I Can’t Bring Her Back

I sit here at home in my over 9 months after losing Kaitlyn and I ponder quite a bit. I’ve posted 5 billion Facebook posts, over 400 blog posts, and have written an over 90,000 word book (my word document keeps up with that number) and I wonder what it is for. I’ve been finished with the book for weeks and I usually keep looking over it adjusting it here and there, obtaining permission to use certain quotes, articles, etc. but for the life of me, I’ve not had the heart to look at it at all in over a week.

But I wonder about my book. In many ways it is a warning about the silent depression that killed my daughter and kills so many others, and many other things. It’s a way to vent my feelings. My Facebook posts are to make me feel not so alone I suppose. I rarely see anyone, but that is of my own doing for the most part.

My blog is a way for me to keep from exploding because if I don’t write about what I feel, I feel even worse. Then I’m told that it helps other people to realize what it would do to their loved ones if they killed themselves. Their mother would become someone like me….totally lost and feeling ruined. The people that have lost loved one’s feel like they have someone to relate to.

But then it always brings me back to what it is that I’m doing. Kaitlyn, would never in a million years open up her true feelings in public like this, except maybe an occasional cryptic sentence or through her poetry that she did not write anymore. Would she be ashamed of me for being so public? I was once like that, never to open up for people in public, keeping my feelings to everyone but my family, now this has changed everything. I’m not really a writer. I just have a need to express myself since she has been gone.

But what am I doing? I think I know. I’m trying to keep Kaitlyn alive. Piece by piece I’m trying to build her again, recreate what has been lost, I think it’s so horrible that this world has lost her presence, her potential, her wonderful energy, her sweetness and brilliance. I just can’t let that go, I must keep her alive, no one must ever forget.

But I just can’t keep her alive, simple as that. She choose to go, even though it was through that horrible veil of sadness that took her from us. I will never be able to deal with that. I can never re-create her, I can’t try to write her into being a full fleshed human being anymore. She is gone. Her spirit is somewhere, though I know she is around me and visits sometimes in various ways, I cannot touch her, and it is not the same, though I cherish what I can get.

I’ve blogged myself out, I’ve facebooked myself to death, I’ve written a book that may or may not be published one day…..and still she does not stand before me, hug me, let me smell her hair and tell her I love her bigger than the universe. I run out of ways and now I don’t know what else to do.

I think all of this was a way to keep her alive. She still does not stand before me but only in my heart, my mind, and my memories does she remain. I can’t accept it. I never will.

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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35 Responses to I Can’t Bring Her Back

  1. Neal says:

    I don’t think she would ever be ashamed of you. I’m not sure you have to have an answer to the question, “What am I doing?”

    I’m certain no one will ever forget. I was going to send you an email this week. I went to the opera on Sunday. I wept nearly the whole time. We went to the opera this weekend a year ago.


  2. gatito2 says:

    Oh Neal, I know that must have been bittersweet to go to the opera this weekend one year from when you last went with her. She loved the opera. I really don’t know what I’m doing anymore.


  3. lisaleben says:

    There is nothing I can say to take away your pain or bring Kaitlyn back, all I can say is, “I hear you.” You aren’t writing into empty space. Prayers are with you.


  4. I know exactly what you mean. No matter what we do or say, in the end, our children are gone and we can’t bring them back. I can say or write those words, but each time I really think about the meaning of those words, I am filled with shock and panic and desperation.
    Nevertheless, I still believe it is good that you write about Kaitlyn and share your memories and feelings. She did exist and she should be remembered. What you write makes a lasting impression on many people and the Kaitlyn that you’ve described exists in our minds and hearts. I wish I had known her.
    I also completely understand about how incongruous it is for you to write publicly about such a private person. My son was also extremely private and shy and never ever talked about himself or anyone else. He hated small talk and gossip, did not like being photographed. He would not like the fact that I have created a website in his memory or that I speak about him in blog comments such as this.
    However, I need to find a way to survive and doing this helps me. It’s what we need to do.


    YOU are someone that the rest of us can take strength from.
    YOU are one of my “bright shining stars” in this vast, dark space and I thank you for opening up your heart like you do…Kaitlyn would undoubtedly draw great pride from your blog.


  6. Neal says:

    It was. I went with her the first time a couple years before that. I love it. It makes me feel close to her when I go. It only happens three times a year.

