Nothing but things and memories

Here I go with another post of possessions. Possessions in the grand scheme of things, mean nothing. When you die, you leave them behind; they certainly don’t go with you. But when someone you love dies, possessions are all you have. So I do a great deal of thinking about possessions, Kaitlyn’s possessions, and I do a great deal of writing about them. They are all I have left of her except the memories I have in my mind of her. Many wonderful years of memories of the best daughter anyone could have ever had. If there was an order sheet one would fill out before you had your baby, she surely came out better than the order would have. She was wonderful.

So when you’re left with possessions, the monetary value of them means absolutely nothing. It’s what is contained within them that mean everything. So possessions are very important to me, especially the ones your loved one’s touched several times on a daily basis.

Today I focus on Kaitlyn’s pocketbook. I see it now in my memory and in not so long ago pictures as it hung on the closet doorknob of her apartment. A very pretty sturdy one with matching billfold. Her former boyfriend told me he had bought both of these for her, and they are the ones she used for months before she died.

I keep it in my small spare bedroom where I put many of her things out of her apartment. The one’s I didn’t give to her sister. I keep it on top of Kaitlyn’s clothes basket that is partially filled with the last clothes she wore; this somehow keeps her scent within the clothes and the pocketbook with her scent there. Last night as I often do, I grab up an armful of clothes and hug them close to me, inhale their scent and pretend it’s her and I cry.

I can just see her the last time we had our day together at the Mall, Movies, and steakhouse with that pocketbook with its strap around her shoulder. As she stood at the counter at Victoria’s Secret as she went into her pocketbook, took out her billfold and credit card to pay for her beautiful purchases. I never found but one of the pieces of clothes she bought. I think she died in them and they never gave me her clothes back, so I couldn’t bury her in the beautiful things she bought. That makes me feel sad and I wasn’t in my right mind to ask for them because we did not go to the hospital before we went back home on that three and a half hour drive.

I think of how many times those tiny, delicate hands reached into that pocketbook, looking for things, getting her billfold out and pulling out her credit cards, or rummaging around in there for the grocery list she made out. She must have handled this pocketbook and billfold thousands times. To me, part of the person is left behind in the things they touched the most. That’s why they mean so much to me. Many times I take out that pocketbook and run my hands over it and go through all the contents left exactly how she left them, and will be left that way forevermore. I see visions and snapshots of her in my mind.

It’s that way with everything I have of hers, which are many throughout my house. I can see her there making some wonderful concoction with her blender, a tasty bagel with her bagel toaster, the wonderful meals she would create with the spices in the spice rack I now have of hers. All the dishes she would make using all the big utensils I have in their pretty wire container. I see her using them. I feel her in them, each and every one.

I am so extremely sad today, which certainly is nothing new since Kaitlyn died, but I sense my sadness is deepening and ingraining into my soul in a way it has not done before. I’ve gotten good at acting halfway normal around people now, though I’m not around people very much since I don’t work now. Oh but what is in my heart is a hurting, sad place.

Sometimes I just cry out that what a waste it is for someone so talented, intelligent, and had everything to live for to take their own life. Why something so beautiful was taken from this ugly world. But I know Kaitlyn’s life was anything but a waste. It was a gift to all that knew her but I cry in the dark of night for what could have been. Why someone so beautiful was given, and then so horribly taken away. I know the main answer; it was depression and all its ugly trickery that makes someone with so much promise think they should not live. I know that. I often wonder how she could have hidden it from us for all these years, but I mainly know that answer too; intelligent people can sometimes be masters of hiding their pain. But all this gives me no comfort as I sit and look at her things and think of what was and what could have been. A person so special that all around her marveled at her, who could have been a wonderful doctor, who still had so very much to give. All I have are her things. Things.

So I think I have answers, then I know I don’t have answers. All I know is the light of my life is gone, though I have loved ones that care about me and worry about me and love me, and I love them. My Kaitlyn has gone and left me and all that loved her, because her pain was too great to stay. Who can make sense out of that?

So I have her things.




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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13 Responses to Nothing but things and memories

  1. Nicole says:

    Your story makes tears come to my eyes. I am certain that Kaitlyn is happily in God’s arms right now. He can do that in which us as humans fail. He can help Kaitlyn. He knows of her goodness and her misery. Her life has a special purpose. So does yours. Thanks for posting your memories and I’m so glad you are working your feelings out through words. God bless!


  2. Nicole says:

    I was thinking of my last post and I want to apologize if I in any way seemed to imply that you failed. You did not fail with her. It’s obvious how much you loved her. Depression is a disease that kills. You are not alone.


  3. Topaz says:

    Hi Rhonda,

    Thank you so much for sharing these very private, meaningful photos. May God continue to comfort you and your loved ones.

    Would it help your healing process to be around people more? Maybe begin work on a part-time basis? Obviously I don’t know the depths of despair that you are suffering. I’m just concerned about you since your sadness is deepening. Or maybe it’s a stage in the grieving process that I am ignorant of.

