When I look up at the stars, I remember how in the summer you and I would sit in those chairs both looking up at the black sky waiting to see if a shooting star would fly by.
I saw one last night and instead of giving you my wish, I just smiled and thought about you.
I thought about how you should be sitting with me. Talking like we had so many times about your future. What you wanted, no matter how grand or small the thought were. I loved the sound of your voice and the hopes I know you had for the future.
Rereading the last note you wrote to me and your Dad, I am more confused today than I was at the start of this whole thing that afternoon in April.
I had a purpose then. I suppose I still do now. I’m not sure what is is. I thought my purpose was to finish working, retire and watch your babies grow.
I thought your purpose was to finish high school, go to university, fall in love, have a career, babies, a husband.
I know that’s not going to happen now. I mourn that. I’m still mourning the loss of you.
If I think about it in a rational way, I realize that I was so very blessed to be her Mother and she my daughter.
She lived her entire life with courage, compassion, love, and empathy for her fellow humans. She lived her entire life in fourteen years. I am grateful I got everyone of those years with her.

Mali and Crew

Mali had so many friends. She had friends from school and she had friends from Church and she had friends from social media.

Eden and Hannah are from Great Britain, Kendall and Julissa are from the United States. For years, these girls shared their lives via OoVoo, FaceTime, and Snapchat.

As teens, they shared theirs days at school, boys, interacting with other social media groups. This group of young women has asked to share their story of their relationships with Mali and their struggles since she died.

On Mali and her suicide

written by Hannah, Eden, Julissa and Kendall  

Our group chat usually wasn’t good with new people as they saw how close we all already were and felt left out.

Mali however, was the only person who we added that stayed and instantly just fitted in.

It got to a point where we would speak everyday and create so many amazing memories and traditions.

We made a pact to oovoo every New Year’s Eve until it was midnight my time (GB time) and theirs (although i usually fell asleep) and kept that up for 2 years.

We would make up fake celebrity identities and join random group chats.  She would be Paula Deen and I was Kanye West.

Sometimes when we would join random chats we would jokingly roast, and the other groups would do the same.

Every birthday, holiday and summer spent together was filled with so much adventure.

Every oovoo she’d grumble about having to do the dishes and tell me she would be right back for literally twenty minutes. I heard her break every dish in the sink.

Despite being countries apart it always felt like we had known each other for years. We were best friends.

I remember Kendall being in South Dakota and the two of them didn’t think they could meet. When I woke up, I found out they had met.  I literally screamed and cried because I was so happy because we never thought it would happen. We all made a plan to meet in Minneapolis next year.
I never thought this would happen. The days leading up to her death were filled with jokes and her amazing sense of humour, “so Selfridges don’t sell fridges?”. That was our Mali that was her in her element.  I thought everything was okay.
One of her friends messaged Kendall two weeks after her death asking if we had heard what happened. We hadn’t. She had been quiet but we all were, it was exam season for us all and we had been so overwhelmed.

The last message I sent read I love you and I’m always here but I wasn’t. Not enough. Kendall called me which she never does and she just cried. She didn’t need to say much after that because I knew she had killed herself.

I thought she must be in hospital while the doctors fix her then give her help, proper help this time.

I knew I needed to be strong and call the others, I took the responsibility on myself I couldn’t hurt Kendall like that. No crying I said. Be strong. I get Hannah’s inappropriately timed voice mail, this isn’t something I can say over voice mail though. I call her back and she answers. No crying I say.

I barely got a word out before I broke. My Mali, our Mali. She’s silent for a while just listening to me trying to pull myself together.

I had always felt this protective nature over the girls as I was the eldest. She called me Mother E, yet I spend everyday wondering why I couldn’t have truly nurtured her despite the signs.

The signs were there. We were too wrapped up in our own selfish lives to see them.

I had to drag myself to college and sit through lessons that I was not mentally stable enough to focus in.

I felt guilty for smiling or for laughing, for a lot of things. I was worried about my girls, my amazing girls who are so full of potential. We were world’s apart I couldn’t save them from here…I couldn’t save her.

Our quartet is now a trio and God it is so lonely because although most of us never met, no one will understand the bond that we had.

How do i keep going when the worst thing has happened? I write diaries, I send her messages, I wander aimlessly around her profile, I lie awake staring at the ceiling.

