Kaitlyn, I go into the room where I have so many things from your apartment stored. I go in there every day to open the blinds. The first thing I see is the table and chair that you bought a few months before you died to use to study for your medical board exam.
What screams out to me the most though, is your clock that sits there. The time has stopped at 12:20. I don’t know if it was a.m. or p.m. when it stopped because it is a round wind up clock. I don’t know what day it stopped but I have left it there the way it is. I never wind it. I often wonder, was this the time you died Kaitlyn? Or did it just keep on going after you died sometime, maybe before you were found, maybe during the time it took for us to get back to clean out your apartment. I don’t know. But every time I look at it that clock makes me know that I don’t know what time you died. That horrible death certificate that I had to pick up that day says “date of death 4-11-13, time: unknown.” I don’t know when you died Kaitlyn. I’m not even sure it was 4-11-13 because you stayed out of school 4-10-13 and did the things you did before you took your life and the last time anyone heard from you was a text message you texted at 4 pm 4-10-13. Did you die just after that Kaitlyn? If so, you died 4-10-13. But I don’t know, so we all just say, as well as your death certificate 4-11-13.
Oh but I knew when you were born Kaitlyn. I know the day, the month, the date, the time, I remember the whole thing. I was in pain as all women in labor are, but I was so happy. I knew the joy of having this newborn baby. But when you died Kaitlyn, I was at home I suppose, going around doing my average ordinary things, no inkling of what was going on with my child, not knowing that you were wanting to and getting ready to die. I don’t know when you died.
As I lay in the floor crying tonight thinking about this, I think again about how I had no idea of the intense love a mother has for their children before I had you and your sister. I’ve never known that kind of love. Now I know that I could have never imagined the kind of pain that losing you would cause. I never knew because I stuffed any thought of my children ever dying before me out of my brain as fast as I could because it was too painful even to imagine. As much as I love you, is as much as I hurt, and that is infinite.
I don’t even know when you died Kaitlyn.
Jennifer Nettles just wrote this song for her new baby. This is the way I felt and I knew when you were born.