    I hope you don’t take this suggestion the wrong way. I’m just trying to look out for you.



  4. gatito2 says:

    Thank you Topaz. I didn’t take your comment the wrong way. I don’t work anymore and am not around a lot of people. I’m a registered nurse and see nothing that would be not too stressful to do as a nurse at this point. Jobs are hard to get these days and anything I might be remotely interested in in a non nursing area is very hard to get, though I’ve not tried yet, and I’m not ready to try. My family comes to see me at times and I do have to do errands. I don’t want to volunteer for anything right now either. I just can’t do it. So here I am for now. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to do these things. Right now I’m in my private grieving world that I must live in and get through to the other side to start living again. Though my life will never remotely be anywhere near the same as it was. I will be forever sad.


  5. gatito2 says:

    Thank you so much. I hope Kaitlyn is happy and in peace. It’s what keeps me going at all.


  6. gatito2 says:

    I didn’t take your comment the wrong way at all. I took it for what it was, very sweet and kind. Thank you.


  7. Gill says:

    Hi, I know completely how you feel about the possessions, I am 4 years out of finding my son hanging from a beam in our home, I cut him down and he hit he floor with a thud. We have since been able to remodel the room and give it a different use so that I don’t have to go in there every day, but there is no way I can change the carpet in there as it was the last place he laid. Every item in his room has been stored away safely, nothing has been taken from he house unless it was of sentimental value to any of his siblings!!!!


  8. Topaz says:

    How I wish I could do more to help you. Thank you for your reply and for explaining your situation. I am glad that your family comes to visit you. If I lived closer, I would definitely visit. At least you have WordPress and Facebook so you can connect with people that way.

    After my cousin took his life about 14 years ago, my aunt and uncle never recovered. Actually, my aunt’s health has been declining ever since; we’re not sure how long she is going to be around. Before she lost her son, she was in normal health.

    So I totally respect your decisions. Please know that I will always be thinking of you and praying for you. If you need to chat, you can contact me on Facebook. I’m always available.

    Talk to you soon,



  9. gatito2 says:

    Thank you Topaz.


  10. gatito2 says:

    Oh I am so very sorry about the death of your son and that you were the one that found him. I have heard so many terrible stories of parents finding their children after they have taken their lives by all kinds of means, and I have to tell you, I don’t know if I could have stood it. My daughter died alone in her apartment 3 and a half hours away from where we live. It was the town she was going to medical school in. She emailed the apartment manager (with an account that allowed her to have the email reach them in the future) to let him know to call the police and that she had killed herself. So, I’m not the one that found her. I do believe my heart would have stopped to have found her dead. But then again, I don’t know how my heart has not stopped yet anyway just from this experience and the visions I have in my mind. This is the most horrendous thing any parent can face. I am so sorry.


  11. Topaz says:


    I am very sorry for your loss. My heart truly grieves for you right now.

    It’s because of testimonies like Rhonda’s and yours that keep me from attempting suicide again. God bless you both.



  12. Monica Allen says:

    I too know about possessions – I still have my 20 year old son’s things and he took his life on May 8, 2010. I have boxes and boxes of clothes that I cannot part with, his phone (which is still connected for over 3 years now but I cannot imagine anyone else having his number), things he had around his apartment and even stuff from his junk drawer that I have yet to sort. My daughter bought me another bottle of his cologne for Mother’s Day (the one that reminds me so much of him). I spray it on a couple of his favorite t-shirts – keeping one under my pillow.

    I don’t know when I will part with these but I refuse to let anyone push me into it. At some point I want to make a quilt for my daughter and one for myself out of his clothes. Some may say that’s a waste of perfectly good clothes that someone could use, but to me it is all I have left of my baby.

    Take your time – grieving is very personal and this journey is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Do what you want and need at the time. Little by little (very small baby steps) you will find that this will get softer – it never goes away but you will get stronger.

    My heart to yours,


  13. gatito2 says:

    Thank you Monica. I think we all need to grieve in the best way that can help us unless it’s destructive and certainly keeping and cherishing their things is not destructive. I gave most of Kaitlyn’s clothes away to charity except for a few select things like her White Coat from her medical school white coat ceremony complete with the notepad and stethoscope inside of it, the blazer she bought the week before she died when we went shopping, a couple of shirts, and everything that was in her dirty clothes basket, which was not much. I had to decide what to do with her things very quickly as I had nowhere to store them. I wish now so badly that I had kept all her clothes, but they are now somewhere where someone that needs them can use them. I also gave her running gear and running clothes to a dear friend of hers that I know will cherish them forever. I donated all her medical books except for one back to her medical school. In some ways, I wish I had kept everything, but that is just not realistic. I think I’ve kept a good sampling of everything and I gave a great deal of her furniture to her sister who will always cherish them also. Sometimes I wish I still had it all….but I did what I thought was best. Also by the way, if a mother wanted to keep every single thing their child had, that would be ok too. I am so sorry for your loss and please contact me any time. We share a sadness too great to bear alone.


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