    I don’t think you have to know what you’re doing. I think your blogging, facebooking, and book-writing have been valuable pursuits. You could continue those things, or you could start a new project to focus on. I think that any way you choose to focus your energy will be valuable, because everything you’ve done since Kaitlyn’s death so far has been valuable, at least to me.


  7. David says:

    After some time I suppose everything that should be said or could be said will be said. Maybe you will get to the point where you need to try something new. Maybe something completely different to put your mind somewhere else, at least for a while. I am very depressed this time of year and decided to force myself to do something constructive. I’ve decided to learn how to re-tile my kitchen back splash. I have to learn how to do it, shop for supplies and do the work. It puts my thoughts on something else temporarily.
    I know its still very new but I wonder if you feel that you have to torture yourself with sadness and grief forever to prove to Kaitlyn and yourself how much you really loved her. If you stopped grieving as much would that mean that you didn’t care anymore? I don’t think Kaitlyn would want her mother to suffer this much and give up on everything else.


  8. gatito2 says:

    Thank you Neal. You’ve not only been a great friend to Kaitlyn, but you have also been a good friend to lean on since her death. I only hope I don’t make it worse for you.


  9. gatito2 says:

    Thank you. I feel when I can no longer write in this blog that my book will live on and people will know her from it and from the words I left here.


  10. gatito2 says:

    Thank you. That made me feel good.


  11. gatito2 says:

    PLEASE don’t’ think that I have been insulted by what you said, because sometimes a few people will take replies I made that way, but know this is not the case and is not usually the case with anyone. But to be honest, I’m not trying to torture myself to prove to myself how much I loved her. She knew how much, I know how much, there’s nothing to prove there. I simply do NOT have a choice. Anything short of a lobotomy or death could ever keep my mind from doing what it is doing…..suffering. Maybe that will lessen one day, but it has not yet, but believe me when I tell you, I’m not trying to torture myself. That is being done without my asking for it or wanting it. Kaitlyn would not want me to suffer like this, but I didn’t want her dead either so neither of us had that choice of what the other wanted.

    Again, please don’t be insulted by my response. It was not intended that way but only wanted to tell you how I feel. This blog will dwindle down one day when I completely know that I’ve said all I can say out loud and that is starting to happen, even though I’m writing still.

    When I quit writing it will not be that she is forgotten. I realize that. It was just a need that I HAD to express.


  12. Ali B. says:

    Let me just start this reply by sayinf that I think this blog is serving a much greater purpose than even you know right now (and that is ok). Writing and expressing yourself through this grief is a wonderful way to remember your daughter! She was a big part of your life for a lot of years and the urge to keep her alive, to keep her close to you, is a normal one that people often experience. I work with grief every day with my clients. I see it every day. It’s like keeping them alive will keep them close enough so that your brain can slowly, in its own time, make the adjustments to completely understanding that she is not ever going to come back. When death comes about through suicide the shock to your system is huge. When death comes about suddently, the shock to your system is huge. And when the two are combined your brain is completely traumatised and needs a long time to make that adjustment.

    So your need to write, to keep Kaitlyn close, to keep her alive in your heart, is fine. It’s a way for you to make small adjustments over time. To process the events in your mind. And when your mind gets to the point where its processing is done, your urge to write, share and keep her alive will change. Naturally. Gently. And that is ok too, because you will move on to the next stage of rebuilding your own life. Naturally. Gently. And that is ok too.

    I wrote a post on my blog in December 2013 titled “when someone you love dies” in which I share some common and wonderful ways to remember and grieve. If you would like to read it, you can find it at http://www.themindseteffect.wordpress.com in the December archives (i think it is the second post down). If you would like me to write a guest post for your blog from a therapists perspective please let me know, I would be honoured. You have an awesome blog here and an honour to Kaitlyn. My best to you,

    Ali 🙂


  13. I wish there were some easy answer I could give you on what you are doing. You are grieving. I know that may sound silly but you are full of grief. You are expressing it the only way you know how, by writing. And by writing that grief, it helps others to know they are not alone just like you are not alone. I am sure when you first learned of Kaitlyn’s death, you felt you were the only person to have suffered in this way but today you know that you are not. You have found friendships via online that have helped you through this and that is what counts. I know your writing has helped me not to die by suicide. I wouldn’t want my family to go through what you are going through. So in that you helped save a life you didn’t know you were saving. I soon will be publishing a book on my struggles. But that would not have been possible if I hadn’t come across your blog.