I do everything in my power to keep her alive. But when she went I feel like a large chunk of me went with her…I dread New Year’s Eve.


Mali came into our groupchat while I was on vacation.  Everyone was really excited but, I was quiet.  Everyone thought I was upset and didn’t like the fact that someone had joined.  To be completely honest I was very happy and hopeful this new member would actually last because in our chats no one lasted.

Since the beginning Mali was wild just like us. We loved it! We finally found a keeper she suited the group sooo well!!!

Every time we were going to video chat Mali was always one of the first to say yes and that she was available.  I’d be bummed out on occasion because I’d be busy and I couldn’t video chat.

Mali was always so loud and she didn’t care.  She spoke her mind and she was always there for us.  It hurts because I WASNT THERE FOR HER when she was hurting.

I had no clue she was in so much pain. I had spoke to her 2 days before she died. She read my essay for my senior project. She was so proud and thought My essay was amazing and that I was going to get a good grade.  Little does she know, I scored really low. I remember texting her that Monday after she had died.  We were clueless about her suicide. I let her know how bad I did.

When her friend broke us the news I was the last one to find out because of time differences.

I woke up to missed calls and a bunch of text messages. I was in denial.  I didn’t know what to do, or who to call.

I felt like a piece of me was gone. Mali was a huge part of my life and she deserved soooo much more but, I guess these were the cards she was given. Wherever you are Mali, I hope you are doing well and that you’re finally at peace.  I miss you sooo much more and more everyday. They say that time heals but to be completely honest, as time goes on, I feel even more and more heart broken and sad about the situation.

I never told anyone but I have a rose that sits beside my bed on the window from and it’s dedicated to you.  I got them for my graduation and I know when I was walking across that stage you walked it with me.  I still sometimes cannot believe this is true.  I hope you will watch over the group and Mali, wherever you are FLY HIGH ANGEL WE MISS YOU DEARLY.
– forever Ju ❤


Chloe joined the group on 9th June, 2016.  She knew Mali for just under a year. That time was special. Mali was special. She would be there for everyone.

None of us actually realised how much she needed us. That’s the saddest part. We all are so grateful for the time we knew Mali because she made our lives the happiest even at the hardest times.

Now we’re one less short of our group, things changed a lot like how much we talk, the conversations we have etc… We’re all going to get through it, each in our different ways and come out the closest we’ve ever been for Mali. She would’ve wanted that for sure.

Mali was definitely one of a kind. I knew no one like her. The day I found out it was before first period. I received a call from Eden. She was upset and I knew something was wrong.

She never called me unless it was an Oovoo or Facetime request. She spit out the words “Mali killed herself.”.

At first I thought she was joking because we pull jokes a lot. I knew this wasn’t a joke.  I still asked for that slight chance. Once I realized that she was serious I told her I’ll deal with it at lunch.

I had a huge test in 1st period and I couldn’t be distracted. I walked to first period in disbelief. Our Mali wouldn’t do that. At least that’s what i thought. I sat down and started bawling my eyes out. I walked out of the classroom to the bathroom and ran into a friend.

She took me to the counselor. My counselor thought it was all fake because of how far I was from Mali and there’s no way I would know for sure if this was true

I went the rest of my day going through classes, crying. I cried in every class. There was no way I was gonna be able to not cry.

I had a play that night. My teacher, and director dedicated the show to her that night. I told him I don’t know if I was gonna be able to do it. He told me that I should imagine she’s in the crowd watching me, she would want me to do my best. I went on stage and went on like everything was okay but I wasn’t just playing a role, I was hiding every emotion.

Everyday gets harder but I know she’s somewhere, happy as can be. Mali was crazy, loving, and helpful.

One day I was craving peanut butter so she went out of her way to make a video of her sending me peanut butter.

She didn’t actually send it but it was the thought that counts. Mali, Eden, and I would Oovoo every New Year’s eve. We had nothing better do it. We did it for two years straight, and man it was one heck of a time. I went out and bought streamers and party hats. I was the only one who went all out but I’m really festive.

I’ll never forget roasting people on Kik, watching her and Julissa become unicorns on video chat, and everything else that made Mali so unique.

