“WordPress, We Have Lost A Friend From Our Blog Community, I Have Lost A Beautiful Friend.” A Re-share & Special Tribute To A Mother, Wife, Blogger, Author, and Advocate~Rhonda Sellers Elkins”


I have been in shock, mourning, and very heart-broken since yesterday morning. I learned through my Author Facebook page that we have lost an “ANGEL” …

A wonderful friend, author, writer, WordPress blogger, and advocate about mental illness has passed away. I really could not believe what I was reading when I saw the Facebook post by the daughter of a woman who has been such an inspiration to me in my own battle with severe depression, and mental disorders. We had just spoke last in April as I wanted to do a nice book and author spotlight for her on my Book/Media blog. I wanted to help her with promoting her new book that had come out in March 2014.

She had such a big heart, and a beautiful soul, and always was encouraging to keep pushing forward in life, as she was still processing the loss of her own daughter to suicide.
“Rhonda Sellers Elkins” whose blog here on WordPress: http://welding81.wordpress.com
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So as a ‘Tribute & Memoir’ to the devastating loss I feel, I share the Author & Book Spotlight I had done for her a few months back. The world is a little less “Bright” without you my good friend.
You are going to be missed for a very long time. I wish I could have been there for you like you were always there for me. The Spotlight in her Honor …

UPDATE: There is a Special Remembrance for Rhonda up on Facebook, a Memorial Page for all her to go to and show love & support. Lets let her family know HOW SPECIAL she was to many out here in Cyber-Space! 9/2/2014 …
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The permanent memorial page for Rhonda Sellers Elkins is:

https://www.facebook.com/inmemoryofrhondasellerselkins

Thank you to the now 300 people who attended this memorial event.

In Memory of Rhonda Sellers Elkins
Liked
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“My Special Guest Author Interview Is With “Rhonda Sellers-Elkins” And Her New Book Release Of, “My Bright Shining Star”…

Originally posted on Lyon Media & Book Promotions~By Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon:
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Hello And Welcome Friends, Readers, And New Visitors,

It’s my pleasure to share with you a good friend of mine who just become a “New Author”!  Please meet Author, Rhonda Sellers-Elkins and her new book release titled; “My Bright Shining Star:” A Mothers True Story Of Brilliance, Love & Suicide….

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Rhonda and I met through WordPress where we both have our blogs. I remember the first time I came across her blog, and her story about the loss of her beautiful daughter Kaitlyn. I was so inspired by her words, and how she was able to share such a painful experience with all of us through her blog posts that I became to admire her and her courage. We visited each others blogs many times and quickly became fast friends. Her daughters story really touched me, and many of her blog readers. I could relate to her feelings about the loss of her daughter,  as I had two failed attempted suicides myself from undiagnosed bipolar depression and a gambling addiction.

Her sharing taught me to see what others who are left behind from such a tragic event feel and go through when you lose a child.

I don’t know if I ever mentioned that to Rhonda before, but sharing her story of how to move on, to get through each day with keeping your head up and courage in your heart, I have learned so much from Rhonda. Now, in keeping Kaitlyn’s beautiful memory alive through her new book, I know this has been a “Special” accomplishment for Rhonda, and a “Tribute to Kaitlyn”…
Here is a little more about Rhonda and her new book!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rhonda Elkins lost her 23-year-old daughter Kaitlyn to suicide 4-11-13. The fact that Kaitlyn took her own life was horrible enough, but the fact that she never displayed signs of depression her entire life made it even harder to understand. She was a 3rd year medical student and was doing very well in school. After Kaitlyn’s death Rhonda began writing about her grief in her blog and after a time decided to write a book about her daughter to tell the story of her daughter and to bring out the fact that there can be hidden depression in highly achieving young people, a fact she did not know until her daughter’s death.

