This is the final installment of the facebook entries on Kaitlyn’s FB after her death. I even went up to the current time. However, I did leave out all the millions of entries I made myself since most of them are already on my blog. I also did not include the many, many private emails that many of her friends, former teachers, and others have sent me as they were not public, they were private and I treat them as such though they all stated the positive impact Kaitlyn made on their lives. I have also not included the many private FB messages I have received from so many people that knew her during many times of her life, all positive, for she was a wonderful person. I feel they are private as well so I will not post those.
As you can see, the posts on her page (other than mine) are declining and some of the people that were so important in her life don’t post anymore on her page at all. However, I know that it is not that they have forgotten her, they never could, but they have to go on with their lives and some feel that it opens the wounds wider to keep writing on her page or contacting me. I understand this. It is natural and I know they will never forget her. She would never want or expect them to be sad and hurt forever, but to live their lives in happiness and joy. I also wish this for them. On these pages their feelings have been put out in the open. They were all so very hurt and confused by her taking her life. None of us will ever understand why such an outstanding person could take their life; a person that helped others when they were depressed, never mentioned her own. But no matter how much we write or ponder, we will never truly know. All we are left with are her beautiful memories and how she helped us be better people without even trying, just being herself.
However for me, as her mother, I’m pretty sure I will write on her page and my blog til I drop dead one day. My hurt is deep and not repairable. For me, it helps to talk about her and to write about all the times of her life. We all grieve differently.
So this is the last facebook entry of hers I will post. I hope it’s given you all some glimpse of what a truly wonderful, gifted, creative, intelligent, caring, and loving person she was. She’s a gift I did not want to give up, but I had no choice. I will love and miss you forever Kaitlyn Elkins.
Two weeks ago, a student came into my office. He was flunking out of the PhD program. His girlfriend left him in February. He had no plan for the future, and would lose his visa and be deported once his classes end. He showed every sign of depression and hopeless despair.
I talked to him about making plans and putting his life back together. I notified the counseling services. I also sent him an email, with the following statement in it: “With life there is change, and new beginnings when things end. We cultivate hope, and determination, and move on to the new. We make joy to replace the pain.” and he responded that he was moved by my words; that he realized he has much to live for; that he printed these words to hang over his bed, and live by as he puts his life back on track.
I am glad I could help this student. I would have risked life and limb to have brought you back from the edge, Kaitlyn, but you never gave me the chance — and now you are gone.
Today, I dared look at some of your photos again. The pain is so fresh and raw!! all I could remember to bring me back from my sobs are those words I gave to my student. Eventually, I will make joy to replace the pain. Maybe then I can say goodbye, and look at your pictures without sobbing. (by Shai 5-12-13)
I know you would love this. I still think of you whenever I see cute cats. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6vWwGFJGkQ (by Shannon 5-12-13)
Nothing means the same since you’ve gone.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaOC9danxNo#! (by Shannon 5-13-13)
I listened to “Moonlight Sonata” the other day. I remember when we used to talk about Beethoven and I told you that it was my favorite composition. I miss talking to you about Schrodinger’s Cat, because we had our own little inside joke. I miss building a fort inside the closet and pretending that we were going to escape to Narnia. I miss doing cannonballs with you at Bay Tree. I miss playing popcorn on the trampoline with you. I miss all of the cute little things that you used to make by hand. I miss you, Turd. (by Stephanie her sister 5-15-15, who else calls her “Turd?”)
I thought about you the entire way home today. I love you immensely but feel so upset that I’ve been robbed of my baby sister. I need to ask you some questions: how will I explain to my kids that their aunt is no longer with us? What about the kids that you were going to have…the ones that I was supposed to hold and rock to sleep? What about the fondue dinner that we were going to have for my birthday? How will I ever get through this without tearing up each time I think about you? I have been down the same road as you, and I don’t wish that pain on anyone. My heart physically aches when I think of the tremendous pain that you had to be in to do what you did. I always joked with you that when I won the lottery, I would pay off your medical school loans and we’d travel to far off lands and help the less fortunate. God, how many lives we could have helped! But I continue on in my work, knowing that you’d be so proud. Despite your last action, I am still extremely proud of you. I hope that you knew that, at least in some small way. (by her sister Stephanie 5-16-13)
There are moments when songs become far more meaningful than they ever were before. It is almost as if someone glanced into your soul and transcribed every emotion that was racing through you into a song. Sometimes these moments are filled with joy, as music and emotion jives together in utter harmony. However, I find myself holding on to my pillow in the middle of the night, as if I were holding on for dear life; this running through my head, wishing I could bring you back.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERDID8BeS9g (by Kaitlyn M. 5-18-13)
To all of Kaitlyn Elkins’ friends, my husband and I will be going to Carowinds in Charlotte several times this summer to honor Kaitlyn. For those of you who knew her, you will understand when I say that she would have gotten on just about any roller coaster in the world. Anyway, if any of you would like to ride the coasters with us, we would love it. I think that it would be fun to celebrate her memory as well as get to know you guys. You all meant so much to her. I’d like to think that her spirit will be riding the coasters with us. (by Stephanie her sister 5-18-13)
Day before yesterday was the first day I didn’t cry. It wasn’t that grief didn’t flood me; it wasn’t that Kaitlyn Elkins didn’t come up in my mind — it was that enough has happened since her death to cushion me for one day. Yesterday wasn’t that good, and today as I was paging through my calendar I found one more set of days blocked for a future week-long visit, and the grief hit me like a tidal wave.
