Before anyone reads this I want you to realize some things, if you have not realized it before. I write some things that some people find too painful to read, what some mothers would never be able to bring themselves to write because it is too painful. I write these things because I need to. I think them, I have to write them. What my husband can shove out of his mind so he can function, I cannot shove out; they haunt me and stalk me relentlessly. I see everything that Kaitlyn may have done leading to her death like a video in my mind without a pause or stop button. I simply will not sugarcoat my daughter’s death in any way. I will not downplay the extreme torment that a mother goes through when they lose a child they loved more than life itself. Suicidal people will know what happens when they die and what it does to people they leave behind and I hope that by reading these things, they will get help before they get to the point of no return. If my grief does nothing else, I hope it does this. I know what it means to want to die. I also know what it means to try to live if for nothing else, for those you love. I also know what it means to be so far gone help seems nonexistent, the way my daughter must have felt 4-11-13. My writing is not always easy, but it IS ALL the truth.
As I reached for the gummy multiple vitamins and the gummy calcium vitamins this morning, I realized they will soon all be gone. I remember the day we cleaned out your apartment after your funeral and as I was cleaning out the pantry, there they were. The two biggest bottles of gummy vitamins I had ever seen. There were some gone out of them, but for the most part there were many left in both bottles. All of the things in your pantry and in your refrigerator that had been opened, we trashed, but I kept the vitamins. I take multi vitamins and calcium but not the gummies. I took calcium chews because regular calcium tablets are big enough to choke a horse, and I have almost choked to death once taking them. So I thought I would not waste your vitamins. I would take them myself.
All of the healthy foods in your refrigerator that had not been opened, we got some of your fellow med school classmates to come and take to Goodwill. All those healthy foods….you were so very health conscience.
I looked at the two bottles of gummy vitamins this morning which look like they had come from a special vitamin store. I bet they did. You only got the best of anything. It took me 3 whole months to be able to even take the first vitamin out of your bottles. I didn’t even take any of my own, I didn’t even care. I could not bring myself to take anything out of your vitamin bottles. Actually, they looked like they would taste nasty. But one day, I decided to take them and they were actually very good. I started taking them every day. Now they are almost gone and I know what I will do with the empty bottles. I will put them away with the rest of your things and have them forever.
I looked at the bottles. I remembered the health food. I thought of the irony of someone that took such great care of their mind and body so very much actually laid down one night, put a bag over her head, filled it with helium and put an end to all that she had worked so hard to build.
What did you think of those last few minutes before you lost consciousness Kaitlyn? Did you think of the years of hard work and achievement that you put forth all of your life? Did you think of the bedtimes stories I told you at night, of Harry Potter, of the times I held you with all of my might? Did you think of your boyfriend and past boyfriends and good friends that you held so dearly in your heart? Did you think of all the hard work you put into medical school only to end it here in the middle? Did you think of the future that will no longer be and the doctor that the world will lose by the loss of you? Did you think of the husband and the children and the home you will never have? Did you think of me Kaitlyn? Or did you simply feel relief that your pain will now come to an end?
Visions of the things I saw when I first walked into your apartment after your death; the partially drank glass of wine, the partially drank bottle of wine, and poems of Sylvia Plath and the book “The Bell Jar” sitting on your living room table in front of your couch. I can see you in my mind, sipping the wine and eating the dessert you bought especially for this occasion, as you wrote your suicide notes to your family and those you were closest to at the end. Notes that were neatly written and carefully thought out. I imagine you had written these words in your mind many times over the years, and researched your method of death methodically and carefully like you did everything else. Your father cannot bear to think of these things; my mind won’t let these visions stop.
I imagine you bought the wine to get your nerve up to do what you thought you had to do; bought the dessert because you rarely partook of a dessert and wanted to enjoy your last moments. You bought “The Bell Jar” a week before I imagine to read about someone that went through what you were going through. I can see you getting up after finishing your tasks, telling your cat Gatito goodbye, going in your bedroom, closing the door to die “in the comfort of my own home.”
Those gummy vitamins. The irony of what they represent and what ultimately transpired with the young woman, who so carefully chose them to keep her body strong, leaps out at me every time I touch the bottles; every time I taste their sweetness. All this flashes by in my mind when I look at the bottles. Those bottles.