The Flowers

As the 1 year date of Kaitlyn’s death draws nearer and nearer (4-11-13) I am filled with unutterable horror and dread. I made it, albeit barely, through all the other “dates;” Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and her birthday. I sit and I wonder how am I going to get through “that” date? How?

As I’ve written many times, spring has always been my favorite time of year when all the flowers and trees are blooming, but Kaitlyn died during that time so I know it will no longer be my favorite time of year. No time of year will be my favorite again. I dread the blooming of one single bud or flower. With each unfurling they will slap me in the face reminding me that is the time Kaitlyn left this world. I remember vividly not long before she died standing in my yard seeing how the grass was turning green beneath the old dead grass and everything was blooming. Every time I see that sight again it will remind me of her loss.

But then again I remember how very, very much Kaitlyn loved flowers as a child. All kinds of flowers, even the bright flowers the state plants beside of the roads. We’ve always thought of Kaitlyn when we saw them as we drove past, even long after she was grown. I will always think of her with each flower I see. Ironically though, she left when they were all blooming.

One year when she was either almost a teenager or a young teenager, we decided to plant some flowers along our sidewalk. Oh we worked and toiled happily planting marigolds and petunias all down the walk. They were beautiful. Then a few days later they sprayed the cotton in the fields around our house and the wind was high. The next day all the flowers were laying down dead. How disappointed we were.

Then one time when she was around 16 or so, we decided to plant those same kind of flowers and others around a light pole in our front yard. We had a wonderful time digging and planting and they were beautiful. As the spring progressed, we watered and weeded and we were so proud. But there was a birdhouse on that light pole and a bird had eggs in there after a while. Then came the day that every time we went out there to weed and water we would get attacked and dive bombed by the mother bird and probably the father bird and we were almost in fear of our lives. So we had to stop going out there at all and it all grew up with weeds.

That’s the last time we planted flowers. That was the last time I planted flowers.

But I think of how to get through April this year, I might just take the bull by the horn and buy some Marigolds and Petunias and plant them. Plant them in Kaitlyn’s honor and remember how much she loved them. Only this time I will avoid the bird house areas and hope the crop spray does not find them. Just because Kaitlyn left in spring, I don’t think she would want me to hate spring forever and it may be fitting to plant flowers for her one more time.

I know Kaitlyn wouldn’t want me to suffer all these things, the dread of holidays, the dread of everything, my life falling apart, my severe unhappiness….but I didn’t want her to die either and I didn’t have a choice. I’m afraid she does not have a choice in how I feel either. I don’t even think I have the choice.

But I think I will plant flowers….when it is time.


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 The Flowers

  1. Rose says:

    I have only been following your blog for a short time, but it is clear to me that your daughter, as you say, would not have wanted you to hate Spring. It’s true that she really can’t make that determination for you, but I think that planting a few flowers in her memory when the weather clears would be healing for you. Anytime we can heal, even just a little bit, it’s a positive. You are in my thoughts, Rhonda. I wish you all the best.


  2. gatito2 says:

    Thank you, I agree. I think planting the flowers that we both love will be good therapy for me. My other daughter Stephanie said she would help me and that would be great too.


  3. You will plant flowers again, Rhonda. It may not happen this coming growing season, but Spring will return to your life again after many seasons of sadness. Presently, the awakening of the world around you in color and life during Springtime is a painful reminder of what is lost; but, I believe that, in time, rather than dreading the blooming of a single flower, you will eventually come to see a reminder of Kaitlyn’s new life beyond the limitations of our present perceived senses. Like the birds who established a temporary dwelling on the light pole in your front yard, we are only here upon this earth for a, relatively speaking, brief moment in time. Perhaps, Kaitlyn already mastered or learned everything this world could teach her. Perhaps, her services were needed elsewhere. Perhaps, there is some redemptive purpose to our mutual suffering in having lost children to suicide. Whatever the cause or reason, you are quite right to acknowledge that Kaitlyn would not wish for you to remain eternally sad and broken-hearted. This is understandably a season of sadness for you that will not pass quickly or easily. In your present darkness, the first tiny rays of hopefulness and joy returning to your life may feel like guilty pleasures that you should deny yourself. Instead, embrace your recovery and healing, Rhonda. Claim it for yourself and for your daughter who desires it for you. As parents who have lost children to suicide, we can never be made completely whole nor can we ever claim to become completely healed. But we can learn to live again. We can find joy in the seasonal splash of color in the Marigolds and Petunias that you and Kaitlyn once planted together. We can find happiness in the mirth of the bird’s song and discover wonder in the celestial night sky that once intrigued both you and Kaitlyn. The sun will rise again tomorrow.


  4. gatito2 says:

    As always Randall, your words are eloquent and comforting. I like to think that since she has to be gone, that she is somewhere doing what she is really meant to do, something I have no way of understanding now. I only know that I miss her so much and me and the world no longer have the joy of her physical presence anymore. But perhaps…..


  5. I was in the deepest pit for 8 days surrounding the 1 year mark of my sons death. We had lots of support, cards, phone calls, someone even brought us a meal on that day. We felt surrounded by love and yet, I could only feel such pain. After the 8th day, God gave me a wonderful dream of what my son might be doing now in heaven, it felt SO REAL that it brought me up from the pit and helped me walk forward again. My only advice is to do what you have to do stay alive and take another breath, and that day will pass.


  6. Melissa says:

    We appear to be lost down the same rabbit hole. I understand the depth of missing a child. I will continue to lift you up in prayer on the days I am strong enough to pray.


  7. gatito2 says:

    I’m so sorry about the death of your son. Oh it would be so nice to have one of those dreams like you had. I’ve dreamed about her 4 times since she died and each one was a different time of her life; when she was 23 (the age she was when she died), when she was 18, when she was around 8 and around the time she was 2 or 3. All were comforting and so very real. I’d like to have one like you had as well.


  8. gatito2 says:

    Thank you so much. A rabbit hole it is.


  9. Neal says:

    I think a flower garden in her honor is a wonderful idea.


  10. gatito2 says:

    I think so too Neal.


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