My wonderful Kaitlyn. In the year that you have been gone I have had the great fortune to have, from time to time, antibiotics poured onto the wounds of my soul that were caused by your suicide. Though there are not many things that help me get through this, there are those wonderful times that I get to view how other people saw you. Some of these people I don’t even know, some I did a little, some I had heard of but never met.
These wonderful people who you had met or spent time with during various activities of your life, at different times of your life, have taken the time to sit down and write to me and tell me of those times they spent with you, what a wonderful person you were and how you touched their lives. Kaitlyn, having them do this ranks among the highest of things that sooth my soul since you left. I have had people since the very few days after your death, right on up to a few days ago that took the time to email me and tell me of their memories of you. Pieces of your life that I had never heard. These are some of the greatest gifts I have been given since that horrible disease made you think you could not live on earth anymore.
But Kaitlyn, there have also been people that have emailed me or messaged me or wrote me that have never even met you but admired you from a distance. For many reasons, some never approached you, perhaps due to their own shyness and insecurities, or that they never got the chance to talk to you. There are those that knew you from only a brief time, like if you met someone that was friends of someone you knew; perhaps you went out to eat in a group and they met you then. Also there were some of your medical school classmates, at least 3 that have contacted me, and even more that were not in your class,that realized before your death that they were so looking forward to being your friend and realized what a wonderful person you were. They did not have a chance to know this before because you were shy and they did not have that chance to get to know you until orientation of your 3rd year. How ironic it is that these people would have become your good friends (they told me so) during your 3rd year because they discovered what I’ve known, what so many other people knew, that you were smart, funny, interesting, and a very loyal friend. I wonder, did you know this Kaitlyn?
Did you have any idea of the lives you affected by merely brushing by some people’s lives? Did you have any idea of what a great person your friends thought you were, though I know they all told you? Did all that love and admiration penetrate the depression that you hid so carefully? Were you able to feel their love? Or did your depression make you feel that you were unworthy of love?
I know that sometimes when people are so very depressed, they think no one loves them that people would be better off without them when it is so very untrue. Is this how you felt Kaitlyn?
If knowing that you were so loved and admired, would it have made a difference? Would it have made you know that your life was worth living?
I don’t know the answers to these questions because I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that you knew that we loved you so very, very much. You came from a family that was not scared to show love. We showered you and your sister with hugs and kisses and us saying that we loved you several times each and every day. If we could not do it physically when you were not here, we would do it with our words, with our actions. I cannot count the times when I told you that you would be in danger of being loved completely up when you came home for a visit, that I would kiss all the hair off the top of your head.
I also know how very, very much your friends and boyfriend loved you.
But all of our love could not keep you here Kaitlyn. Depression distorts a person’s thinking in many areas. Apparently it did not affect your organizational skills or your achievement skills or your intellectual skills, but on an emotional level it apparently affected you so very much.
I hope you knew how very much you were loved Kaitlyn. In the place where you are now, surely you know. You are not cursed with that horrible depression that took you away from us any longer.
But I still hope you knew.
You have so much to be proud of in your daughter who touched so many lives. I would agree with you that she felt the warmth of your love. I think in times of sadness the focus may be on pain, but it doesn’t necessarily negate the knowledge of love. It is possible that knowing this love encouraged her to fight for as long as she could.
There was a talented musician who died in what seems to be commonly interpreted as suicide, nearly a decade ago. At that time, the comedienne Margaret Cho wrote a very touching piece asking similar questions.
“What is heaven like Elliott Smith? I have been listening to your records since I got home this morning and I found out that you died. Did you get to meet Him right away? I bet they moved you to the front of the line. Is God nice? Do you feel better? Your songs were like the thoughts that rushed through my head all the time, this bittersweet dark rainy loveliness that wouldn’t leave me…
…I am wondering if you are hovering in the air above your house, watching the grief stricken fans and old friends walking wounded trying to understand where you went, why you went. If they can reach you now, with their thoughts, their hearts, their love. Can you see them? Does it make anything better?
…Goodbye gentle soul. Goodnight. How sorry I am to see you go. But you were maybe too beautiful for this world. So beautiful that it hurt to be in it. I hope that you are not hurting anymore. I hope everything is good wherever you are. I hope that you are happy. Everything reminds me of you.”
That was absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for that. I often think Kaitlyn was too beautiful for this world as well. Your comments touched my heart and made me tear up…..but again, don’t worry about that. It touched me in a good way. Thank you.
You are so welcome, although I definitely don’t intend to bring any sadness 🙂 so I am glad you felt it in a ” good way”. I think Margaret’s words are lovely and show that many of us wonder these things. Just like your writing!
I really appreciated the story of Kaitlyn and her friend who needed help in calculus- it’s actually a very nice example of how we should all strive to be. She spoke up for someone whose experience was different from hers, and then engaged with her on an individual level to see it she could help. What an example of true kindness and consideration for people of all ages!
Reblogged this on This Is Your Sign! and commented:
This is so heartfelt.
Thank you again. Yes, Kaitlyn was like that. She was truly a very special person, still is somewhere out there…..and I am so grateful for that young woman letting me know of her experience with Kaitlyn.