  14. jmgoyder says:

    Please, please keep writing Rhonda!


  15. Matt Fried says:

    Your blog is amazing because you are pouring your guts into it. That’s what it takes; to not hold anything back. Obviously this began from the most horrible of events, but the fact remains that you have started – or in a way, continued – something amazing.

    I often wrestle with the same question (one of which you posed): Does anyone who really needs this blog post I’m about to write about suicide, anyone who’s really suicidal, actually log on to WordPress in their moment of despair to read about suicide?

    No, that’s not how it works, at least not all the time. I never went on the internet once to read a single word about suicide while I was suicidal. I never asked a single person about it either. There was no way for anyone to know at all.

    Except, some suicidal people do in fact come on and read these things. And I don’t have to tell you how special each and every one of those potential people are, even if it’s only one.

    Now, this blog is for you. It’s not your responsibility to keep it going because I think you should.

    But I think you should, as long as you can. And publish that book too. You have nothing to lose. Publish it for yourself. If I’m the only one who buys it, who cares? You’ll still have published more books than most people ever do in their lifetimes. You’ll be living the best life you can.


  16. Matt Fried says:

    This is really powerful.


  17. Anonymous. says:

    While I think that ultimately of course the decision to continue writing is yours to make, I agree with everyone here that I sincerely hope that you do. Your writing is more appreciated than you may realize. I think Kaitlyn would be quite proud of what you have accomplished, and how you have touched people. Like perhaps Kaitlyn was, so many of us are hesitant to publicly share feelings- yet this is likely counterproductive, to remain silent. Your daughter sounds like a wonderful person. Intelligent, beautiful, hard working, artistic, kind, and sensitive. With great empathy towards others, including people who were different from her. How valuable and important this quality is. How loved she was. She continues to affect people. I sincerely believe that you have prolonged and quite possibly even saved people’s lives through your writing. I know this does not ease the root of the pain you now bear, but I hope you are able to find some comfort.

    We know so little of the universe, yet what we know is wondrous. What an amazing set of circumstances for life to have begun on this planet. And in this grand scheme of events, each individual matters so much. I would like to believe that now Kaitlyn knows all the answers to all questions. And now, minus the burden of her despair she exists in some way or form we cannot yet understand. I know the importance of this loss will never diminish, but I hope your own journey will become more tolerable for you. You are a remarkable person. I send you my best wishes for moments of reprieve from your pain.


  18. gatito2 says:

    Thank you so much for what you have written. I wish I had found a counselor like you after my daughter’s death. As it was, I went through 2 that listened to me sympathetically, but other than that, that is all I got out of it and did not go to either many times.

    I will go to your blog site and read the article you referred to. I would love for you to write a guest post on my blog! My email address is welding81@intrstar.net. I don’t know how guest blogging works, but assume you would email me something so I can put it on my blog, or you can tell me what I need to do. I would love for you to write something for my blog. Thank you so much and for your helpful words.


  19. gatito2 says:

    If I have saved one person by what I have written, that would make my writing serve a wonderful purpose. I am so glad it helped you. Thank you for all you have written, you are very kind. Please let me know when your book is published, I would like to buy a copy. You will find my email address in my “about” section. Thank you and I wish you continued wellbeing.


  20. gatito2 says:

    Just until the words run out….


  21. observer says:

    You are obviously so bright, and so self-aware of what is happening to you, that I don’t think continuing to write is a problem. Time is pitiless. The world “moves on” (I hate that phrase) and it’s important for you to have a space for Kaitlyn too. Of course she wouldn’t want you to be so sad, but I think she’d be so proud at how willing you are to analyze such profoundly painful feelings. It is not torturing yourself to stop and think about what your pain is like; it’s reality now, and we can only deal with that bit by bit.


  22. Ali B. says:

    I have sent an email to you 🙂


  23. gatito2 says:

    Thank you for all your kind remarks. It gives me a lot to think about. I’m working on getting my book published now.


  24. gatito2 says:

    My feelings are really powerful.


  25. gatito2 says:

    I replied to your comment but it went on someone else’s comment somehow. Go down a bit and it starts with “If I have saved one person by what I have written…..”


