Kaitlyn, I just wanted to tell you how very sorry I am if there were hints during your life that you were depressed and I missed them. The poem you wrote when you were 14 and won an award for probably told so much of how you really felt. I didn’t take it very seriously. I thought it was adolescence that made you feel different. I didn’t realize it was perhaps your way of letting me know how you felt. Like me, perhaps the best way you could tell how you feel is through your writing, which was always beautiful but always had an element of sadness to it.
I’m so sorry that when you told me when you were a little girl that it bothered you that people always expected you to be the best at everything. I can see your little wrinkled up forehead now, as it always did when you were worried or concerned, as you told me this. I told you that you did not have to be the best at everything and that we did not expect that, but for you just to do your best and that is all you need to do. You seemed to be happy with that answer and never said anything else about it but I continued to bring it up often over the years. I should have pressed harder.
I am so sorry that even though every time I saw you or spoke to you after you left for college I asked if you were happy and how your life was going and you always said you were happy, that I didn’t come right out and ask you if you were depressed. But I had no reason to suspect that you were, so the question was never asked. I should have asked anyway since I have a problem with depression and that somehow it may have been passed down to you. But Kaitlyn I thought all depressed people showed signs…..I had no idea of the ability of very intelligent people being able to hide it so well. Please forgive my ignorance.
Please forgive me for not calling you the week after you left here on Sunday to see how you were doing. I thought you may have been busy and seeing as how I just saw you, I figured you would think me too clingy. If it had been up to me Kaitlyn, I would have called you every day since you left for college, but I had to learn not to do that, to let you have your space. I didn’t do this because I wanted to. The first few days after you left here for the last time and you started your first few days of orientation into your third year of medical school, I so wanted to call you, but I didn’t. But the reason I didn’t is because I thought it would be too soon and I would wait til later in the week to call you. I messaged you on Facebook 2 times on Wed 4-10-13 but never got a reply. The last thing on our messages is from me saying “Are you there?” Never to be answered. It never indicated that it was seen. I wish I would have called.
Kaitlyn, for everything I didn’t see and I have no idea of what I didn’t see that was there, I’m so sorry. I had a habit of seeing you as perfect because in my eyes you were. If something had been there, I may not have seen it. But mostly, I just think you were very good at hiding it. I am not a very observant person I must admit to certain things; what people are wearing, and things like that, but one thing I am VERY tuned into is how people act and I can tell very easily if something can be wrong with someone’s mood. I guess this did not work with you because you kept it all inside.
You said in your suicide note that we were the best parents in the world and to please not blame ourselves and that it was not us, it was you and there was nothing we could have done. But oh Kaitlyn, if there was a silent cry for help that I didn’t hear, I am SO VERY SORRY.
I just wanted to tell you these things. There’s a saying I’ve seen often since you died that says, “If love could have saved you, you would still be here.” And that is so true Kaitlyn. I never knew how deep love could be for someone until I had my children. I love deeply those I love, but there is no other bond like mother and child. I loved you Kaitlyn, I love you still.
My pain from losing you Kaitlyn is becoming too difficult to even write about anymore. There is simply no way to further explain the horribleness of what I’m going through, the hell I experience each minute of the day, the great sorrow I have of knowing that you were sad all your life and I didn’t know it, the total waste of the future of a beautiful and wonderful person from such a horrible disease.
I’ve done a few things to help people I think by starting and continuing this blog, by posting what happened to you on the Student Doctor Network, by working with your medical school in getting the program for the Wellness Center started and it being dedicated to you in your name for future students that suffer the way you did, so that maybe somehow they will be able to actually seek help. I tried to get donations for the Suicide Prevention Walk and got some. I will participate in the walk. I’ve talked to so many other people that suffer what I am going through and with depressed people. So the only good thing that came from your death is perhaps some people have been helped so they will not suffer the same fate.
I’ve told the whole world how wonderful you were Kaitlyn. There’s never been anyone like you and never will be again. But there’s no way they will really know how wonderful you were, because it’s too hard to describe just like the pain of losing you is too hard to describe.
