A Letter to My Daughter One Year Later

Dear Katherine,

It’s been a year now since you took your life. A year and 7 days to be precise. The truth is nothing is precise in our lives here anymore. Since that time, life goes on, but is a blur of meaningless activity overshadowed by your absence. Time is irrelevant. Day, night, hours- what are they? I struggle to make sense of it all. I struggle to find meaning in anything.

It’s not that I am not doing things. It’s that everything is less since you’ve been gone.

I’ve had to forgive everyone. I mean everyone… past and present. For all the hurts along your path…all the failures of humanity I held in my heart, recognizing even while you were still living, their toxicity, but unable to let them go, for in holding them I felt a fuel, a fire to fight for you. But that battle is done now. Have I forgiven myself for my lack, for my choices, for my failures? God knows.

I confess it would be easy to hate for so many reasons, for all you suffered. How many times I can recall specific people or incidents, which were the worst examples of humanity, yet, we had such a measure of grace along the way as well. Often from unlikely places. For that I am grateful. The rest I leave in God’s faithful hands. Hate is too big a burden for anyone to carry. It’s taken many down who are stronger than I. Hate and unforgiveness are unacceptable options no matter how justified they appear by the world’s standards. You know this already.

I’ve had to choose forgiveness or die. And though dying certainly holds appeal, if I knew without any doubt I would hold you again, see your beautiful smile, I would wholeheartedly embrace it…and I will in due time, as God determines. In the meantime, I am here. Without you. And everything is wearisome. I mean, this living out days that used to hold hope, meaning and a measure of possibility. The whole world is lacking without you in it. You hold a piece irreplaceable.

Now, we are left asking the question, what next? But more so, the bigger question, why even bother? We also endure the casual remarks of well-meaning people with their inability to grasp the reality we are living. Can they fathom the depth of this loss? No, and may those who cannot fathom it thank God that they cannot.

I wish we could go back in time, but how far? How many things could we change to secure a different outcome? Was it one thing, or many? If only love was ever enough. You knew you were loved, but this world, it’s not easy, it’s not kind, and it favors those willing to play by unseen rules that don’t always make sense. I’ve seen what this world has to offer, and I am not impressed. It takes. That’s all it can do. Too many think it’s all that matters…all they can see or hope in. But I know that’s not true. As you also do.

But you, my dear child…how I miss you, how I miss every moment with you. How I miss you by my side. How I miss you telling me your struggles. I miss hearing your dreams. And all the hopes you held close but dared not speak. I miss our heated arguments, our debates over big things and small. I miss yoour brilliance! How I miss the person you were and would have become this side of eternity. For better or worse. I miss how you challenged me …Lord, how you challenged me! How often you chaIlenged and befuddled many. I can see now how right you were, and sometimes how wrong you were, and how you knew that too. How I miss your hugs.

I am trying to remember the blessings we shared, for they were many. I am trying to hang onto
you in a million little ways. In spontaneous drives to your favorite places, in the sunsets, in the clouds, in the quietness of the days. Do you know how often I think of you? It’s like you are with me all the time…like a whisper I can’t quite hear, like a song I want to remember, like the full moon in winter, like an ache in my heart that never relents. Every minute I live without you feels like a desert. Like I am gasping for air. How I wish I could breathe in your hair, gaze into your earnest brown eyes…just one more time. How I wish I could reassure you, just one more time, cause you to laugh, share the same space with you one more time…and forever.

My love, you were my courage, my strength, my purpose. You gave me a reason to be and to believe, and without you, I struggle to see. But who can argue with God?

So, I go on.

I’ll continue to hold my place by grace and by faith and by the One who is both faithful and incomprehensible. I miss you beyond words…in a million different ways.

Until I see you again,
I remain,
Your loving mother.

Katherines’ Obituary

Katherine’s Memorial Service

Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is the author of Journaling for Discovery and Delight. Her writing is included in several anthologies and her poems have been included in the Wickford Poetry and Art Exhibit and Books. Dawn is currently working on her next book. Inquiries at dawn.paoletta@gmail.com

8 thoughts on “A Letter to My Daughter One Year Later

  1. Dearest Dawn,
    What a beautiful letter to your daughter. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and heartfelt message. Your heartache reminds me to cherish every single day. Life can change in a moment. This is a courageous sharing. Thank you 💞

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Dawn, I am having difficulty commenting on this WordPress site for some reason. So I will comment here instead. This was such a beautiful and heartfelt tribute to your dear daughter. God has given you the gift of being able to express yourself with words, and yet I know and you know also that there are not enough words to fully say all of what you are feeling. My prayer is that God will continue to cover you with His love and peace, and comfort you in ways that only He can. Each new day brings different ways of remembering the treasure of your precious child. May God help you to find ways to express the love you have for Katherine in ways that will not only bring healing to your heart, but perhaps bring healing to the hearts of others who may be going through similar heartbreaks. One day at a time. My prayers continue to reach up to heaven on your behalf. May God rain down His ;peace and comfort in ways that only He can. Love, Pam

    On Mon, Jan 17, 2022 at 10:42 AM Enthusiastically, Dawn wrote:

    > enthusiasticallydawn posted: ” Dear Katherine, It’s been a year now since > you took your life. A year and 7 days to be precise. The truth is nothing > is precise in our lives here anymore. Since that time, life goes on, but is > a blur of meaningless activity overshadowed by your ab” >

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Katherine, your words are so eloquent and loving. I lost a loved one to suicide also, it is a hard road so I can relate. I followed the link to the memorial service which was beautiful. Feel free to send me an email if you ever want to connect.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Dawn, Katherine, you, your words–they pierce my heart. Words fail me, but our faith, our God does not. And He knows a mother’s heart. That you may be covered in His grace.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dawn, I’m not nearly as eloquent as you are in expressing myself with words. But I’ll share what’s on my heart. Your expressions of grief and love are comforting to many. That may sound strange but it is a comfort to others to know that it is OK to express and grieve and share all that you feel with the world. I can only hope that this process brings you comfort and that we as readers can offer you comfort in acknowledging Katherine and you and Angelo. The grace that you have shown to others who have hurt you or Katherine and the grace that you have shown yourself models to others what true grace and love for humanity looks like. And we thank you for that. Just know that we mere mortals, while having little to offer you in easing your pain (especially those of us who have not experienced what you’ve experienced in losing your beloved girl) are here for you. We’ve got you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dawn your words speak to my heart , my daughter struggles , this world as you said is so cruel . She tells things now that happened in grammar , middle and HS and I wonder “ how did I miss that “ how did I not see this ? Why were they ( kids and some teachers ) so cruel to my beautiful child , and her tender caring spirit ? Sometimes her words pierce me ( not because she means to ) because I feel i failed her in so many ways , but reminding myself I did not and these words in my head , come not from my Father , but from the enemy .
    She is so wounded , so broken and yes I’m so angry because I can’t change what happened , I can’t go back and stop it , what I can do is listen and pray .

    My soul cries for you and your husband, and you are correct , I can’t fathom your pain . She was beautiful young woman , her smile shines through the page. I’m so very sorry this happened to your family and lovely daughter . I wish I could I put my feelings in to words to express more eloquently what I’m trying to say .

    Your strength and willingness to share your pain is a beautiful sacrifice and a tribute to both your daughters’s memory, and the unwavering love of God.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you .

    Liked by 1 person

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