, I lived. I had to live to go take care of having her body released from the hospital hours away from here. I had to live to go to her apartment the very day we found out and pick out what she was to be buried in, trying desperately to find what she had last bought with us the weekend before that she loved, but I could never find them. I had to live to take care of her funeral arrangements and get what I thought she would have liked. I had to live to go pick out the spray of flowers that was put on top of her casket. I had to live to see the kind and loving people that visited us and brought food and comforting words. I had to live to see my baby for the first time after she died laying there lifeless in that casket I picked out. I had to live through the visitation that so many of our and her friends came to that I am so grateful for. I had to live for her funeral. I don’t remember much about the funeral except hugs and loving words and flowers. And walking away leaving her casket behind. I had to live to go back to her apartment to clean out all the precious things in her life. Her furniture that we had so much fun letting her pick out. All the pictures, her clothes that smelled of her scent, the washer and dryer we bought her. The fancy cooking things and fancy plates where she served her nice meals that she so lovingly cooked. This was pure hell, but I refused to let others do it. She was mine, this was her stuff. I didn’t want anyone else going through it other than my husband. I had to live to find just the right tombstone that was good enough for her. I looked so hard for the right one. I had to live to help take care of all her remaining business matters. That’s why I lived. No one else would I leave these things to. So now that that’s all done, I live only day by day going through excruciating pain that I don’t know what to do with other than write about, and cry about, and try to talk about. I live to ask myself questions, to call out to God to give me the answers of why would someone with so much promise, well on her way to a wonderful career as a doctor, had wonderful hobbies she enjoyed, had close friends, had made plans for that upcoming weekend, had just bought new clothes, was dreaming of her graduating med school and she had the whole world in her hands. Never a hint of depression, never. These questions do not leave my mind as they are mingled with the sheer agony of losing my youngest child, my kindred spirit
I still grab her things and run my hands over them knowing that she has touched them hundreds of times, I try to feel her in them and I cry over them. I cry oceans of tears over her clothes not yet washed (and never will be) in her basket. Last night I picked them up one by one and imagined her wearing them last. But even their scent is leaving. I cry over her things, literally, I bend over them, grab them, hold them to me and I cry the cry of utter heartbreak.
The other day I found a picture album that she had when she was a little girl. It was kept with some of her old things and not with all my other picture albums so I had not seen it probably since she made it. It held pictures of a time when she was a little girl up until she was pre-teen. I had pictures of her with her friends at sleep overs, all those faces, including hers, smiling out from those pictures with the sheer joy of living, of having friends. Some of them, she cut out the pictures except for the people. She cut around them so expertly, like the people were the only things that were ever in the picture, nothing left of the background. Expertly, like she did everything else. Happy faces. Could this have hid a sad child?
Does a sad child dive into everything she does with gusto and happiness just at the sheer joy of doing it? When she was little if she had just been assigned a science project or something, we could not go home until we went and bought all the materials for it the very day it was assigned, and she would start on it that night. Would an unhappy child have good friends that she loved and had wonderful experiences with? Would a sad teenager continue to achieve so much and be the highest achiever in her class and be depressed? Would a depressed teenager go about applying for colleges and dreaming of the right one to go to and have fun doing it? Would a depressed person do all the many, many achievements that she did, and be depressed? How can you do much of anything and be depressed? But she said in her last letter that she was. I find it hard to believe, but I also find it hard to believe that she would lie in the final words that she gave to us.
She threw so much away that night she left us. She threw away only 2 more years of medical school, a residency, a promising career, things that some can only dream of, that she dreamed of all her life. She threw away the person that so many people loved and thought and knew what an amazing woman she was. I feel robbed. I feel totally robbed of a person I cherished and loved more than there are words for. Oh what made her do it? She threw it ALL away. What kind of dark depths she must have sunk to to do this final thing. So final.
For many, many years, my prayers always included for God to please help my children make good decisions, and please keep them both safe, happy, and healthy. I prayed this at least twice a day, sometimes more. I don’t pray that anymore. I don’t even pray. What’s the use, what was the use? I’m sorry but I’m a little angry right now, I’ve had a gift of this wonderful creature in my life for 23 years. I had the wonderful gift of watching her become this amazing person and I got to go along for the ride and see it all and love her more and more every day. I got the gift of seeing her bright future looming before my eyes. All the world going to hell in a hand basket, but this girl had it figured out. She was going straight to the top. She was wonderful. Then I had that gift ripped from my life so abruptly, so tragically. So unbelievably that I am left with bitter anger at it (not her) and gut wrenching grief. I make no apologies for the way I feel. I don’t trust the good things in life anymore; I can’t even see the good things in life anymore. Why? Love them too much and they are taken. Such an unfair world.