Kaitlyn left a huge gaping hole in my life, and the edges are still very ragged. But I go on; I make joy to fill the places scorched by pain. Ultimately, that’s all any of us can do. (by Shai 5-22-13)
I really miss you. I dream about you, you know. I dream you are still here, and I’m aware that you are at-risk. I dream that I share all the awe for you that I wish I had shared. I dream that you realize how perfect you are. I dream that I save you. And then I wake; wondering if my dreams of peace are selfish ones. (by Shannon 5-23-13)
Kaitlyn, i think of you constantly. i just don’t understand. when i was growing up with you and Samantha Moore, y’all were my whole happiness that i had until i met my husband and had my babies. y’all were my whole world growing up and all the memories that i have. you helped me so much through all my pain at home and was there for me. i remember them few times that you saved me. i miss you and will always remember you. (by Gail N. 5-23-13)
When it’s late and I fail to sleep, I can still hear you, see you so vividly.
The part of me that is reserved for empathy with you, for knowing what you are thinking even when you aren’t here, and for predicting how you will feel from day-to-day in response to events, is still calculating in your absence; running, detached from any reality. It is a part of me forever lost, a phantom limb that I still reach for a handle with, opening only grief.
And it calls into question what I valued most about myself. It seems I’ve deceived myself. Tragically deceived you, for you always told me I truly saw you, knew you as no one else did. And I believed you, or you believed me. I cannot say which. But I can say it did not foresee this.
You cared so much. You cared about the things that most people with your intellect can’t be bothered to invest in. You wanted to make a difference. To promote harmony across all social groups and beliefs. To foster environmental conservation. To improve the poor state of our medical system. To help people.
You cared deeply about your family, your friends. About me.
When I first posted here about this, I already knew I would be forever altered, but also knew that I couldn’t predict in what manner. Unfortunately I see it seems the form that change is to take is most akin to an injury.
And I’ve tried so hard to grow from this, as I told you I would. I’ve tried to leave that voice in my head that is what remains of you to lend me aid. But I’m afraid I’m not doing so well, because instead of the keen insight you brought me, it brings a sadness I haven’t felt since I was very young.
I’d like so much to follow your mother’s wise lead, and cease posting here, to you. I know I need to move on. But I’m not ready yet.
I’m still here, Kaitlyn. (by Shannon 5-29-13) Note: I could never stop writing on her facebook like I thought I could (her mother)
Yesterday I listened to a podcast, and one of the speakers was describing his experience with antidepressants. How the one that didn’t work made him unstable and angry; how the one that seems to be working has been turning his life around.
I hear these stories and the pain comes again. Why didn’t she try? Why didn’t she give us a chance to love her, support her, bring her around out of her “bleakness”? There is nobody to talk to; to convince; to argue with. Death has the last word in any conversation we have in this life; suicide is the ultimate conversation stopper.
Most of the time, I live as if Kaitlyn was never there. My only “fortune” among the people she left grieving is that I knew her for such a short time that I can remember the life I had before Kaitlyn Elkins came into it. It was a good life, which I enjoyed. But whenever something reminds me of how wonderful life was WITH Kaitlyn in it, I come crashing down. I don’t want to detach from the wonderful love I had with her; a love rich enough to last a full lifetime — not a tragically truncated one. But I don’t yet know how to keep that love and not crumble under the grief it carries with it.
