A few minutes ago I learned that a grieving Mom took her life. Many of you may have followed Rhonda Elkins blog, My Bright Shining Star, or read her book, My Bright Shining Star: A Mother’s True Story About Brilliance, Love And Suicide, which was dedicated to her beautiful daughter, Kaitlyn, who died a few months before Amy. Kaitlyn was a brilliant 23 year old medical student who took her own life. Rhonda was equally as brilliant in my eyes.
Rhonda and I exchanged emails for a bit and shared the pain of losing our daughters. After her book was released, which was 1 year after Kaitlyn died, I lost contact with Rhonda, but not before fulfilling my promise to her to write a review of the book on Amazon. Quite honestly, I do not remember ever writing a review before but her book was so powerfully written that I was happy to oblige.
Rhonda’s book was a love story with a tragic ending. As I read this book, many times needing to stop because I was sobbing, I felt the love and despair as if Rhonda was standing in front of me and telling me her story. Rhonda’s goal was also to educate others and shine a light on the incidence of suicide among high achievers, particularly those in the field of medicine.
The pain of losing a child is devastating. When I drone on and on about the pain on the other side of Devastation Day it’s because it does become unmanageable at times and more than a person can handle. I have no way of knowing what Rhonda was doing to manage her sorrow, but I do know she was writing every day and she was trying to raise awareness to save others from her daughter’s fate. I do know she was doing everything she could to honor her daughter too.
My heart is breaking for Rhonda’s family. My heart is breaking for Rhonda during the time leading up to this decision. The world lost another bright shining star on Friday. I am deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Rhonda Elkins. There really are no adequate words to describe just how very sad I am that Rhonda decided she could not stay here.
To my fellow grieving parents, please don’t give up … believe me, I know how difficult it is to live without one of your children. I wish Rhonda could have found another way.
Today, like any other day, I remember Amy … As well as two bright shining stars.