We would make up nicknames for each other. Kendall is Kendlal, Mali is Malia and Malaria, Eden is Mother E, Julissa is Ju, and I, Hannah is Han.

I am honored to call Mali one of my best friends even though we are miles apart. Just because someone is states, oceans, or countries away doesn’t mean they can’t become best friends. Thank you for being my best friend for two years. I’ll never forget you Mali ❤. – han

Did she leave a letter?

We never found a letter from Mali after she completed suicide.

For 109 days I spent a lot of time in anguish. I just want words say why she did this. What was so bad in her life she could not talk to me or her father.

On day 110, a letter was found. It wasn’t in an envelope. Just a paragraph on school paper.

It was found by her brother who was cleaning out a spare room.  Her old child’s bed was in that spare room.  The letter he found was between the mattress and box spring.

I could not read it at first. I imagined she would lash out at her family. Angry and upset. I was terrified to know its contents.

After about an hour, I got up the courage to read it.  It was exactly as my daughter lived her 14 years.  Introspective, real, apologetic.  It told us the reason.  She felt she led a terrible life.  She was a terrible failure.  She had no purpose on the planet.  She wanted forgiveness for her choices and for us not to be mad at her.  She fell into a black hole she couldn’t get out of

She loved us very much.

My heart, what was left of that shattered organ splintered a little more.

The last 30 days I have spent in CBT and DBT classes, the loss and grief classes all went out the window.  I have just shut down.

I loved that little girl more than life itself. She was my world. We were close. I never thought of her as a failure. I want to own that failure.  I couldn’t save her.

This is the bitter life sentence I have talked about before. It’s cold, grey, and bleak in my world without that beautiful ray of light.

I forgive her everything. There was nothing to forgive. She made a choice and damn if she didn’t execute that plan. No fear on her part it seems. Just acceptance in that mentally ill brain that was operating her.

I wish her peace and light  on her journey and I hope she can forgive me for all my failings as a parent

I will always love you Mals.


Happy Broken Hearts

Sometimes when I look at social media it gives me the willies. So much ugliness. Mainly, I’m talking about twitter.

Dont get me wrong. There lots of great things too but, the last week has gotten me down. I am taking a twitter break

I feel more aware of the suicides that have occurred since Mali left us. Every time I read of someone completing suicide, it breaks my already broken heart.

I don’t understand why people complete suicide. I don’t have the answers. All I do know is the wake of pain and suffering that affects the family and friends that are left behind.

Going places Mali and I frequented is off the list for me. It hurts too much still. Going in her room is almost impossible. The whole house is her and the sadness in it, is you can cut with a knife.

Someone told me I would find happiness again. I don’t even want to ponder that. Some of you may take that as I am not trying. Everyday getting out of bed is a fight for my life. Happiness left my vocabulary when my little girl died.

I have days where I can smile, tell jokes and put on a really good game face. I have a mask for that. It’s really convincing.

I save that mask for people that don’t get it. I can only give a short amount of time to people who don’t understand what losing your child to suicide means. It’s exhausting and bleeds what little of my soul that is left.

I feel guilt when I smile, I feel guilt for enjoying a meal, I feel guilt over pretty much everything because, all I want is my daughter to be here enjoying those things too.

Since that is never going to happen, I will go on about my business of trying to find my new normal

Taking a Break From Reality

This week has been filled with unsolicited advice on how to deal with our grief on our daughters suicide.

  •  time heals all wounds
  • how are you doing
  • suicide is selfish and you should be mad about it
  • Mali wouldn’t want you to be sad
  • you’re going to have to get over it soon
  • You need to go back to work to take your mind off it
  • she’s never coming back, take care of the kids you do have

I realize that those statements were made from a place of sincerity, not malice but unless you have walked in our bloody shoes, kindly fuck off.

I don’t need to go into how much losing Mali hurts or the pain we are in. It’s public knowledge if you are reading this blog.

I probably would have tried to find some sound advice to pass on or say something I though would be comforting had we not lost a child to suicide. Something probably on the irritating list of shit above.

What I really want is your presence. For you not to say anything you may think is wise or good advice. I want a hug. I want silence.  I want distraction from the pain and suffering of this life sentence we didn’t ask for. I want you to listen when I babble and go on about how much I miss my little girl and not get sick of it. Or, listen to me be angry at the whole world.

