The Gummy Vitamins

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.

women's

calcium

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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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22 Responses to The Gummy Vitamins

  1. Ellen Ross says:

    I take those same vitamins, and from today on, I will think of Kaitlyn when I take them.

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  2. 1wanderingtruthseeker says:

    I debated liking this post. I hate the pain you and your daughter were/are in. I too lost my son to suicide. You put pain in much better in the written form. Mine was raw.

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  3. gatito2 says:

    Thank you Ellen.

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  4. gatito2 says:

    Thank you. My pain is so very raw. I don’t even put everything I feel here believe it or not.

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  5. Neal says:

    I thought often while Kaitlyn was alive that I should start taking some gummy vitamins. Kaitlyn inspired me to start taking my vitamins as we trained for a marathon together. I always had the feeling that if Kaitlyn was doing it, I knew she put so much time, effort, and thought into what she was eating or doing, it was worth considering myself. I thought I should find out what kind of gummies she took and start to take those too.

    I have put myself in the room with her many times trying to imagine her last moments from the information you gave me about the things you found. It’s painful, but it’s not something that I can get out of my mind. I never come up with helpful answers when I think about it. She was the person in my life who always helped me to figure things out when I was confused. I need her now, but she isn’t here to explain.

    It is so painful to lose her.

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  6. gatito2 says:

    I know Neal. You’re like me in many respects about Kaitlyn. You hurt so badly because she was your best friend, and yet you can still talk and write about her, though it is painful. My husband says I shouldn’t play out these things in my mind, but I have not choice in the matter. To me, Kaitlyn was so far away from any of this that happened. I still can’t believe it. Everything she did, she did so well and put in so much thought to it.

    Have you tried the gummy vitamins? They are really good. I hate to see them end. I may even buy some like them when they are gone, but her bottles will go with all the rest of her things that I have. Forever a memory.

    I bet you have no idea how much your support has meant to me Neal. You hurt so much yourself, but yet you can talk to me about it instead of shoving it out of your mind by force. Thank you Neal. Thank you so much. Like I’ve always said before, Kaitlyn could choose the best people for friends. It was amazing and she loved you Neal.

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  7. Neal says:

    I haven’t tried the gummy vitamins. But Kaitlyn talked about how much she liked them. I have a non-chewy horse-pill sized vitamin.

    I don’t have any choice but to play things out in my mind too. I end up usually envisioning worst case or most-painful scenarios. But I didn’t envision this one before Kaitlyn died. I put myself in her place all the time, even though I know I don’t know what exactly she thought and felt. Envisioning her last moments is difficult, but I find my mind there often.

    I’m glad I can support you in some way. It is really important to me to keep in touch with you. Your sharing and support has been a big help to me too. I loved her very much. I know she loved me and I know she loved you too. Thank you for saying it though.

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  8. gatito2 says:

    Thank you Neal. You have helped me more than you know since Kaitlyn died.

    Try the gummies. Gummies ususally cost more, but they are really good. The pictures I put in this post are the brand she used.

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  9. Joyce says:

    Thank you for sharing this. My dad committed suicide in 1991 .I too would replay those last moments for him .He shot himself twice , once in the chest , then in his head. I often wondered after the first shot did he think maybe it wasn’t a good idea but now had gone too far and can’t turn back.Did he think of us , I think that he did because he killed himself in his car in a parking lot down the street……..thinking he didn’t want my sister or I to find him.

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  10. No Name says:

    Vitafusion! I take those, they’re excellent even if they cost a bit more. I also take the Omega-3s to help with depression.

    No one will ever be able to tell you what she was experiencing then, but I know in some way how it feels because I’ve been that low. Every moment that was good or happy disappears; all you can think of is your own shame and how many people you’ve disappointed. Memories flash before your eyes but they’re all bitter; it’s like wearing glasses that make everything dark and painful. It feels like your entire life has been complete agony. The only “good” is the little relief that at least it will be over soon.

    The world is a strange and cruel place; we usually cope by trying to create peace within ourselves. What happens when our own minds become hostile to us too? How can we find peace and solace? What can we do, where can we go?

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  11. gatito2 says:

    I’m very sorry for the death of your father. He probably did do this in his car at another place in order for none of you to find him. Sometimes people have the ability to think about things like that when they are suicidal, sometimes not. I feel for the people that find their loved ones after it happens. They must see that vision in their head all the time. I didn’t see it and my mind still comes up with that vision. I hope you have found some measure of happiness but I know no one ever gets over something like this. Never.

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  12. gatito2 says:

    Thank you for your comments. I know how if feels to feel like that too but somehow I got help and struggled to come out of it. I have feelings of disappointment in myself and the world when I get that way. Kaitlyn, to my knowledge, has succeeded in every single thing she tried to do in her life. If her mind somehow turned that around into her being a disappointment to herself or to anyone, then her thinking was completely inaccurate. But a suicidal mind thinks all kinds of horrible things. I think by her note, she had been struggling all her life with this horrible sadness and she just got exhausted and could do it no more. What haunts me is why she didn’t get any help. But I have all kinds of reasons why that come up in my mind about that too.

