I Can’t Look at the Stars

This video slide may not be important to anyone but me and may not interest anyone else but it IS important to me because it holds so much meaning for me. I’ll tell you why.

A year or so before Kaitlyn left for college, she bought me this huge book about the Cosmos. Astronomy was a wonderful interest we both shared and she bought this for me for my birthday. It’s a wonderful book. I can’t tell you the nights we spent looking at the stars wondering what is up there, how much life is out there in its vastness; the times we watched lunar eclipses and meteor showers. The movie Contact was our favorite about what could be out there.

I got this book out and decided I would take pictures of some of the pictures and make a video slide with it including some of Kaitlyn’s pictures. I could have found much clearer pictures of stars and galaxies on the internet, but what I really wanted was the pictures of the gift she gave me that she knew I would love, and I do.

Kaitlyn always acted like a very happy person and most of her pictures display this. However, there are some that seem to display the deep sadness she felt. I never thought about it at the time, I just thought she was being dramatic for the camera, but it was more than likely her inner sadness coming through. Most of the pictures of her in this video display her sadness and it’s just something I want to reflect in this video; a sadness I never knew existed in her. However at the end, it shows her happy like I know she is beyond the vastness of our universe.

I can still look at the stars though Kaitlyn, because they will always remind me of you and you ARE my bright shining star. I love you.

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 I Can’t Look at the Stars

  1. When we look out into the cosmos there is beauty and wonder and mystery. We just don’t know or have all of the answers about the universe in which we live. For a brief moment across the eons of time in which the universe has existed, your bright shining star dazzled the world with her beauty and wonder and mystery. What happens to young stars in distant galaxies that shine with wondrous and great intensity and then suddenly are extinguished? What happens to bright, promising, and talented souls among us who shine with wondrous and great intensity and then are no more? Somewhere beyond my limited understanding, I believe there is a logical and rational explanation for everything that happens in the universe even though the order, structure, function and purpose of everything interacting in the universe is not well understood by me. I must learn to content myself with the mystery of why some stars shine very brightly and then are no more. Let us cast our gazes toward the heavens, Rhonda, as we intoxicate ourselves with the beauty and wonder…and, yes, the mystery of life. Let’s look at the stars!


  2. gatito2 says:

    Thank you for your beautiful words Randall. I have to accept the fact that there is so mudh I don’t understand and will never understand on this earth. Thank you for such a wonderful comment.


  3. Very moving and beautifully done tribute to Kaitlyn. And that song will make any bereaved parent cry (I certainly did).


  4. gatito2 says:

    Thank you. It was done from the heart. I’ve used the same pictures I have shown many times, but I picked the ones that reflect how she must have felt sometimes. Thank you so much for commenting. I love the song too.


  5. daphned2013 says:

    Rhonda, though I did not know Kaitlyn, and we have never met, I still find myself thinking of you and her many many times throughout the day. My heart breaks for you and I am so sorry that this happened. Your words paint such a clear picture – I read your page everyday… this video was amazing!


  6. gatito2 says:

    Thank you so much for thinking about us. That really touches my heart. Trying to live with her loss is by far the worst thing I have ever gone through and I will never get over it. No one ever does. But they say you learn to live with the pain. I have not done that yet. It’s so hard. Thank you about the compliment of the video. I thought maybe some people would think it too dark and might not understand the meaning of the fire scenes but if they listen to the music they will know. I did it with love. I never saw Kaitlyn sad except for normal sadness; the break up with a boyfriend, things like that so I never saw the sadness she hid from me. I wanted to portray the way she probably felt inside with the pictures and how happy I know she is now far away from here. Thank you so much for reading my blog. Thank you again.


  7. LoM says:

    Ach, this just broke my heart. I read your blog a lot, I just don’t ever comment.

    Thank you, thank you for the honoring of the photos that show this side of her too. My mother chastised me and told me she took all the “sullen” photos of me and burned them after I recovered from my depression. I felt like she burned my true self, and took the façade and treasured it like gold. She knew how bad my depression was, she said she spent nights awake just wondering whether I would still be alive when she woke, feeling that if she just didn’t sleep that couldn’t happen. And still she wanted that chipper happy reassurance of my brilliant smile more than the truth.

