It Was Real

I think about your suicide note a lot. I have no idea how many times I have read it but know it must be well over 100 times. As I sit there and read the lines where you tell us that you were sad all your life, I reflect back on the whole entirety of your 23 years that I was witness to and it is the biggest contradiction that could ever be.

Pictures in my 30 plus family picture albums loom out before me; pictures of a happy little girl with blonde hair and glasses happily hunting Easter eggs, opening Christmas presents, and enjoying herself at Disney World. As the time goes by I see a teenager and young woman that was such a vital part of our little family, happily charting out a course for her life and seemingly enjoying each step of the many steps that would make her dreams come true.

The words “I have been depressed longer than I remember” call into question all the things I saw in your face, all the actions of your life, the wonderful heartfelt talks that we had, every smile I saw on your face. Can such a little girl fake happiness? Can such a beautiful and talented young woman fake being happy? I have a difficult time with that. I wonder if all that I saw was real or not. This horrifies me because the beauty and happiness of you was one of my reasons for living. For my children to be happy was my greatest desire. Then I find out that you were not.

This is nothing new, I’ve struggled with this the moment that I read your note for the very first time sitting on your couch at your apartment, your body lying in the hospital you were to start your clinical rotations at.

Perhaps at the end you were in such darkness that you only thought your depression was all your life; maybe it just seemed that way. Please tell me all our precious moments were real that it was not you just trying to look happy.

For my own preservation, I’m going to think that all those smiles and all that I experienced with you was real, because, truly I think it was. However sad you were you hid it well, but I believe all the moments of happiness that I saw in your life and the love and goodness that you gave were so very real….because something so deeply genuine in its presentation could only be real.

It was all real. Please don’t tell me it was not. How can one of the most important experiences of my life not be real?

I was real….it was real… was real.


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 It Was Real

  1. jmgoyder says:

    All of it is real, Rhonda – all of it. It is just that the depression overtook all of the good stuff. Once again, I remember feeling like this at Kaitlyn’s age despite being adored by my mother and she had absolutely no idea how severe my depression was. You are a hero to put this information out there and, despite the pain of this first Christmas without her, I do wish you and yours a mountain of love. Juliex


  2. gatito2 says:

    Thank you so much Juliex. It hurts so very much her not being here for Christmas. She was always here for Christmas. It has to have been real….


  3. Heartafire says:

    My heart goes out to you, wishing you peace.


  4. pappy53 says:

    My dear friend in grief.

    It was real. It is real. I know that the moments that consumed our loved ones were also real. One moment of reality does not negate the other moments. If it did, then we could wish them whole again in this moment, too.

    The smile of your precious Kaitlyn, her energy glows in the all the photos you’ve shared. It’d be wrong to interpret one moment of darkness as all moments.

    Wishing you and your family moments of peace during these sad holidays.


  5. gatito2 says:

    You are right. Thank you.


  6. Reader says:

    Thank you so much for this raw and brave blog. I am around Kaitlyn’s age and have suffered from severe depression. This past year I separated myself from my friends and family because the pain was so overwhelming and I thought I deserved to drown in it alone. This blog has taught me so much about how mothers love their children. I know my mother loves me, but I’ve never understood just how much until I started reading here. (People without children probably can’t ever completely understand.)

    Kaitlyn was happy, it was real. The problem with deep depression is that it makes us forget we were ever happy. Even if her battle with depression was lifelong, I am sure that she struggled to remember the happy times. I know I barely can even though I know objectively that it hasn’t always been this bad.

    Thank you for sharing your love and pain with us. I’m praying for you.


  7. edgarone2 says:

    You are not alone this Christmas.
    I’m praying for you every day for God to give you strength.We are all children of God. God loves you.


  8. gatito2 says:

    Thank you so much.


  9. gatito2 says:

    I am so very happy that my blog has helped you. Please never forget how deeply a parent loves a child. It is forever and it is deep and has no bounds. I hope you are getting help for your depression. You deserve a chance at life and to never choose what my daughter felt that she had to do.


  10. Rhonda – I so agree with ‘pappy 53’s’ comment. I have followed you for a brief time but while I was reading this post I was also saying no, no, please Rhonda . . . that’s your mind playing tricks on you. Your daughters photo with the Christmas tree glows and someone in total despair does not glow. They are unkempt, they don’t have the energy to stay clean and neat and have shiny hair plus nice clothes. I’ve met clinical depression in all of the ugliness it has to offer and I also know the joyous moments of my life far outweigh the most depressed of times I’ve lived through. Unfortunately, when in the pits of hell with clinical depression it’s impossible to remember the great times. The molecules of the mind simply refuse to go there. The chemistry is simply too far gone.


  11. gatito2 says:

    Thank you. I know. One would have never thought her depressed by her looks or actions that is why I stay so confused. That is why I’ve written an entire book on my search for answers. There are no for sure answers, only theories. I know depression is a horrible thing because i also suffer it myself. It’s just that I told someone and got help. I don’t know what it’s like to be able to hide it so well. For me and so many others it’s a very difficult thing to hide. I guess it was her pure will power to hide it because she was so strong. I just wish she would have let her guard down long enough to get help. But wishing does no good.


  12. I once asked my husband how he could answer the phone in such a cheerful way and in fact be spending days, weeks and even months in bed under the covers. Tom told me he didn’t want everyone to think he was sick all the time. This situation makes it difficult for me still today. I’m ultimately responsible for Tom’s safety and it’s often a guessing game of what should I do.


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