I’ve tried so hard to keep you alive Kaitlyn by posting everything I can about you and your life and how I feel and just what you were to me. I know I have been fickle many times in the past concerning whether or not I want to keep sharing your memories and my grief and I have gone back and forth on whether or not to continue. I can be fickle; I know that, with certain things, not everything. But there is a fine line between remembering someone with honor and grace and then it continuing and becoming many sentiments repeated and I just don’t want to exploit your memory in any way just to get my pent up sorrows out. No matter what I do I cannot get all this sorrow out and how I will get it out if I don’t write about you anymore is a mystery to me. I don’t know what will become of me. Do I even want to get better? What is better? How does one get better when everything they see, do, taste, feel, experience reminds them of the daughter that they will no longer see on this earth? I don’t know. I have no clue what will become of me but I will not drag out your memories on here anymore. I think I have done you honor by my blog here. I hope that people will continue to visit sometimes to see what I’ve written, I just don’t want it to continue because I’m scared all it will be is a place of sorrow and your memory should not solely focus on sadness. In you Kaitlyn I received such great happiness, but in your death I experience the worst pain of my life. In respect to your memory Kaitlyn, I will end this blog regularly now. I’m not saying I won’t ever post here again, I probably will if something comes up like a good video that explains how I feel, or if I see you one day, or if you come to me in my dreams or I have this wonderful memory that I’ve not written about yet that simply must be written about. That I would certainly have to share, but other than that, I will not drag my misery all over this internet because I believe you deserve better than that. I let you go here Kaitlyn, but you are still at the forefront of my mind every second of every day when I’m not asleep.
(Please, to all of you, I still welcome any comments and would be happy to share my experiences here or just to “talk” all you have to do is comment on a post or email me at email@example.com)
I know it’s very important to keep suicide awareness active. So much needs to be done. If more had been done before, perhaps you would still be here now. I just don’t know what else to do. I had thought about writing a book about you before to show the world that it’s not only the obviously depressed people that commit suicide, but also the ones that hide it and that you would never expect. But I’ve now come to the conclusion that after thinking about this since your death, that I will not do that. I don’t want your life probed and prodded (no more than what I have already done) and out in the public to such an extent that people would try to poke around in your private life and for the possibility of my being criticized about the book because I have such a thin skin especially these days. I have no words of wisdom. I don’t know what went wrong. I don’t know how to tell someone how to survive this kind of hell when I’m not even surviving it myself. However, I do admire the people that have written books because they do help people when they need it most and I admire them for it. I just don’t think I could do it.
So this post is to tell you I’m sorry Kaitlyn. I’m sorry for the life of sadness that I didn’t know you suffered. I’m sorry you suffered alone. I’m sorry I did not see any signs. I’m sorry that you did not get any help. And I am SO sorry that you are gone. For anything I may not have seen, I am sorry. But I loved you Kaitlyn, I love you still. But I can say these things for sure without hesitation or doubt, I SHOWED you how much I loved you, I TOLD you how much I loved you all the time, you KNEW how much I loved you, and I was the best mother I knew how to be.
This is not the last post here Kaitlyn I’m pretty sure. But it is the last of my regular ones because I simply can’t describe the intensity of my pain anymore and there is no sense in trying any longer. Go on now. I let you go. Be happy where you are beyond all the galaxies, across all the billions of light-years of our space and time. Wherever the happiness is that you so richly deserve. Go on now. I have your memories, and I have your existence forever entwined into my own. You are in me and surround me; your essence will forever be with me.I see you everywhere I go. I will always be so sad that it will forever be hard to live. But you go now……go. For God’s sake let there be some greater reason and greater purpose somewhere out there to justify something that seemingly makes no sense at all to all of us left behind.
I see you there Kaitlyn, the day we moved you into undergrad. You walked us to our car after we said all our goodbyes in your dorm. You were then and always were so sweet. We said all our goodbyes again at the car. We watched you walk slowly back to your dorm across the great expanse of grass and you never looked back. Not once. Goodbye Kaitlyn. I love you.