  26. gatito2 says:

    I just sent a reply to your email.


  27. gatito2 says:

    I love the way you think and I thank you for your words.


  28. gatito2 says:

    I don’t know who you are anonymous, but your comments have really touched me. Somehow you have took the time to glean from my huge blog (and Kaitlyn’s personality is widely dispersed through all 400 plus posts) the kind of person Kaitlyn was. She was all those things you mentioned and more, but I am very struck that you have understood that she cared about all people, even people very different from herself. She was all for people’s rights and she cared deeply about the world and the people in it. I also love how you spoke about the universe and it’s wonders and how we cannot understand it’s complexity and that our mere human brains could not comprehend it at this time. I also believe (and take great comfort in believing) that she now exists somewhere and knows all the answers to what we don’t know here and is no longer in despair. I also appreciate your kind words concerning me and I thank you so much. I hope you visit here often.


  29. Anonymous. says:

    Thank you so much for your response – I visit your site very regularly. When the topic of continuing to write arose, I thought that as you have given of yourself so much here, and helped so many people, I wanted to let you know that it is very appreciated. I have actually never previously commented on anything I have read on any or followed on any site despite being an avid reader 🙂 Just think how many people are out there that you have helped that remain silent. For any at-risk person who come across your site ( and I would bet that they do) I believe that the moments taken to sit back, think, and reflect can be life saving. In a way this is similar to the push for barrier installation on the Golden Gate Bridge to discourage people from jumping: sometimes the individual is at a very specific point of crisis that any delay or obstacle that allows this urge to pass can be highly useful. That is not to say that they will never feel that way again, but that the time gained can be very useful – an opportunity to seek help, develop healthier methods to cope, etc.

    Kaitlyn would have helped many people in whichever specialty she chose, but in different and valuable ways she continues to help people now. It is a great compliment to her that the sense is that had she not been your daughter, you would still genuinely have loved her as a friend. Such were the qualities she displayed. This is the sense that your readers get: we know in our hearts that we would have truly been lucky to know her.


  30. Neal says:

    You have never made it worse for me. I know I’ve leaned on you from time to time. And, I’m glad you feel like you can lean on me.

    I just read all these heartfelt comments. There have been a lot of people who have been helped by your words.


  31. edcol52 says:

    Rhonda, what you doing is necessary. For you. I am sure your daughter would be proud of how your words can help so many other people who are going through the same thing. I just lost my 24 year-old son, Jake at the end of December. We don’t yet know the exact cause, it was sudden, tragic and totally unexpected. He died in his apartment, sitting in his favorite char around 10 AM one Saturday morning. I too have been writing, facebook, a personal journal and many people told me I needed to create a forum to get these feelings and experiences out to others, as you have done. I created my own blog, The Infinite Fountain, a few weeks ago to give vent to my feelings, mostly, and to show others who are on this same horrific journey that they are not alone.

    I have discovered far too many parents on the same journey. We can only support each other. We cannot ‘fix’ anything, the damage done by such a terrible experience is permanent. We can only learn how to live with it. You write that your millions of words haven’t brought her back. I feel the same at times. It is so recent, I still half-expect a text or a call, “Mr Colman, we’re terribly sorry to have put you through all this, you buried the wrong guy. Jake is right here and want’s to speak with you.” Of course, that call will never come. So I write, I dream and I call out his name hundreds of times a day in an effort to bring him home. We leave the porch light on for him and a candle burning always. As long as you and I the ones who loved Kaitlyn and Jake remember them, they will live among us in some way. Faint comfort, but I’ll take whatever I can get. I am including a link to your site on my own page. Please feel free to do the same if you feel so inclined. Be well.


  32. gatito2 says:

    I am so very sorry for the death of your son. And it is so recent. I know you are going through hell. I also have fantasies sometimes that it did not really happen, but they are fleeting because the reality slaps me in the face all the time. Thank you for reading my blog and linking yours to mine. I will do the same. Thank you and I hope you find a measure of peace somehow.


  33. gatito2 says:

    Thank you Neal.


  34. gatito2 says:

    Thank you so much for this comment as well. I did often tell her that if she had not been my daughter and I still would have known her, I would have still loved her and admired her so very much. I can heare her say….”awwww” now and see that sweet smile. One thing about it, she knew she was loved.


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