Losing a child is so hard on marriage.  You spend days in zombie mode.  Going through the motions. You follow the routine of work, fixing lunch for your husband (yes, I do that), making dinner, doing chores, going to the store for months on end. The kiss out the door. The  hug when someone comes home.  The space between keeps getting wider and wider and no matter how hard you try you just can’t seem to bridge the divide

Any armour I had before this, is worn out. I cannot defend myself from the onslaught of life just going on. The merry go round of life, in our hand built microclimates of family.

Frankly I just want to run away.  I want to say fuck it all and go back to my beloved San Francisco and just start over.

I have recently been flirting with that idea and would like to make a relationship with it but, something holds me here.

I don’t even want to consider what that something is because it would wreck the one piece of possible happiness I hold in my head.

So I daydream about Ocean Beach off the great highway.  Surfing.  My relatives there.  The irritating sand that always collects in your car because I spend too much time on the water.  My sand dollars.

When I am not daydreaming about that fantasy I am present here in South Dakota trying to hold on to something that resembles what was my life.

I want to scream and hit and cry all at the same time.  Like a two year old.

Since I digress from the subject at hand, here’s a helpful hint for having a relationship with someone who has lost a loved one to suicide. Be present and patient and stop with the fucking Zen comments about how life is. I already get it. Now kindly piss off.

Thank you to those who are patient and loving with us. You know who you are.  I love you guys for letting me grieve in my own way.

A Letter To My Daughter Mali

Dearest Mali,

Summer is in full swing. The herbs you wanted to plant on your spring bucket list have been planted and they are growing like weeds.  Cilantro, thyme, lavander.  Dad and I also planted tomatoes and those sugar snap beans you love. We have a few corn plants we put in the garden for you since the ones you planted last summer didn’t work out so well. 😂

Another thing we did in the garden was to plant giant sunflowers along the fence. It worked this year. Not quite the forest of giant sunflowers like we planted in front of your window but you get the picture.  They are already over the top of the fence.

Your bug I gave to Kiah. She has learned to drive a stick.  She put eyelashes on it just like you wanted to.  I told her she had to keep the Edison scholar sticker on the bumper.  Hahahaha. I know that would have made you laugh.

Dad really misses you.  He talks to you all the time and you go with him to work everyday and get to ride in the truck with him. I hope you are digging that. I know you would have really enjoyed that.

Your Aunt looks so much like you. We hung out last weekend and she busted me sneaking looks at her face. She called me out on it.

Grandpa also talks to you everyday. He has as you know so many photos of all of you grandkids around the whole house.

Your brothers and sister are doing ok too. Going to school and working.  The miss you so much.

What can I say about Max and Bodie?  Your Cermet misses you terribly. He waits on the top of the couch everyday. I think he’s waiting for you to come thru the door. I have been feeding him lots of chickain and water so he can grow!!  If he gets too big I am going to have to take him back to the swamp 😂🤣💕🤣

I miss you. I miss the way we would make each other laugh. I miss the faces you would make at me and the way you sat on the counter in front of the sink. I miss your macaroons.

I hope you are happy and doing well wherever you are. You will always be our ducky. We love you. I look forward to the day when we can all be together again.


I woke up today to a overcast, slightly cool morning. Not much of a breeze.  Just calm and no extremes outside on my lopsided, slightly dangerous deck.

This is a first for me. My heart and my soul today feels like it matches the environment surrounding me.

No chaos, no crying, no anguish. Just a break in the storm and God knows I need a flipping safe harbor.  Even if it’s only a port visit.

Two of my children came to visit at the same time last night. I was so pleased to see them. My 22 year old daughter Mandy just in from California and my 26 year old son Timothy just in from work.

I made a pot of curry and rice.  We all had a nice visit. We felt like a family again.  No crying, no anger.  It was easy.  We laughed and I hugged each of those kids several times, sniffing their hair they way all of Moms do.  There was love.

Did I feel guilty about our Doodleloo not being there to share this with us?  Not one bit.  She was there. I finally, after all the time that has passed was able to feel her.

I am grateful for that small gift.

Grief comes in waves. The loss of our daughter will always be searing and awful. Some days it is less than others.