Rest in peace, K. Someday I’ll be able to make peace with losing you like this, but probably not today. (by Shai 5-30-13)
The smallest things seem insurmountable. I finally removed your number from my phone’s priority alert list. You were the only one in it, you know. I wish you had called. (by Shannon 6-1-13)
“It’s much better to be weird than normal.” -Kaitlyn Elkins (by Nathanael 6-1-13)
You were in my dreams again last night, and I can’t shake you from my head this morning as I work on last minute assignments. We always seemed to walk when we were both frantically working on homework. I’m going to try to be strong today, to carry you with me today as I do everyday, but today I will try to be strong. (by Kaitlyn M. 6-4-13)
“And when it died in the dusk of fading lights and fading colors, you stood in reverence as you do at the funeral of a man who lived well. Shed a tear but smiled in acceptance of a gift you never intended to receive.” – Kaitlyn Elkins (by Shannon 6-7-13)
on the surface, my feelings are somewhat numbed, but my dreams of you continue to evolve.
It seems my subconscious finally understood the trauma caused, waking each day to discover anew that I have not actually saved you. Yet its confused efforts to heal me persist. As a new perverse ‘peace’, it offers a fantasy where you are terminally ill. I come to you to tell you how wonderful you are. I retell stories of our time spent together.
You are strangely silent. (by Shannon 6-9-13)
It has been two months since you killed yourself. Half as long as we had been together.
I no longer well up in tears every time I drive next to the hospital you considered for residency. That mobile I built with my daughter, the day you made us lunch so I’d have a bit more free time, no longer shreds my heart every time I look at it and remember the story of its making. I even looked at some of your photos and kept a measure of wholeness.
My beloved Kaitlyn — I still miss you SO MUCH!
I’m picking up the pieces of my life, and I like this life. It is a good life for me; full of purpose, rich with joy and challenge. It is only in those moments when I remember how much better it was with you in it that your suicide rips me apart again like a predator’s claw. The colors fade and I bow my head in agony.
I wish your friends and family find a measure of peace, such as I am slowly finding. They are all good people; all of us are still hurting so much.
Peace, my beloved. (by Shai 6-11-13)
When you were here, I told you I wanted to be more like you. I remember being startled by the joy this simple statement gave you. Now, two months since you’ve gone, I renew my commitments to you.
Today, it’s more difficult than the tremendous challenge of emulating your amazing qualities. Today it also means looking at our past without despair. It means somehow deciding it’s OK to let go of the sadness you shared.
I will remember the beautiful things you’ve shown me. You are motivated, fearless in pursuing your dreams. You share ideas effectively and act without hesitation. You live in the moment, yet are dedicated. You connect with incredible people, and make them central to your life. (by Shannon 6-11-13)
I’ve made a small shrine for you at my desk. It took me all night at the FedEx Office store to produce the right photo sizes on the self-printer.
I changed my cover photo. It’s a trail I run almost every weekend. You ran there too. And you ran your marathon there. It’s at about mile 23 on that course. This spot is at Meredith College about a mile and a half from my apartment. I told you I’d try to cheer you on there after I finished my half marathon. I didn’t have the energy. I was asleep when you finished.
I check your profile often and try to stay in contact with people who were important to you. I’m in less acute pain, but I’m still sad for some part of every day. (by Neal 6-11-13)
It feels like you have been gone forever, that you have become a distant image that lurks in the very edge of my peripheral vision. I see you everywhere, and feel you around me, but when I foolishly look to see if you might actually be there, I am an sunken back into a bleak reality.
All in the same, it feels like you were here yesterday, that every morning I feel you being torn from my life all over again. My brain can’t decide which sensation it prefers, so they battle each other as I sit back and watch, missing you.
At this point I have become angry with myself. I miss our constant conversations from years ago, and curse myself for allowing the mundane busyness of everyday life to prevent me from keeping in touch with you. If only I said hi every time you crossed my mind, then surely you would have known how much I love you. Selfishly, I wish there was a way to find out that somehow you were aware that I thought of you often, and that I loved you. I do love you. So much. For my own peace of mind, so that I don’t feel as though I failed you, I wish I could know if you knew somewhere in your beautiful, sad heart that I cared about you. I just need to know, and yet I will never find out. And so I fight with myself for not talking to you enough, for not being there as much as I wanted to be.
I regret that we only got to share our friendship via long distance communication, and that we will never had the chance to meet in person. I regret that I will never get to hug you.
I just hope that you have found peace, that is the only thing at this point that helps ease my pain, the thought that now, just maybe, you are truly happy.
I have always liked this song, and it has always meant a lot to me, but now this verse is what I strive for. Right now I don’t feel like this, I do feel as though I have lost you forever. I am striving for the day that I can read this and truly believe in it again.
“No one’s ever lost forever
When they die they go away
But they will visit you occasionally
Do not be afraid
one’s ever lost forever
They are caught inside your heart
If you garden them and water them
They make you what you are” (by Kaitlyn M. 6-11-13)
Another weekend; I am back from a conference. Now have a little space to open the box of my feelings for you and look inside again.
