I’m not into posting in an impromptu manner, but something has been weighing heavily on my heart today. There is a lady whose blog I have recently discovered. It is called My Bright Shining Star, and it is an outlet for her to deal with the trauma of losing her beautiful daughter, Kaitlyn, to suicide this past April.
As a lot of you can guess, this topic really hits home to me since I attempted suicide late last summer (the night of August 24 to be exact). I cannot do this poor woman justice by describing her pain and torment and how she pours her heart and soul into her blog posts, so just go over there and read them for yourselves.
I know the blogger’s name, but since she doesn’t publicize it anywhere (that I saw) on her blog, I will just refer to her as Kaitlyn’s mother.
She is still Kaitlyn’s mother and always will be.
My wife spent one year in the U.S. as an exchange student in high school. She was placed with a very dear LDS (Mormon) family. They had six children, but two of them tragically died in a car accident years before my wife lived with the family. To this day, my wife’s host mother still includes all six children’s names in her Christmas cards that she sends out each year.
It melts my heart each year when I open the card and see all eight names at the bottom (including the parents). To my wife’s host mother, the two deceased children’s bodies are no longer here, but their spirits live on in the hearts of the surviving family members.
I’m not sure what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about it, but my wife and I have a mutual understanding that we would have done the same exact thing had we been in her host parents’ situation.
I wrote a comment to Kaitlyn’s mother today and told her that her blog has impacted me in ways that she probably cannot imagine. After my attempt last summer, my wife, parents, and siblings told me over and over how they would have been affected and how it would have changed their lives forever. My mother even said that she wouldn’t have been able to celebrate Christmas quite the same for the rest of her life; she and I share that holiday as our favorite, and I would have unknowingly ruined it beyond repair.
My older cousin took his own life while I was living abroad, and I’ll never forget reading the email from my mother about the details. I began sobbing right there in the Internet Cafe as I read the news. My mother said that my cousin even took the time to put his two beloved dogs in their kennels before he shot himself.
My mother, from whom I get my emotional heart, said she would have given any amount of money to know what he was thinking as he led the dogs into the kennels and latched the doors for the last time. Those little trivial thoughts are like life support for a memory that has already evaporated.
Even though it has been over twelve years, little things like that pop into my mind from out of nowhere. One year for Christmas I bought my cousin a newly-released CD box set of The Doors, his all-time favorite band. He loved that gift so much. I still wonder what became of those CDs. Are they sitting in an attic covered by layers of dust? Did his ex-wife sell them at a garage sale? Or did my aunt and uncle leave them in his bedroom where he had last left them, like a lot of parents who seal off their deceased child’s bedroom to preserve their memory for as long as possible?
Anyway, if you’re reading this, Kaitlyn’s mother, please know that, although I cannot begin to comprehend your loss and the trauma that you’re experiencing, your writings have impacted me like nothing else ever has. I promised my family that I would not attempt suicide ever again, and you have helped me to cement that vow.
May you and your family be comforted and carried by the Lord and His angels until you are all reunited with your lovely daughter again.