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  13. Anna Berenyi says:

    I have found that people want to respond with empathy and say, “I understand.” In this instance they can’t say that and they don’t know what to say. I CAN say in this instance, “I understand.” My oldest son took his own life in June of this year. Many of the things that you said in this entry today eerily mimic my situation. My beautiful 22 year old boy used helium to end his life also. He was dedicated to eating healthy foods and he took vitamins and supplements and was always studying about how the body works. He lived with us and my house was filled with organic food and the day he died we received a package with vitamin B supplements in it. I was so angry that he spent so much time and energy fine tuning his body and then took his own life. I still have the supplements but I haven’t taken them.

    I love how you write to deal with your pain. I also write in order to work through my pain and grief and my heart goes out to you. I know the pain.

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  14. gatito2 says:

    Oh yes, you for sure, unfortunately understand. Our situations sound so similar. Isn’t it so ironic? That they took such good care of themselves and turn around and kill themselves? I can never get over the irony of this. But I do know severe depression makes you forget about everything good and there is nothing but darkness and hopelessness. But saying you know what depression is, and trying to deal with the result of it are 2 different things.

    Thank you about what you said about my writing. When I don’t write something that is crying to get out, I suffer so much more. I still suffer even when writing about it, but somehow it feels better to get it out.

    I’m so sorry about the death of your son. Your son sounds a lot like my daughter. I hope you find a measure of happiness.

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  15. 1wanderingtruthseeker says:

    I didn’t mean to say yours was any less raw. What I meant to say is that you put your words together better than I did. I hope you didn’t think that I thought yours was any less. I raged, ranted and blamed as many people as I could. But please remember, you did not make that choice. She did. For whatever reason. I have had to come to grips with that.

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  16. gatito2 says:

    Oh no, I didn’t take your reply to mean my pain wasn’t raw. If it sounded like I did, I promise it was not intentional. I just meant mine was raw too and agreeing with how you feel. This is such a horrible thing that has happened. I still feel like I’m living in someone else’s life now. Surely it couldn’t be mine.

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  17. 1wanderingtruthseeker says:

    The pain never goes away but times of normal creep in and then more creep in until you don’t cry all the time. Don’t go with the what if’s if you can keep them away. I know it is terrible. My son’s birthday is today. He would have been 36. Most men don’t even grow up until that are about 35. He hung himself. He was a great artist, but the world of tattoos and drugs invaded. He was in jail when he hung himself.

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  18. gatito2 says:

    I am so sorry. I hope you can get though today on his birthday alright. I will be thinking of you. The world is so hard to live in and there are so many things that can happen. I’m so sorry.

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  19. 1wanderingtruthseeker says:

    And I am so sorry for your loss. I will be thinking of you often. This is a road no parent should ever have to travel.

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  20. Rhonda, your first public mention of how your daughter accomplished her suicide strikes me as real progress that you are making. For you to even be able to publicly acknowledge how this happened, I believe, shows that you are coming to terms with Kaitlyn’s death. While the signs of your personal healing may not be readily apparent to you, from the perspective of a compassionate outsider looking in, I believe that you are healing your broken heart at a reasonable pace. It is not a race, Rhonda, and we may never cross the finish line in fully recovering from our children’s deaths from suicide, but I am witness to your slow and deliberate forward progress. Continue to move forward through your writings. You are doing just fine, friend.

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  21. gatito2 says:

    Randall, I will tell you the honest truth about why I have never publicly announced how Kaitlyn took her life. Any time anyone would ask me in person, or by email, or message, I would always tell them. But amazingly very few people ask but I don’t mind them asking at all. It hurt no more to tell them how than any other hurt I’ve experienced when she took her life. All of it is horrible. But the honest to goodness reason I have never publicly announced it is that I was in utter fear that people who were contemplating suicide would look up this method (that I had never even heard of before then) and decide this would be how they would take their lives. I just felt it would make their decision to do it some much easier. I thought those that didn’t know about the method would be better off going on without knowing it and I didn’t want to be the one that said a method of suicide that is not well known.

    However, I then decided to be very honest and go ahead and tell it and hope so much that it does no harm to anyone.

    Some days I’m doing better Randall and some days I’m not. But I am determined to make something positive come from such a horrible thing. It’s what Kaitlyn would have wanted.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    My dad committed suicide as well in 1994. He was old and dying of cancer. He used a sawed off shotgun and died in his bedroom. My mom tried to stop him and almost left the world with him. He was a recovered alcoholic. It was very traumatic but at least I understood that he just wanted to be out of the awful pain that he was suffering physically, plus he had always been mentally ill and depressed. I was angry at first but I have learned to deal with it and to comfort myself somehow. My children were of great comfort to me. I had to protect myself by not going into his room..where he ended his life. I am very sensitive.I think it would be worse however to lose a child this way and I feel so bad for you, your husband, and for your beautiful daughter, who reminds me of my daughters..Two of them went through a brief period of wanting to die. It seems like she was very selective and intelligent… with deep thoughts….like my children.
    Thanks for posting. I am so sorry for your loss. Thanks so much for posting. I wish you peace and light. Mental illness is a horrible thing.Take care of yourself.

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