What did I miss? Her last few texts *

           The need to answer "why" and to "fix it" is strong in mamas, even though at that point there's nothing to be done. Still, mamas spend months and sometimes years trying to fulfill our mission to keep all of our children safe and secure. Even the dead one. Our desire is visceral - not cogent, but it's real. Hyperreal and surreal both.
          The night of my daughter’s funeral I was in awake and desperate to figure out what I missed.  She had deleted her texts and wiped her computer, but I still had some incoming messages on my phone. During that week we had discovered that Kaylan had been suffering from long term suicidal thinking, and so had some of our other family members. My sister had stood in my living room and demanded on a “NO MORE SECRETS” policy. With that in mind, I decided to publicly address anything that might be distressing others. So many of us, friends and family, were wondering how we missed the horrible fact that her depression had become terminal.


DATE: 22 Jan 2011
SOURCE: My FB post
Damn Depression - it strikes like f'ng lightning and I hate it. My last few Texts from my Daughter - her preferred method of communication during her work week. I always signed my txts to her w/ xoxo*HUGS*
Jan 13 1:32pm Lol that's hilarious! Good Job :-) (I told her that Darrell and I had just swam for an hour while deliberately splashing two obnoxious middle-aged pool patrons)
Jan 14 5:38pm Did you hear they redid the zodiac signs? Now I'm a cancer. You're a Scorpio (I said fuck that!)
Jan 14 7:27pm There's a serious flood watch in your county, don't you guys drive anywhere (I said I was almost home and we weren’t going out anywhere else that night)
Jan 14 7:29pm TV and early sleep. Ok good. Love you!
Jan 14 7:27pm I’m okay yep, sorry about your back : ( call ya tomorrow
Jan 14 11:38pm Ok I will. And I forgot to call her! Damn. Btw I've gotten so many compliments on this sweater:-) (In response to me reminding her about Grandma’s birthday – both my kids like/d me to remind them about birthdays. I had just given her a red/pink/white hoodie knit sweater that looked AWESOME on her and fit her perfectly, which is pretty hard to find when a person is a size 5 and 5’9” tall)
Jan 15 2:47pm Omg good job you guys‼! (I had texted her to say Darrell got the house all finished, which was good because we were having his graduation party that night)
Jan 15 3:25pm I'm chillin. Saving money. We talked about driving out on a Sunday and Monday in a couple weeks, I have to ask his travel dates tho
(I had asked how she was and ask when she and Bryan were coming out to visit)
Jan 15 3:40pm I’ll have amanda and my boss and Brett paid back tomorrow, then the pet deposit and rent on the first, my lawyer on Feb 16th and then ill be al caught up‼‼!
Jan 15 5:13pm  I'm slooooowly learning that from my mama :-)
(I’d texted her to congratulate her on learning to save money in the past year or so.  I was always telling her that money management was not a character trait, that it was a learned skill – and she finally believed me)
Jan 15 7:57pm Yeah, you all love to party! :=)
(I txt’d her to see how she was feeling and to tell her the party at our house was still loud – damn it I wish I would have stepped out of the room and called her.)

          In between the last two texts she’d called me and heard our dinner party. Her voice was utterly exhausted. Later I thought that I had never heard her sounding so tired. I asked if she wanted to talk for a while, that I would go in the other room away from the noise. She said no, she was going to do laundry. She’d been depressed and I asked her if she was having the level of depression that we should worry about, and she said no – she’d be okay.  She died 11 hours later. I wish I had known then what I know now. I wish I had known how to help.

How to Help Someone who is Suicidal and Save a Life

Link to Resources for Suicide Loss Survivors