Some of my readers are going through the same type of loss.  Today, if I could give you anything, it would be for a few moments of peace. A break in the typhoon so you can breathe for a minute or two.  Mostly I wish you love.  Hang in there and don’t drown. We are right here with you.

#Mali, #Brittany, #Dani, #Carrisa

Sharing Our Grief

My partner of 27 years and I seem to take turns with bad days.

Lately it’s usually me having a bad day.  I cry, despair, cling, yell at God, rage at the world and collapse into a lifeless ball at the loss of our beloved Mali.

I have always thought that Men were stronger. That’s what I learned from our society and culture.  They soldier (or in his case, sailor) on.  Made of impervious metal and grit.

Tim and Mali were very close. She was his Gus and he was her Felicia. Pet names they gave each other when Mali started middle school.

I realize her suicide wounded him deeply. He is nowhere near as vocal as I am about her suicide. But, he is hurting.

I see it in his face. The lines are deeper, his hair and beard have gone white in the last few months.  He crys alone, so I can’t see it.  He spends a lot of time in her room leaving her notes on her chalkboard.  He touches her things in her room.  He talks to her in whispers.

He misses her so much that I can feel his pain like we are connected with a wire that passes the sting of daily living without our ducky.

I don’t even know how to begin to comfort him. 27 years together and I’m clueless.  I hug him, try to kiss his wounded heart but like I said before, you can’t fill empty human spaces with anything.

We visit the niche in the mausoleum together but we are really alone in our own thoughts.  He speaks quietly to her.  Sometimes silently.  I watch him discreetly so as not to make him more uncomfortable than he already is.

I can’t see in our future.  I hope we can find a way to keep our path together.  I don’t make that easy some days.  I hope his resilience can weather this hell we are in and guide us.

I am a pillar today for him  He deserves that.  I would gladly take his pain and carry it for him if I could.


Accept or Drown

Yesterday was a tough day for me. I was pretty low and one tends to blog what you feel.

The amount of support I have is unbelievable sometimes.  My good friend Joe always remembers his good friend Mali and has always prayed and been supporting of my family.

There are so many friends out there that do that for us, there are too many to name. They know who they are and the love I have for them. They carry me when I can’t walk on my own. Simon’s they are.

Grief is a wicked, tricksy type of creature. Just when you think you are about to go under someone either jumps in after you to hold you up or tosses you a life jacket.

Acceptance of Mali’s suicide no matter how bitter it is to swallow may be my only salvation.  I don’t like it.  It is a truth and fighting with it is like paddling against the tide.  It gets you nowhere and its exhausting.

If you are reading this and you feel like suicide is the only way, stop by my house so I can give you a good slap and we can talk it out. Or call the number at top.  You matter and the world IS a better place with you in it.  I only wish my Ducky would have reached out too.

I refuse to drown today.


It’s good old Monday again. I woke feeling out of sorts. Somewhere between depression and just not giving a shit.

The program I am in teaches us that our feelings can be a choice in how we choose to express them.

If I had a choice today I would choose Tanqueray and Tonics. Or maybe a big plate of an illicit substance.  Or run away from home.  The problem with this is after I sobered up or reached a destination I would still be here.  Fuck!  That sucks.

Since I made a commitment to do this program to the bitter end, instead I got cleaned up put on a black dress, a black shrug and black sandals. It was a great accessory to match my mood. I went to class.

I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to cry all day or beat the crap out of something.  I chose ambivalence.

I am numb. I hate days like this. I am tired of hearing myself whine about the loss of my daughter, my broken heart, how my soul went from light to a black smudge. That smudge doesn’t even resemble what a soul is supposed to look like.  At least not what I was told as a child.

I feel bad for my surviving children and their suffering and mostly my partner of 27 years who spends a lot of time picking me up and trying to mold me back into a play doh structure that sort of reminds him of what used to be me.

I feel bad for her remaining family members, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins and friends.

I would give anything to turn the clock back to April 7th and take her away on a trip.  Somewhere just she and I could be together.

Since I know all of this is unrealistic, I guess I will just go back to the numbness that has become my life and try not to play the blame game.

I guess I can get in the car and scream at the top of my lungs.  At least I would feel alive again even for a moment.

I am out for the rest of today.  I hate everything.