    It took me twenty two years to come out of my suicidal depression. Thirteen to thirty five years old. A couple of years ago I read my 1996 diary and broke down when I reached an entry in December that said something like “I have had ten days this year when I have gone a whole day without wanting to die. I think things are getting better. I have hope.” I know you wish that for your girl, but if someone told me that I had to go back and live that time again, I could not face such torture, knowing it would be so long, so hard, such absolute daily agony. I don’t know how that could possibly help you for me to say it, but I needed to. I hope you can forgive me for saying it. A big hug to you – no one should have to feel the terrible pain you do either.


  8. gatito2 says:

    I did not take anything you said the wrong way and I love your honesty. Kaitlyn left in her note that she would have died years ago but could not bring herself to do it because of how it would hurt us, but now could wait no longer. She never seemed unhappy to anyone at all. But looking back, I can see some of the pain in her face that I only took at the time as dramatic effect for the camera. She was an artist even in that sense. But looking back I think it may have been her inner pain showing. You did not mention whether or not you got treatment or medication for your depression. I’m wondering if it helped or not. Kaitlyn never sought professional help and I will always be tortured by the not knowing whether if would have helped or not. I will never know, she did not give that a chance. I’m so glad you are better. Thank you for your comments.


  9. LoM says:

    I was lucky to have an epiphany when I was nineteen. I would sit in a disused train tunnel next to a used one to be alone and cry and fantasize about ending it all. I was looking into the tunnel one day, thinking of how it was like my life, full of darkness, no knowledge of when the darkness would end. And then in the darkness I saw a fluttering movement. It was a white moth, and it flew out of the darkness and into the light, and became brilliant white. In that moment I promised myself that I would not allow suicide as an option until I had tried everything that I could to get out of it. I did thirteen years of counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists, tried every med I could find. I finally did give up after the final straw of checking myself into a psych ward, which didn’t help at all. I made an attempt, but I slipped up one detail, a friend worked it out and stopped me.

    It was something so odd and unique that changed things for me that I don’t think I could bottle it for anyone else.

    Hugs. Thank you for being a wonderful Mom. And you are, I worry that you might think you missed things you shouldn’t have, but I don’t think you did. I know her need to hide it. It’s a way of coping as much as anything else. Or it was for me. And I was all those happy bubbly things too. It wasn’t all an act.


  10. gatito2 says:

    I’m so glad you had that experience that turned you around and made you try to get help for yourself. I so wish Kaitlyn had had an epiphany like that.

    Thank you so much for the nice things you said. I tried to be the best mother I could to her and I don’t think anything I did caused her problem. But I do feel bad that I didn’t know how very badly she was suffering. But it simply did not show.


  11. I spent the last half hour going all over Rhonda’s blog to look for your comment again, LoM. I couldn’t find where I had read it before, but I wanted to go back and revisit your comments. It resonated with me so much and helped me understand the intensity of the pain that sufferers of mental depression must deal with in their daily lives. I can’t imagine only having ten days in a year when I did not feel like dying, but you have experienced that and lived to tell about it, LoM. I was also struck by your comment, “if someone told me that I had to go back and live that time again, I could not face such torture, knowing it would be so long, so hard, such absolute daily agony.” I believe that was the same kind of torment that my 15 year-old son faced when he took his life a year ago. Like Rhonda’s daughter, Kaitlyn, my son also hid his depression and suicidal thoughts from everyone. I, too, wonder why my son was so expert in hiding his hidden depression and inner turmoil. Your explanation makes about as much sense as any I have heard when you say, “It’s a way of coping as much as anything else.” Thank you for sharing your story.


  12. Rhonda, I found an astronomy website that I know would have fascinated you and Kaitlyn. Somewhere…someplace far beyond our imagination…we explorers will find our lost loved ones and the yearnings of our heart. http://workshop.chromeexperiments.com/stars/


  13. gatito2 says:

    Thank you so much Randall. I’ll go check it out.


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