November 16, 2021
While straightening up my office, I ran across a ratty-looking notebook. It had no real meaning and I almost tossed it. I am quick to get rid of things. A quick glance through it, made me sit down and read. Unusual entries gave greater meaning as I look back over the years since losing Maggie to suicide.
Here is my long-forgotten journal entry…
April 7, 2014
I have a story to tell but I don’t want to tell it. It is a very sad story full of great pain and suffering. I do not like my story. I never will. As I sit on a beach in Coronado, CA, I realized how much more I ultimately know.
As I relax and look at the vast beauty, I envision Maggie, my now precious 20-year-old, she loves the ocean and is at great peace here.
I think of my painful story and out of the blue, I have a very intense vision of Maggie. She is looking at me with those big beautiful brown eyes. She wants to talk about it. Maggie tells me how sorry she is. I, of course, tell her “No need, darling, it’s behind us and look how well we all are doing.”
Maggie wants to talk about it. She says she still doesn’t understand what was happening in her brain and her thought process. I remind her of the medication she was on from a recent surgery, as well as the other medications she took for her fainting disorder. Maggie interrupts me and says, “I know, I know, but let me explain.” She told me how she lost her hope, totally, and felt the only option was to kill herself. While I was at church, Jim out of town on business and Jake just two weeks into his freshman year at William and Mary, she found an old hunting rifle. It had a triple lock, but so determined and physically strong was she, that she got it unlocked. She wrote the lovely heartfelt note expressing her deep love for us and said she was not strong enough for this world. As she prepared to end her life, she was filled with a great peace and filled with love. It was of God telling her “No Mags, it’s not your time.” She saw the faces of all of us, who so greatly cherished her, and she put the rifle down.
This is not how the story ended. Maggie killed herself on September 13th, 2011 and my life has never been the same.
Why couldn’t the outcome have been the pretend version?
How on earth did this happen? What terrible thing was happening in my little girl’s brain? Why did she not speak of her pain?
The day Maggie was born we raced to the hospital to meet her. Jake was wearing a bow tie and I was very mindful of Maggie’s birth parents and wanted to give them their space respectfully. Snow was softly falling. Our dear friends, Bill, and Cindy, were waiting at our home with their long-awaited son Zach. Balloons, flowers, champagne, and lots of pink… a little girl! Cindy is gone now too. Cancer took her from her devoted Bill and her two boys. Cindy, so full of life, creative, and spunky. Gone!
I was such a proud mother with my son and a daughter, both gifts from God, after 12 years of marriage. My children were so precious and adorable! Jake so serious and thoughtful and Maggie, the cutest little thing imaginable. Spunky and advanced in all she did. She had the most unusual attraction to the water. She taught herself to swim before she was two and had several onlookers jump in in attempts to save her, thinking she was way too young to swim. She was just fine!
The summer of 1995 we hosted a multi-family vacation on Hilton Head Island. Nine children all under the age of 11 and five were under the age of five. Thank God for Pegah, our rock and babysitter! As a tiny thing, Maggie was fearless, jumping in the “hot one” which she and Cousin Emmy called the hot tub and then chasing the waves of the Atlantic. She found a dead shark (smaller in size) and carried it around with her all day as we pleaded with her to surrender it.
Maggie planned on attending Coastal Carolina University to study marine biology less than a year after her death. What happened God?
Maggie could figure anything out, for example how to fit a wheelchair in the trunk of a small car. None of us could do it and she did it in less than 5 minutes. She entered a talent show in 4th grade and had everybody screaming with excitement as she danced to Boot Scooting Baby. This is the girl you gave me God… wow! So thankful! What happened God?
Maggie slept with me the night before she died. Were those demons filling her mind? Why didn’t she tell me? Was she ashamed? Why is she not here alongside me on this beautiful beach?
So here I am writing and sitting on this beach. I am alone. I no longer have a daughter living on earth. She’d be finishing her sophomore year in college, turning 21 in 10 months. Our little Pie. I see her everywhere, especially whenever I’m near water. The pain is so deep, I can barely breathe.
Related post: Where was God when my child died?