Rhonda lives in North Carolina with her husband Allyn. They have two cats, Dagny, and Kaitlyn’s cat Gatito who they adopted when Kaitlyn died. They also have another daughter, Stephanie Alford, and a son-in-law, Steve Alford, who also live in North Carolina. Rhonda is a registered nurse, but at the time of this book’s publication has not returned to work since Kaitlyn’s death. She is an advocate for suicide prevention.
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ABOUT HER  BOOK: http://www.amazon.com/My-Bright-Shining-Star-Brilliance-ebook/dp/B00JBMLXTA/ref=tmm_kin_swatchh_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1398705187
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To all that knew her, Kaitlyn Elkins was a happy, intelligent, compassionate and extremely talented young medical student with a bright future ahead. However, beyond her warm smile and string of impressive achievements lurked a dark secret-depression; something she hid so well from all those that knew and loved her. This is the story about a mother’s quest to find some answers as to how her daughter, who seemed so happy on the outside, could hide such a dark, horrible depression that ultimately lead to her suicide.
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It is a story about her wonderful daughter’s life, the lives she touched, the search for answers, the stigma of mental illness, the great love and deep bond they shared.  The book also incorporates insightful experiences from other depression sufferers, contributions from some of Kaitlyn’s friends, and views from medical professionals.  This heartrending memoir of love also serves as a caution to parents, teachers, counselors, and young people that depression can lurk among the high achieving, that they hide it expertly, and if not reported and treated, can lead to suicide.  It is a warning to everyone.
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Now here is what Readers are saying in All 5 Star Reviews!
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This review is from: My Bright Shining Star: A Mother’s True Story of Brilliance, Love and Suicide (Paperback)   Hope in the wake of loss, March 26, 2014
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“Though a beautiful life was cut extremely short, this story of a mother’s love uses the pain of that loss to provide both a beacon of hope to others who suffer from depression as well as provide warning signs to those who might not be familiar with depression themselves. I especially loved reading the personal stories from outsiders, most notably other medical students. The deadly nature of depression is a very real thing, and it goes unnoticed so frequently. It is my sincere hope that those who read this book will be able to see that there is always another option and that there are others who are suffering from the same affliction. It is not something that should be ashamed of, and the pain that results from the loss of a loved one is unbearable. Please, give this book a chance to touch your heart.”
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This review is from: My Bright Shining Star: A Mother’s True Story of Brilliance, Love & Suicide (Kindle Edition)Heart-rending, beautiful, and important,  March 29, 2014

“This book is a mother’s heart-rending, beautiful tribute to her daughter. I wish there was no need for this book, but given the circumstances, this story is important on both the personal and community levels. Still in the depths of grief, the author felt compelled to speak out about the stigma of mental illness. Her daughter never asked for help or gave any indication that she felt suicidal. I know that this book will help many people speak up and speak out. Kaitlyn’s brilliance will live on in her family’s love.”

*As many of you know when I have an “Author as my Guest,” I only ask them TWO questions of them. Here is my interview questions I asked of Rhonda, and her answers and thoughts*…
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1.)  Since we follow each other from your beautiful blog, I know more than my readers about your life. But what made you decide to write and share your personal story in book form?

 From the very day I found out about Kaitlyn’s death, I shared her death of Facebook to let her friends know who I had no other way to contact.  From that moment on, I got a great deal of responses and condolences and stories about Kaitlyn from her friends and many people I knew and did not know.  After that, in my horrible grief, I had no outlet for my grief except for crying almost nonstop and going through her things and touching them and remembering the wonderful girl who was my daughter for 23 years. I began to post on Facebook about my daughter and my horrible grief and confusion about why such an exceptional young woman could take her life.
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You see, she was brilliant, sweet, very accomplished, graduated valedictorian of her high school class, graduated summa cum laud from Campbell University in two and a half years (instead of the usual 4 years it takes) with a degree in biology. After a few months she was accepted into Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC, to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a doctor. She was happy.  Always said and seemed to love medical school and was doing well in it, as well as her busy life.  She kept her body fit by eating healthy, exercising and running. She had run a half a full marathon only months before. She never showed signs of depression in her entire life and was a model daughter and student.
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Then on 4-11-13 she took her own life, leaving a note to us that she had been depressed all her life and hid it from us to protect us from it. She never told anyone and never sought help. So after writing on Facebook I started a blog devoted to writing about my daughter and that horrible thing that took her life, depression, by way of suicide.  Not long after that, I decided to write a book in the hopes that Kaitlyn’s story will help those people out there that are like my daughter; highly driven, intelligent, but hiding a deep depression that may take their life if not treated.
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So many highly achieving young people never seek help for their depression and never admit to it for a variety of reasons, the stigma of mental illness being one of them.   It’s also for parents, counselors and teachers so they will know of this often silent killer of our young people.  My book is to honor my daughter, tell of her life and suicide, and to provide some insights into how such a thing could happen. It is also a warning.
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2.)  Even though your new book has only been out a short time, has there been any one thing that has surprised you since the release?
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There has not been anything that has really surprised me, but I am very pleased about the very positive reviews that it has received so far.  I was hoping so very much that it would do what I intended my book to do, and by reading the reviews it seems to be doing so.

