Though I am going to post this on 4-11-14, the day Kaitlyn died last year, I’m actually starting this writing on 4-10-14. I feel moved to write today, 4-10-14 because exactly one year ago today my daughter Kaitlyn did not go to medical school like she had done since 2011. Instead she stayed out of school and went about the business of doing those things that she had to do before taking her own life the next day.
Today I can’t help but envision all the steps she took that day, the purchasing of items, the writing of many notes, getting an email account that would allow her to write an email today, but have it delivered the next day. I won’t mention the other things I see in my mind that she did as she planned and carried on what she was going to do, because they play over and over in my mind all the time.
This day one year ago, I was blissfully going about my business, thinking Kaitlyn was in orientation for her 3rd year of medical school, having a good time and looking so forward until her clinical rotations would start. I was working and had no clue of what my daughter was actually doing. As close as we were I did not feel in my heart that my daughter was in trouble. All was right with the world, or so I thought.
By 4-10-13 I was really wanting to know how her orientation was going, but I knew she was in orientation so I didn’t call her. But a little after 8:00 a.m. while I was at work, I checked on Facebook and saw that she was online. I thought it odd but messaged her, “hey there!” I got no reply. At 4:30 pm that same day, I messaged her again, “Are you there?” I would never get a reply.
The next day 4-11-13 I continued my normal life, I went to work and thought that Kaitlyn would get up with me when she had time. All that day was normal, except that it was not normal. My Kaitlyn was no longer alive and I didn’t know it. No one did.
The message she sent the apt manager to be delivered to him was not read by him until 4-12-13. He had not even looked at his email on 4-11-13 that had the email she sent him with the heading, “IMPORTANT” on it, that told him that she had taken her life and to please call the authorities. On 4-12-13 after lunch, I received the phone call from the police.
So now today, 4-11-14 makes 1 year that she took her life. It is just past midnight that I write this. This past year has been the worst year of my life. One year later, I still cannot believe that Kaitlyn had suffered all her life and that it was so bad she no longer wanted to live. I know it’s true from her letter and her action, but I still can’t believe that it could be possible.
In this year I’ve cried several oceans of tears and I’ve done nothing but cry and write and talk about her. The only thing constructive I have done is write a book about Kaitlyn and this horrible tragedy that happened to her and to all of us. Somehow, someway this book was published near the time of the one year mark of her death. I did not plan it this way, I had no time frame or any set goal of what date I would finish, it just happened. And I am led to believe by all this just coming together at this time that it was meant to be published now, near the time of the one year mark of her death. I think it was somehow meant for me to not let Kaitlyn’s death be in vain and to write a book that would tell the world what she could not. And all this about the book has kept me very busy this past week and it has helped me get through so far. Because I feel in my heart that I have done something good in her name and in that way, I feel like I have done one good thing this year. I feel like Kaitlyn wrote this book. The words flowed out of my head to my fingers and onto the keyboard of my computer. Kaitlyn’s spirit led me to do what I have done. Her spirit is so strong that it transcends death.
To my Kaitlyn: I miss you beyond what mere words that I could ever express. You presence and just knowing you were in this world lit my life with joy immeasurable. I love you so much Kaitlyn. I miss you so much that I can hardly stand it.
I don’t know what this next year will bring, but I don’t see it being any easier than this first year. It will never be easy Kaitlyn, never. It will forever eat away at my heart and soul, but I know you did not want this, but how could it not be? How could I lose you like this and ever expect to be happy again the way you wanted? It’s not possible. But I don’t really want you to know that. Wherever the paradise is that you so richly deserve, I hope you know nothing of the grief that is left behind. I wish you only happiness that we here on earth have no way to understand how wonderful it is. That is my wish for you.
So I’m writing you this letter letting you know how sad and broken hearted I am, but in the same letter I am saying I hope you know nothing about it. I know that does not make sense. But I really do hope you know nothing about the sadness you left behind.
I’ve done my best to keep you alive all year Kaitlyn. And in my heart, the hearts of those you touched in your life, in this house, and on print, you are still here. But as much as I try to keep you alive, your body does not appear before me. You come to me in dreams and signs, and for that, I am so thankful.
Please be happy wherever your heaven is Kaitlyn, wherever it is, in a different plane of existence, across the cosmos, past the known cosmos, wherever heaven is, my greatest wish, except for wishing you were still here and happy, is to have you happy wherever you are, my dear sweet, wonderful daughter.
Tomorrow, we plant flowers for you, but they will never come close to being as beautiful as you.
Until I see you again,
With all my love,