Rhonda Gay Elkins July 16, 1960 – August 29, 2014 Mother of Kaitlyn (died April 2013)
In the five years since the death of my son by suicide, I have learned so very much about the deep emotional pain from this loss. It is a pain like no other. I have become acquainted with other parents who have lost their children to other types of death, but we who have struggled with the stigma of suicide are profoundly grieved in a very complicated way. It in no way lessens the loss of those mothers whose children have died by other ways. But there are questions that leave us yearning to ask “WHY?” of our children…other people…. who have died by suicide, each answer being individual but connected by disease, each labeled differently. It prompts a curious inquisition that has so many avenues that one gets lost in this mapless quest.
I first became connected to Rhonda last year not long after her daughter’s suicide. We made short commentary on each others’ blogs but never had a strong “friendship” for whatever reason. However, I did make a Christmas ornament with Kaitlyn’s photograph and sent it to Rhonda last Christmas, her first without her precious daughter. We were both searching for answers and somehow comfort in this sad circumstance. While she wrote a book, I have vowed never to write a book because my son never got the chance to see any of his manuscripts published. I can’t find comfort in pursuing something that we both loved so much. I blog….that is my written word.
My heart goes out to the Elkin family to lose yet another family member to the dark disease of depression. At least, Rhonda can now see her “bright and shining star” up close forever.