I started following Rhonda Elkins’ blog around this time last year, and was profoundly moved by her tragic story. It had only been months since she, a registered nurse, lost her 23-year-old daughter Kaitlyn to suicide, and writing about it in her blog, My Bright Shining Star, was her way of dealing with the devastation she was experiencing.
As tough as it must have been for her, Rhonda’s heart-wrenching posts turned into a new project: a book about her daughter to help raise awareness of the rampant depression and high number of medical students who take their own lives. Like her blog, it also proved to be a source of comfort for others who were going through the pain and anguish of losing a child to suicide.
With her permission, I reblogged this post back in February to help get her message out there, that even those closest to us often keep their depression hidden.
Earlier this week, I was shocked and saddened to learn Rhonda had followed Kaitlyn last Friday, leaving her husband and older daughter to pick up the shattered pieces of what remained of their family.
Rhonda had blogged recently about the good reviews her book was getting, as well as her decision to return to her nursing profession part-time (she hadn’t worked since Kaitlyn died in April of 2013).
I, like many others, had believed she had gotten through the worst of it, and was ready to go on with her life.
We were so wrong.
Your life had a purpose, Rhonda. You shared your heart and soul with your readers, painfully, yet with great eloquence. I’m so sorry you were suffering and unable to get past your grief and depression. I’m sorry we couldn’t help you more. And I pray you have finally found peace, and are reunited with your beautiful daughter Kaitlyn.
I will never forget either of you.
Links for Rhonda: