And I Recall…..

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.


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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10 Responses to And I Recall…..

  1. jmgoyder says:

    A lot of what you say here resonates for me – the lonely childhood despite being loved, the fear of happiness. Ever since Ming’s car accident, I have been feeling a sense of fatalism (not quite doom, but nearly). I guess it is the realization that anything can happen to anyone at anytime and there is very little we can do to prevent that. This is a horrible feeling – not negative so much as realistic. My biggest fear, of course, is that I will lose my precious son and I have had a taste of what that might feel like from the night of the accident when I drove hysterically up and down the country roads looking for him and the kids.
    The fact that you keep going, keep writing, keep thinking, keep feeling and keep offering wisdom and insight into what it is like to lose a child, to lose Kaitlyn, is beyond courageous; it is heroic and generous. Sorry if this is garbled, Rhonda – I am grateful to you for your friendship and I hope you will always know that I am here as an ear for you whenever. Sending love. Juliexxx


  2. Dena Morgan - mother of Kaitlyn Jane Flanagan says:

    Rhonda – I want to wrap my arms around you and give you comfort if only for a second from another grieving mother. My Kaitlyn took her life on 11-27-2013 and I’m still in the numb phase, I think about her every second of the day, my days are long and nights are longer, and it 8:33 every night when I received her last text message, I know she will be gone always and forever shortly afterward. If only, if only…..

    all my love,


  3. gatito2 says:

    Dena, thank you so much. I’m so sorry for the loss of your Kaitlyn. It is horrible. I know the feeling of thinking about your daughter every second of every single day. That last for quite some time. Now I only think about her every other second of every single day. If you ever want to tell me all about her, email me at I’d love to know about her if you are ready. I always love to talk about my Kaitlyn.


  4. gatito2 says:

    Thank you Julie. No, nothing you wrote is garbled. In my situation, the only increased worry I have is for my other daughter. It makes me worry so much more about her feelings. I always did worry, but now I worry more. As for me, I don’t worry about anything at all anymore. Once one of the worst things happens to you, you don’t really worry about anything….because unfortunately, there’s so much that doesn’t matter anymore. I don’t mean to sound so…..pitiful….I’m just so sad.


  5. I do not believe that God punishes us for being happy. I, like you, went through many years of my life without traumatic loss. I count myself lucky that is true. Not so for my younger son, who had to endure this horrible death of his brother. He will have known traumatic loss nearly his entire life. How fair is that?


  6. gatito2 says:

    It’s not fair at all. So many things are not. It doesn’t make it any easier to bear though.


  7. It seems like any time I express a thought about how good something in my life is, it promptly falls apart. Or when everything is going well, I know that it won’t be long until that changes. I’ve become sort of superstitious about this.
    When we watch tv or a movie, as soon as the characters are happy, we know a disaster is imminent. I just never expected anything as shattering and as permanent as the death of my child. My husband and I both feel like we are damaged and the best that we can hope for is to survive.


  8. gatito2 says:

    I really understand this. I feel like I’m ruined. Though I know Kailtyn did not want this for me, that is the reality I am left with. I know I don’t sound optimistic. What a downer I am.


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