Kaylan's Obituary *
This isn't her actual obituary. This is the "about" section of the KRC4LIFE FB page that her friends started. This story became her permanent obituary several months after her death as a response to publicity and contact by the women who found her.
12 Feb 2011
Note on KRC4LIFE
Kaylan was 25 yrs, 5 mo, 16 days when she died. It's been only 27 days and her friends have organized a benefit concert in Seattle in her memory, to raise awareness and help NAMI Suicide Prevention and Seattle FRIENDS. Her two favorite Seattle bands, musicians who all know and love her, are playing this show.
A foundation has been set up by these same friends to raise awareness about mental illness and the dangers of self-medicating with alcohol and/or drugs. There is even talk of a clothing line in the works.
Kaylan played a mean piano and a cool guitar, and loved the outdoors as much as she loved the city of Seattle. She crawled at 18 weeks and walked at 7 months. She learned to ride her bike without training wheels at 3.5 yrs, because she bent them up her ownself with her daddy's vice grips. She played roller hockey. She took beautiful photographs. She sang smooth and haunting harmony. She would fight when she was afraid or outraged on another's behalf - and could beat up a man twice her size if she had to. She was extremely shy yet exuded confidence. She took her first college class at 11- poetry of course. She was hospitalized for depression at 13. She loved junior high stage productions. She started smoking at 15 and never could quit. She traveled in Europe for 6 months doing volunteer work in 5 different countries at 18. Her dad died when she was 20, and she never recovered from the loss. She appears to have been struggling with an alcohol problem, though she hid that from me very well. She went to Guatemala with her younger brother to study Spanish when they were 18 & 19. She played World of Warcraft. She adored her family - immediate & extended. She achieved her dream of attending the University of Washington linguistics program at age 20, but her depression took that away from her in her senior year. She watched The Young Turks every Tuesday. She worked as a telemarketer, preschool teacher, construction office manager, sandwich artist, and bartender among other jobs. She LOVED children and animals. She was a wonderful cat mama, and her kitties are both very confident, friendly, and like to be kissed on the nose. She was absurdly beautiful inside and out, and I am not just saying so because I'm her mama.
My point in all this is to say that she was not simply a depressed person who took her own life. She was complex, gorgeous, brilliant, talented, delightful, deep, caring, loving, and also suffered from a fatal mental illness exacerbated by alcohol abuse.
Her death was a small part of an actively giving and loving life, a life in which she touched many other souls and inspired them to do the most with what life offered them. I know this because of the many people who have written to me to tell me in detail how exactly she helped them. Almost every one of her close childhood friends came from different cities and states, coworkers from jobs long past, and four of her life loves, past and present, attended her funeral - two from a different state - and three of them sang a song during the service.
Depression robs people of their feeling of worthiness, but it doesn't have to be like that. Mental illness is treatable.
It is an enigma - how could she be so loved, and so helpful to others, yet be unable to ask for help for herself.
No matter how long it's been since she left, or how many times I read it, I still can't comprehend how she can be gone from me. From us. From the world. After all these years I can still "feel" her hugs.