“Yes, I Know Momma”

“Oh she’s home again, my baby’s home again,” I thought as I sat in my recliner in my den. She sat right in front of me in the other recliner in the den. That seat was usually her father’s, but when she would come home, it would be hers and he would relinquish it to her. My daughter Kaitlyn, my youngest one, sitting there with her now short blonde hair, that beautiful fair skin and those eyes that hid the secrets of the universe within them, her petite body with her delicate features, her small pretty hands. She was home. She was home from medical school which did not happen very often due to her intense studying and distance from home.

I sit and I think about the wonderful child I was blessed to have 23 years ago, how good and sweet she had always been, the intelligence she had and how happy she was that she was in the middle of achieving her lifelong goal. Oh how I love her so.

As we talked about movies, and school and just things in general, she soon became silent and her demeanor became serious. She sat there and continued to be silent acting as if she wanted to tell me something, but was not sure.

Then she turned to me, her beautiful, dancing eyes, now serious with concern, her forehead all furrowed up as it always has done when she was worried about something.

She said, “Momma, I have to tell you something. I am so very sad. I’ve been sad for years but could not bear to tell you. I have so much to be grateful for and I know it, but I am so very sad and it’s getting worse. Sometimes Momma,” she hesitated, “I don’t want to live anymore.”

I sat in stunned silence at this revelation. My daughter had always seemed so happy, and yes she did have so much to live for. I asked her if she had been having trouble in medical school, boyfriend problems, personal problems, had something bad happened to her and everything I could think of that could possibly make her sad.

She said, “No Momma, I’m just so very sad and I don’t know why.”

I know what this kind of sadness is. I’ve experienced it before, I experience it to this day but have somehow survived. It is depression, severe depression and I realized my daughter was suicidal.

I said, “Kaitlyn, you need help. You’re depressed and you need to get treatment. It’s the most important thing right now. I will take you to get help and if need be we can talk to the dean at the medical school if you need to take time off. We will help you every way we can.”

Still looking serious, but I could see a look of relief in her eyes. This girl of mine that never admitted she felt bad in any way, found it so very hard to tell me she was depressed. It took every single ounce of her being to tell me this. I knew this. I knew how my daughter was and I knew she felt it was a weakness. I said, “Kaitlyn, you have not failed in any way by the way you feel. You know what depression is, it’s a disease that requires treatment, nothing to be ashamed of.”

She said “Yes, I know Momma.”

Yes…..I know Momma…….

I look at her recliner in front of me that is now empty. No beautiful, blonde headed, petite, sweet, wonderful girl sitting there with the eyes that could see into the universe, just an empty seat.

I look around the den and living room from where I sit and see all the items that once inhabited her apartment in the city she attended medical school, they are now in my house.

I look again at the recliner in front of me, the empty recliner, a place where that conversation never, ever took place.



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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18 Responses to “Yes, I Know Momma”

  1. jmgoyder says:

    So hard to reiterate this conversation that didn’t happen.

    Rhonda, thanks to you I am finally coming out of the depression closet, tentatively. I wouldn’t have had the courage if it weren’t for you. I called my latest post a creative writing exercise to cover myself. I am in the throes of depression at the moment so please know that if I don’t respond to your posts it is only because I am in the pits – sorry!



  2. gatito2 says:

    Julie, I only care that you are admitting to your depression and are getting help. Don’t worry about responding to me always, I know you are there and I understand. I just want you to be well. I’m glad I’ve helped you, so very glad.


  3. jmgoyder says:

    Thanks Rhonda xx


  4. kpatkins says:

    Rhonda , would it be alright if i post this on my Facebook page, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us


  5. gatito2 says:

    Yes, I don’t mind anyone sharing it anywhere they like. Thank you for wanting to.


  6. catecumen says:

    I wish this conversation had happened …. but since it did not happen for you and Kaitlyn, I hope and pray that by sharing this, you will make this conversation happen for another parent and child.


  7. gatito2 says:

    I really did want to make that point and I’m so glad you saw the meaning. Thank you.


  8. Thank you for sharing. This was so very beautiful and touching. Coming from a family who suffers from severe depression and anxiety this hit very close to home. Take care and God bless


  9. gatito2 says:

    Thank you. It’s my way of saying what I wish would have happend and maybe someone that has not opened up about their depression will know that telling someone it’s better than getting to the point of taking their own life.


  10. Pingback: A Day of Love: Love of a Mother - Write For Me

  11. gatito2 says:

    Yes, that a big “if only.”


  12. Donna says:

    I wish my son had opened up and told me his overjoyed exuberant behavior was all a sham and that he was only happy because he had decided he would not be here anymore. But he didn’t say that ever. I wish so we’d have had the conversation that you also wish you had had with Kaitlyn …<3


  13. gatito2 says:

    I do too Donna…..so very, very much.


  14. Nancy Miller says:

    Dearest Rhonda,

    My heart is bleeding for you right now, as I relive that first year that I too wrote about. I also know, thought ,how writing from the trenches is a kind of release in and of itself, and how we begin to process the horror of all this in the writing process. It’s not easy, and many times, old friends would stop and ask me, “How are you DOING this?” But I could only reply that I didn’t know what else to do, except die along with my daughter. So here I am, five years out, reading this and thanking you for that email you sent me, and wanting to give some comfort, yet knowing that is all but impossible. I’m keeping you in my thoughts and heart, and as we bleed out together, know that you have found a tribe in all these voices who are chiming in. We live in a world where we don’t expect a child to die before a parent anymore. There are no more black plagues, or civil wars, or situations we can’t fix for them, and yet these deaths are occurring with more frequency, and what death leaves in its wake is more horror and confusion and more heartache than any one of us could have imaged. Know that you will survive this, dear lady, because as much as it seems you won’t, and as much as you may even resist it, you will, and at the end of this (which is to say, the end of your life, as it’s a lifelong process), you might look back and also realize that tragedy has allowed you to grow and evolve in ways you never could have imagined. Take care of you, Rhonda. And by all means, keep in touch.

    With love,


  15. gatito2 says:

    Thank you so very much Nancy. I am so glad I reached out to you after reading yours and Armen’s book “Griefland.” You have truly reached across the miles and touched my heart and I thank you.

    Yes, many people often remark on how strong I am (I’m not) that I can write about Kaitlyn and have since the very beginning of this horrible journey. But what the truth is that it is the only way I can survive this at all. If I had to keep it bottled up, I don’t know if I could make it.

    Amazing that you should mention about the plagues and diseases so many children died of back in the olden days. I have often reflected on the past and wondered how these parents could survive their children dying. The survival rate of children was once not very good at all. I felt so sorry for them. And now here we are with cures for many of the diseases that they died from back then, but now we have to worry about this disease of mental illness of any form and drug addiction and all the horrors that we have to face today and it calls into question, are we any better off?

    Thank you for your words of comfort and I look forward to your friendship.


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