Not being able to share anything with you, Kaitlyn, makes me feel very alone. Not having your day to day to hear and see and enjoy — the absence of you — is like a missing finger, the stump itching and the whole projecting phantom pain. It cannot be healed, only grudgingly accepted.
The grief overwhelms me every once in a while, and I just have to stop and put myself back together. You were so glorious, my Love, and so full of grace. (by Shai 6-15-13)
I ran a 15k with you yesterday. It was a promise to myself, to somehow thank you for the support you gave so freely. You’re missed by people who barely brushed by your life… (by Heather 6-15-13)
It has gotten easier to see your photographs. They no longer rip me to shreds like they did a few weeks ago. Then, today, I was looking at a photo of mine; Margaret and me, actually — I looked happier and more care free than I have been in years. As if the wear and tear of the end of my marriage and the years of toil and pain spent trying to repair it had lifted.
I looked at the date. It was March 22nd. This was a “wishing you were already here” photo we sent you before you came for that last visit.
I still wish you were here. With all my heart. Every. Single. Day. (by Shai 6-18-13
This is the first run in a couple of months that felt good.
Kaitlyn, I wish I could share this with you. I miss you so much.
5 miles fast
6.01 mi • 43:54 • 7:19 min/mi • 8.2 mph • 114 ft (by Neal 6-19-13)
Life goes on, Kaitlyn. There are new joys, and sorrows, and worries, and opportunities. I have a busy life. But then I remember you — and it hasn’t gotten even a tiny bit easier when I do. Grief still cuts as deep; burns as hot. It just pounces on me less often, but bites just as hard.
I miss you, Pixie, more than words can express. (by Shai 6-30-13)
Hey, doll! It’s times like this when I most miss you. I went to a one-day Scrabble tournament two Saturdays ago, and I came in second place in my division. That’s not the fun part, though; not the nerdy part that would have lit up your eyes and put a mad stupid grin on your face. *That* part is the fact that in one game, after playing INVERTS for 71 points, I drew the tiles ABCDEKL, and above my opponent’s word GREED on the board, I was able to plunk down BLACKED (and AGREED) for 110 points!! … And then I made this lovely scallop dish on Sunday, and it reminded me of when we cooked scallops together! You would have loved loved loved. (by Nick 7-2-13)
So, I’m at home watching videos of nurses working in the neonatal unit because I’m interested in learning about various techniques and whatnot before nursing school starts next month. Then, once again, I am consumed with the realization that I’ll never be an aunt. I’ll never be able to hold those precious bundles of joy that we talked about just recently at Easter. My kids will never have buddies like that to play with. And, as usual, I burst into tears, barely able to control myself. Don’t fret, though; my kids WILL know you. I promise you that. (by Stephanie her sister 7-7-13)
I’m running a 5k in August. I’ve always wanted to, but I’ve always doubted my ability to do so. I just started training, and it makes me think of you so much. I miss you, beautiful girl, but this helps me to feel like I am keeping you with me. (by Kaitlyn M. 7-7-13)
Hey, Turd:). Today is a hard day. It is a monthly anniversary since you’ve been gone; the third we’ve had to endure. It’s also my 5 year wedding anniversary. I know you’d get upset at me if I didn’t celebrate it, so I shall. I am also celebrating your memory. My next sushi visit will be in your honor as well. I’m so happy that the two of us and Rhonda Sellers Elkins were able to share that one night at my favorite sushi place. That meant the world to me. You’ll forever and always remain Turd:). Oh, and I found some animal crackers for you. You always did love that inside joke! Now I just have to find a place to do a cannonball at, just as the two of us and Kyle Elkins and Erika Brooke Elkins did. If only we all had one more day at Baytree… (by her sister Stephanie 7-11-13)
Today is difficult. I miss you more than ever. I love you just as much as I always have. (by Neal 7-11-13)
I know that I’ve posted this before, but I implore you all: listen to what the guy is saying. I’m sure we all wish that we could scream and bring her back, but at least I find this somewhat cathartic. As her older sister, I certainly feel the very emotion that this song is illustrating.
Cold – Cure My Tragedy Lyrics (by her sister Stephanie 7-15-13)
I just started watching “Grey’s Anatomy” for the first time in my life. I have it on Netflix so I’m starting from the very beginning. Only 2 minutes into it and I started sobbing uncontrollably when the main character shows up for her first day of residency. You deserved that and so much more. (by Stephanie her sister 7-28-13)