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A Tribute To Rhonda & her Beautiful Daughter “Kaitlyn Elkins & Author, Rhonda Elkins*
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My Facebook Share from yesterday 8/31/2014

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Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon
I’m so sad. To the Elkins Family, my thoughts, prayers, and much love to all of you today, and will mourn with you from a distance.
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I’m so, so devastated. I can not wrap my brain around this. I had talked to Rhonda not to long ago as I had done a “New Book & Author Spotlight” on my blog for her. We were like “Kindred Spirits” as we shared & battled many of the same disorders.
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She was always the first to comment on all my new recovery WordPress blog posts with encouraging words, friendship, and loving support. I hope she knew how many of us Authors and Bloggers out here just loved her so much!!! Her sweet southern style, and that accent was adorable! I’m just at such a loss for words, and my heart is breaking.Rhonda my sweet friend, I hope you knew how much I loved and cared for you. And just know that YOUR Bright and Shinning Star will live on inside me until my last breath. I know you have peace and serenity with the lord, and in the loving arms of “K”…. R.I. P. my beautiful friend. Thank you for giving me that little piece of your heart to keep me at peace until we meet again. We will meet again my Sweet….Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon
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All my love, thoughts and prayers to The Elkins Family and Friends. She touched so many people with her caring, love and inspiration. She truly will never be forgotten, … I miss you already!

Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon ~ Glendale, Arizona

 

 

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12 thoughts on ““WordPress, We Have Lost A Friend From Our Blog Community, I Have Lost A Beautiful Friend.” A Re-share & Special Tribute To A Mother, Wife, Blogger, Author, and Advocate~Rhonda Sellers Elkins”

  1. Thank you for posting the sad news. Sometimes the people we don’t see often seem to disappear and we can only make ass-u-m(e)-tions about what happened. While I didn’t know Rhonda, I do know the pain of losing a child and I can’t imagine how difficult it must be when that loss was via suicide.

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  2. Reblogged this on Recovery Journey And Ramblings Of Author Catherine Lyon and commented:

    Today and Tomorrow will be no posts in Honor and Tribute to the loss of a very Special & Beautiful Angel who we lost Friday, 8/29/2014… Many of us WordPress bloggers are still reeling from this loss of a wonderful friend. Again, I’m still having a hard time processing it. Rhonda was a true Support and Inspiration in my own battle & Mental Health challenges. “I’m already missing you deeply” … My Love, Thoughts, and Prayers to the Family.
    *Catherine*

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  3. That is terrible news and i’m so very sorry to hear that, our prayers go out to the family and to you as well! Too many good people are lost before their time.

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    • Gosh, your so right! And this one was to close to home. Rhonda was truly a beautiful soul. We had much in common, and supported one another. She just had a hard time really processing the loss of her daughter. I’ll miss her Deeply.

      Thank you for your kind words, and thoughts. We just have to keep Advocating about Mental Illness and Suicide!! As the loss of “Precious Life” has got to STOP!!
      God Bless, Catherine XO

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  4. I am so glad you posted this! I am a fellow WordPress blogger who met Rhonda in cyberspace and then became her Facebook friend. We talked about our mutual goal of fighting the horrific stigma of mental illness. I am so very sad about the loss of her. Her depression caused her to be seemingly unaware of the enormous positive influence she was for so many people. It is a tragedy for us all that she is gone. Thank you for honoring her so beautifully!

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    • Hello Sharon,

      Thank you for your comments and thoughts. Yes, I’m right with you!! I was so shocked to read the message from her daughter Steph… I thought really I was dreaming. We did meet a year or so ago through our blogs here on WP.

      Then of course, connected on Facebook to. She and I were really like ‘Kindred Spirits’ as she had lost her daughter, and a few months after I lost my Sister-in-law to suicide of Mental illness. We became fast friends, and I called her often. I’m still not being able to wrap my brain of her being gone. I’m glad you enjoyed her Tribute 🙂

      Come by anytime! 🙂 *Catherine*

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