When I woke up this morning and settled into my favorite spot in my den and started on my first cup of coffee, I looked over into my living room as, of course, I often do, it’s just to the right of me. But on this particular morning we had the wooden door open leaving only the glass door closed and the sun streaming in illuminated the living area and its contents to a beauty that I had not seen to this extent before and it made me cry. The reason it made me cry is because the beauty of it is due to the many pieces of furniture that belonged to Kaitlyn and are now in there and replaced much of my old furniture once I got it here. I wanted to keep as many of her things as I could. In this room is her couch, the coral colored chair and pillow, the table in front of the couch and all of what is sitting on this table. Inside the decorative box on the table are many of her special things I kept; her passport, her watches, special pieces of jewelry. Two of the pictures you see in the pic are hers. What is not hers are the end tables, the painting (which my mother did) the candles on the wall, the chest of drawers, the plant and the lamps at the end of the tables. It sounds like much of it is mine, but what is hers here is what makes this room beautiful. They truly showed Kaitlyn’s excellent taste in decorating, one of her many talents. Many of the pieces I was with her when she bought them and have so many precious memories attached. So seeing them so illuminated this morning by the beautiful sunlight streaming in, it made me cry. I still see her sitting at the end of the couch with her feet on the table, laptop on her lap, studying, though I know she is not really there.
The reason I started this blog is to pour out my feelings of grief over losing my precious youngest daughter to suicide. The disbelief of it all. But another very important thing is to draw awareness to all the people I can that it is NOT always the obviously depressed people that commit suicide. It could be someone like my daughter who was right in the middle of her dream, and was going full steam into the life she always dreamed of since childhood and was very successful even until the time of her death.
My daughter was successful in every sense of the word. She was an absolute dream to raise, always respectful, never got into trouble, was very, very well loved, was in a stable, happy home, had good, close likeminded friends, accomplished so many things in high school, she was an artist and won many awards for her work, she was a writer and poet and won awards for much of her work. She was not only academically accomplished, she also learned at very young age to sew and crochet and she loved to make things of beauty. She graduated valedictorian of her high school class, graduated undergrad summa cum laude in 2 and a half years, was a surgical assistant intern at an oral surgeon, got into medical school and made good grades. She had her own apartment, her own car and often talked about how lucky she was and how happy she was. She was in a happy relationship and was making future plans with him. She cared about her body and health and was an avid runner. She had run a half marathon and full marathon and ran regularly. She also went to the gym regularly. She ate very healthy foods. She was and always has been a very kind and caring person and had more common sense than most people I know. She was on break for 6 weeks before she came home for Easter because the Med School gave students this long to study for the Step One medical board exam. Kaitlyn spent 12 hours a day studying I know during this time and also she studied off and on for it the whole time she was in med school which is what had been suggested she do. She took the test and felt really good about it and came home for Easter. She did not live long enough to see her results (which were good) which was so unlike Kaitlyn to not even want to stick around to know, she had worked SO hard studying for it. I know I have mentioned these things so very many times in my blog, but it’s only to drive home a very important point. The point is that having all this, all her intellect, all her potential, all the future that loomed out before her that was so promising, a loving family, so many people that loved her greatly, she just had it all, but still, even having all of this, she was so sad that she gave it all up, left it all behind, because she was so sad she no longer wanted to exist. As far as I know there was no sudden trigger or something that happened to cause this. It was a long, many years’ worth of constant sadness that she worked so hard to hide and did that successfully and she simply could not take it anymore. She wrote she just wanted it to end. Can you even imagine the extreme sadness that was so terrible that it would cause someone to leave all that she had going for her behind?
In our society today, so many people tend to think that if some people have so much going for them such as this, they have no right to be unhappy and quite frankly, they are rather uncaring and unaccepting of the fact that someone could be unhappy and have what they think is “having it all.” It’s a “you have no right to be depressed” mentality in this world. Believe me, I have seen it personally. And the person that is depressed also thinks so. How can they be so sad and have so much going for them in their lives? They feel guilty, alone, scared and hope that they can handle it themselves. And no wonder. But I’m here to tell the WORLD that this mentality must STOP! Most of the time depression is a chemical imbalance and you can be a multimillionaire with everything you could ever ask for and STILL be depressed. Yes, some depression is situational, and some people live a life of so much self destruction, and their depression is obvious. That is also terrible. But mostly depression is a chemical imbalance that can be helped with medicine.
One of the things Kaitlyn wrote to us in her suicide note is this: “I know I could have become a successful doctor, wife, and mother. But the only thing I ever really wanted was not to feel the way I have felt all my life.” And that my friends, says it all. So my daughter that I thought was an angel on this earth, who was so accomplished and gifted and had a wonderful life ahead of her, was killed by depression. Depression overtook everything she could have continued to have accomplished. So just how deadly is depression you might ask? THAT is how deadly and my daughter’s story cries to be heard. It is a tragedy in every sense of the word and has left us all in some unbelievable surreal world that we can’t make heads or tails of. She left all that loved her wondering and having no idea of how to be happy again. Her passing has diminished us all because her presence illuminated our world.
On my determined days like today I want to just shout to the world how horrible this disease is. It must be known that it is deadly and it is killing so many young people, so many that have so much to give and would have continued to change the world for the better. And they are gone.
Since Kaitlyn was a little girl, right on up til she was grown, I would often joke with her that before she was born and they were receiving all the gifts that they would take with them to earth, that she got into every single line, more than what she was supposed to and just got them all. Some of us other poor souls wound up with hardly any. Depression made her leave every one of her gifts behind and she went away. She laid them all down and went away. This should never happen to anyone.