Red Table Talk has made its return to Facebook Watch, and the show’s first guest for the month of May, also known as Mental Health Awareness Month, is April Simpkins, mother of late pageant queen, Cheslie Krsyt.
Simpkins was the last person that Kryst decided to reach out to before taking her own life the morning of Jan. 30, 2022.
At the table, Simpkins decided to read the final text message from her daughter.
“First, I’m sorry, by the time you get this, I won’t be alive anymore. And it makes me even more sad to write this because I know this will hurt you the most.”
Upon reading the words from her daughter, Simpkins revealed that she nearly “blacked out.” This was Kryst’s second suicide attempt – the first she had attempted in her early 20’s.
“By the time I read the text, an hour had passed,” she told the Smith family.
Kryst had decided to text her mother when she knew she would be occupied while attending an en exercise class that morning.
“I [remember] calling my husband and screaming ‘What! What!’ and we got home and [were] just trying to figure out what to do,” she shared. “I had not read the rest of her message, I just couldn’t.”
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The message went on to read: “I love you mom, and you are my best friend and the person I’ve lived for for years. I wish I could stay with you, but I cannot bear the crushing weight of persistent sadness, hopelessness and loneliness any longer.”
“I’ve never told you these feelings because I never wanted you to worry, and because I hoped they would eventually change, but I know they never will. They follow me through every accomplishment, success, family gathering, friendly dinner – I cry almost every day now, like I’m in mourning. I wished for death for years. And I know you would want to know and want to help, but I haven’t wanted to share this weight with anyone.”
“Regardless of that, thank you sincerely for being there for me in some of my loneliness moments without me even telling you I need you. You have kept me alive and ready to face another day, because you answer every phone call and you are there for me at the drop of a hat. You listen to me and care when I tell you what goes on in my life and you’ve always made me feel as if you loved me.”
“I love you more than any person I’ve ever known. You’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve done everything right.”
“I no longer feel like I have any purpose in life. I don’t know if I ever really did.”
In reading the message Simpkins decided to jump around, keeping Kryst’s more personal parts of the message to herself.
She also revealed that she was aware of her daughter’s struggle with depression but “didn’t know the severity of it.” It was when she started to notice that her daughter’s smiles were a little “forced” that she encouraged Kryst to reach out whenever she needed help.
Although Kryst heeded her mom’s advice, she attended therapy regularly and focused on getting adequate rest but Simpkins shared that she often “deflected” from her own emotions.
“Depression is not always marked by someone laying in bed or unable to do things,” she shared. “There are people who are high-functioning and can get through the day because they wear ‘the face,’ and we’re all told to wear that face. Cheslie wore that face.”
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Kryst ended her message with: “There aren’t enough words in the world to describe my love and appreciation for you. You are the perfect mom and I will love you forever, even in death.”
“Feel free to share this message. People should know that you are the best mom in the world and that you were the best mom to me I could ever have hoped for.”