Our family was crushed and devastated this past weekend by the death of my step-daughter. We are experiencing something many parents have gone through and it is a grief and pain like no other. To compound the pain of loss is the pain of knowing she chose death over life. She chose to leave those of us who desperately loved her and will now have to live the rest of our lives with only her memory in our hearts. I know intelligently that she was mentally ill at the time and believed the only way to stop her pain, was to stop her brain, but emotionally, my insides are screaming “how could you do this to those of us who love you? How could you leave me?”
My husband and I ask ourselves if there were more we could or should have done and did we miss crucial signs. Especially me. I received a text message from her the day before and she was upset over an issue with another family member and her words to me were “I don’t know how much more I can take”. But I didn’t see it. I thought as was often the case with her, that her angst would blow over and she would soldier on. She’d had many life upsets in the last year which she seemed to be dealing with positively, but I wonder now how much pain she was actually hiding.
She was the type that once she made up her mind to do something, she usually told no one what she decided, she just did it. She didn’t want anyone to try to talk her out of it. So I wonder if this final act was the same thing. Had she planned it? In hindsight, it seems like she almost might have, but outwardly it appeared that she was making some personal life decisions that would better her circumstances.
They say that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. She had tried to kill herself two years ago by taking an overdose of prescription medication. It must not have been her time to go because luckily she vomited up enough of the medication that there was only enough left in her system to put her to sleep for quite a while. But when she awoke, her words to me were “why am I here?” She admitted to me several months later that she had fully intended to kill herself. It wasn’t a mistake. But at the time, she assured me she would never do it again, however, I now believe that she had kept the option in the back of her mind as a way to escape when she felt she could no longer continue.
Most of her family members were not thoroughly shocked in the way someone would whose loved one had never given any outward indication of their struggles. We all knew she was struggling, and I think most of us helped in whatever manner we knew if it was simply to lend an ear. I know that she and I would talk for hours and sometimes I would try to get her to see another side of an issue, but sometimes I just agreed with her that whatever person she was dealing with was just an asshole.
My husband has lost his “little girl” who was the light of his life because she was louder and larger than life. I have lost a very special friend/daughter. And there will always be the “why?”
Kimber, or Kim, to her family, was a colorful soul in a black and white world. She was larger than life and her laugh was infectious and her smile could light up the room. She was passionate about her world and all those who occupied space with her. There was no one she didn’t know and she considered everyone a friend. She loved to excess; her children, her “daddy” and moms and sisters and brothers, both by blood and by marriage, but most of all her granddaughter, Alyssa. The sun rose and set on Alyssa. She lived for the time she could spend with Alyssa, cherishing every moment and was eagerly looking forward to the arrival of baby Brynn. She relished the fact that she was “daddy’s little girl” and treated him as though he hung the moon. She was a “take charge” person and no task was too daunting for her. She was a dedicated employee and often did the work of more than one person and when she did it, she did it well. If someone needed a hand, she was there with two.
Her passing has left an immeasurable hole in the hearts of the people who loved her. The light has dimmed and our world will never be the same without her. We are all better to have known and loved her. We know she is feeling the peace we all await and she’s now seated at the foot of our Savior, singing with the angels.
Kim leaves behind her mother, Peggy McCall, her father Earl Corley, her step-mother, Marsha Corley, her sons, Matthew (Alisha) Wagle and Eric (Kayla) Osborne and grandchildren, (?), Alyssa and soon to arrive, Brynn, her sister, Crystal Corley and brothers Michael (Sherry) Corley, William Corley, and step-brothers, Tom (Andrea) Duncan, Stephen (Chelsea) Hill and Justin (Jen) Hill and step-sister, Jennifer Gremminger, along with nieces and nephews.