by Brenda Saldecki
(Grand Island Nebraska)

My daughter was 19, but I think in some ways, I had lost her 6 years ago. She had began struggling with mental health issues. Cutting, peeling her skin off her fingers, pulling her own hair out. She had over 70 stitches, from the many times she had sliced into her arms and legs. She had over dosed and even attempted to hang herself, as well as an eating disorder.
She had spent her whole teenage years in behavioral treatment centers and foster homes. I had finally asked her physician to have her put in emergency protective custody, after she had inhaled a full can of dust off and I had to perform CPR on her. It was the hardest thing I had to do, but felt like I had no other choice. Everything else I had tried for her was not working. It became too much for me to handle by myself, I was having a hard time hanging on to a job because I was so over whelmed and consumed with Shayla's issues.
She would say and do things that would push me away, and form bonds with foster parents, till her behaviors became a liability risk for the family and they would have to replace her in another treatment facility. Once she had aged out of the system, they had placed her in a transition program in which she was learning independent skills and work on a GED, because she had not cared about her education. I refused to allow her to move home with me because my biggest fear was that she would eventually succeed in her suicide and I would not have been able to handle that. I had already accepted that she was going to succeed, it was just a matter of when it would happen. I had in many ways stepped back and let whatever would happen, happen.
February 3 2014, a police officer came to my apartment and began to identify me, and when he had asked if I had a relative by her last name, I began to scream oh my god, she finally killed herself didn't she? He explained that she had been found deceased in her apartment, she had hung herself.
I had last spoke to her, a week and half ago. She was upset and I encouraged her to go talk to one of the staff because I had no idea how to talk to her anymore. I called to check on her and when I finally talked to her she had reassured me that she had talked to someone and that she was ok. We had talked for a while and before we hung up, I told her I loved her very much.
Despite excepting that it would eventually happen, I was in shock, I miss her voice, and I have dreams in which I see her legs dangling and as hard as I try I can't reach her. I miss her every day although she had not lived with me for six years. Knowing she is no longer with us physically is overwhelming. ALL I know is she is my baby is dead and everything I did to help her was not enough to save her.

Comments for Brenda

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Sep 28, 2014
Brenda, I need your help!
by: Jennie

I am so very sorry for the loss of your precious child, my sincerest condolences. We have transitioned to a new system, and for better access to advice and support, please click on "The Grief Club" button on the left for access to the new Forum. We want to keep this great online grief resource going and need your help! Please re-post this or put a new submission there. All your friends are waiting...

Hi Pat from Green Bay, and Anonymous MI:

Could you please contact me via "Contact Us" button to the left? I need your help also for the transition. Thanks so much!

Apr 23, 2014
Sorry for your loss
by: kerry

I too had a sister that was self harming herself she died 2 years ago from cutting herself after taking too many injections to thin her blood as she had blood clots on her lungs the ambulance got to her and revived her but it was too late she was already brain damaged and dint show any signs of coming out of the coma that the hospital put her in so me my mum and my brother just had to watch her die as they switched off the machines and she took her last breaths it was so horrible but we all knew one day it was going to happen as she tried so many times before. your girl is at peace now and in no more pain

Apr 23, 2014
by: Doreen UK

Brenda I am so sorry for your loss of your daughter Shayla to suicide.
Your post brought back memories of my nephew 30yrs of age. jobless, homeless, and not given the correct support due to lack of resources. My nephew Peter would take himself up to tall buildings and want to throw himself off. All the time calling out for someone to HELP HIM. He asked his mother if he could come home and she said NO. Peter didn't get on with his step dad and they had words and Paul (step-dad) had to leave his own home when things got difficult. Paul gave my sister the space to deal with Peter. My sister was caught with divided loyalties. Her son eventually took himself down to the station and threw himself in front of an express train. Peter was on anti-depressants with suicidal side effects which contributed to him taking his own life. It was THE MOST difficult time for my sister and us all as a family. My sister had to have a counsellor go to her home and pick up the pieces of a broken shattered person who could not go on anymore.
I understand the world of depression and bi-polar. I also understand Mental Health issues and how difficult it is for the families of those who suffer mental Health issues. It is not easy to live with such and individual and eventually the carers go through depression. It is not selfish to have to take care of one's self in much the same way as one would not put themselves in front of someone who had an infectious disease they could catch and cause them harm or even loss of life. It is a very sad place to be. The world of mental illness is a hard and painful one, which is very complex.
You may benefit from counselling. Those mental images of your daughter having hung herself will eventually go in time. But when is as baffling as "How long is a piece of string?". Try and replace your thoughts with new ones when they intrude. Build yourself up each day by nurturing yourself back from grief. It does help. Losing a child/adult child is the worst experience a parent can go through, especially a mother who is the primary nurturer and carried that child for 9 months with a bond that cannot be broken. Take good care of yourself and do what you have to do to survive this loss. Get support and attend a support group which will help you heal.

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