January 6, 2016
On December 4, 2009, Debbie’s 16-year-old daughter, Kaylene, lost control of her car on black ice and hit a tree, and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Six years later, her family says that instead of holding each other closer in their grief, they have been falling further apart.
“Having to bury a child is the worst thing you can even imagine,” says Debbie. “My world ended that day. I didn’t want to live anymore. I lost my baby girl six years ago, and I feel like for the rest of my life, I’m going to be stuck in this bubble of grief and not know how to get out.”
Debbie’s daughter, Shaunase, and son, Justin, claim their mom not only refuses to move past the tragedy, but that her grief has turned into anger, and she blames them for their sister’s death.
“My sister, Kaylene’s, death has had a huge effect on my relationship with my mother,” says Shaunase. “My mom has said if I hadn’t left and had my own family, maybe I could have saved her.”
Justin adds, “My mom has flat out told me that she wishes it was Shaunase who had died and not Kaylene, because Kaylene was a perfect child.”
Debbie denies that she blames her children for Kaylene’s death, and says Shaunase and Justin don’t understand her grief. She claims they’ve been cruel and insensitive and don’t allow her to spend time with her grandchildren. “I’m so disappointed with my daughter, Shaunase,” she says. “It’s just that she and Justin want their old mom back, and I can never be that person anymore.”