There is something about tragic loss, (so I have just learned because I’ve never experienced it before), that in between the times of bitter grief and devastation, the lying on the floor and asking God how this could have happened, that I sit and I ponder over my life and all the different phases of it. The horribleness of my childhood, though my parents loved me and treated me well, everything else in my life was lonely and depressing. To the time when I graduated high school when all started improving, meeting my husband and being so lucky that I found a man that treated me better than anything I could have ever asked for, and had a life that I could only have dreamed of. Then my girls came along and all was good with the world. I worked hard, both my husband and I, but we loved our girls and spent time with them and devoted our lives to them. We once had a party lifestyle, but once they came along, we put them first and those days of only caring for ourselves ended…..and was never missed again.
All those years, all those wonderful years we had. Once I told my mother that I was scared of the happiness I had, that I was scared that it was too good to be true and I was scared something would happen to end it. My mother, always a very wise woman told me to embrace my happiness and I did, with all my heart and my life remained happy for many years.
After 33 years of marriage my youngest daughter of 23 ended her own life unexpectedly with no warning whatsoever and my life has plummeted into the depths of such unhappiness of which I have never known or could have conceived of.
So there it is. I often wonder if you pay a price for happiness. Does one pay a price for loving someone too much? For if anyone could have possibly been loved too much (which I don’t think is possible), I loved Kaitlyn too much. Is this what the price of love is? Profound loss and the feeling that your life is an empty shell because you are so empty inside with nothing left but pain.
Sometimes I ponder over if I had my choice (which I don’t) would I go back and undo the happiness I had because losing it was so painful? I would gladly endure this pain I have now since Kaitlyn died over and over again if it meant that I once had her in my life; that I experienced the joy of knowing and being the parent of such a wonderful person. But to wish this and to know how much she suffered in her life, would that be selfish of me? To want her to have been born to make me happy but know that she was suffering? I don’t know how to answer that question only to make it another statement; I would give my life a million times over if she was still here and had never suffered the way she wrote that she did all her life.
So all my reflections of my life lead me to questions that have no answers and solutions that have no possibility. Fruitless questions. I always told my husband “don’t ever waste your time worrying about the things you cannot change because that is just wasted energy.” And yet this is what I spend my life doing now, worrying about things I cannot change.
I feel guilty. I feel guilty that she inherited my genes of depression; guilty that I did not sense something was wrong; guilty that maybe she told me in some way but I was so busy seeing her as perfect I didn’t hear it (what a horrifying thought), I just feel horrid, guilty, and sad. I feel broken. “Broken” a word she used to describe herself to one of her friends in a suicide note to them. Broken.
There’s nothing profound in this writing tonight. It really does not even make sense at all. Soon my book will be finished and if I accomplish what I want it will be a testament of the wonderful person my daughter was and a warning to everyone that depression can be hidden. After that, I don’t know what I will do. Actually, it is already finished except for some very important things that need to be done and added. But I’m really done with what I wanted to say.
So I reflect, and as I do I’m reminded of a song by Bob Seger. When I was around 19 and 20 years old I listened to him and can still see myself in my backyard as I laid on a lounge chair in my bathing suit getting a tan that really should not have been gotten by someone with such a fair complexion as I have. I had my cassette or tape player (or whatever it is we had at that time) listening to his songs. For someone who wrote such rowdy songs like “Betty Sue is getting out Tonight” or “Sunspot Baby”, he sure could write other songs with great depth and meaning. And he makes me think of times gone by, times when I was happy, times when I didn’t have a broken heart such as this……and I recall…..
Below: When I was 20. On my wedding day actually.