Thursday, June 10, 2010

Our Broken Daughter - Kelly Amber DuPriest - 1971-2010

At first glance, 
it looks like a happy collection
 of Madame Alexander dolls.
 I started collecting these dolls,
 for Amber,
 shortly after she was born. 
I am not even sure, 
at last count, 
how many I had purchased over the years. 
 This box is one of the many
 that has been packed up 
since she left us---
for drugs.

At closer range, 
it becomes obvious 
that one of the dolls is broken.
 The head is detached from the body.
 All of the parts are there 
but they are not connected.
The doll is broken.

This seems to be the way it was
 for much of my daughter's life.
 She was broken.
 As hard as each of us tried to mend her brokenness, just like Humpty Dumpty
all the King's horses and all the King's men
 couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again 
 we could not find a way to put
 or give Amber the resources 
to put herself together ---

 As I write this,

 there are tears welling up in my eyes --

As my husband uttered to me last night,

 as he held me tightly in bed,

after sobs subsided from him,

"We did our best"

How does a mother write about her daughter's death?

I decided if I let too much time go by 
I would not know what to say --


Our family is not a family one would expect
 to see on the news,
 in such a detrimental setting--

Our family is not a family
 one would expect to see 
or hear the phrase-

Release of names are being withheld
 until notification of next of kin.

How many times we have heard this said
or how many times we have read those words---

Only This Time

those words pertained to us

not someone else-

Yesterday, I got a call from a Pinetop detective, 
with which we had worked over the past year and a half. 
In an unofficial capacity,
 he was contacting us,
 as a friend,
 with information he had just heard ----

About an hour and a half later
we were officially contacted
 by a Nevada Coroner's office---

Amber was dead---

I was very aware that I might receive such a call
 due to Amber's drug use-

What I expected though,
if I did get such a call,
was an overdose,

or at worse,
her death being from a drug dealer 
or someone else she had conned. 

I was not prepared
 for the call 
telling us she had been 
killed by police officers.

This took place on Monday evening.
If you google her name
Kelly Amber DuPriest
you will find several news articles 
about the event 
and her death.

From talking to the Coroner's office
 and then a detective 
from the Henderson Nevada
 police department

we know there will be an inquiry 
regarding her death.

We were also told the gun involved
 might have been a pellet gun.
If you search her name, as I mentioned above,
you will also find two of my earlier posts,
one written on Sunday, November 8,2009 titled,
 Who, What, When, Where, Why
and one written on Monday, February 23rd, 2009, titled Happy 38th Birthday, Amber.

I had a comment,this morning,
on one of the posts,
 from the brother of one of the people
 from which Amber and the other person,
 stole a car. 
It was a kind comment, 
letting me know Amber, 
and the person with her,
 appeared to be high on drugs. 
He let me know Amber was not the one carrying the gun.
He let me know he had sympathy for my family.
His sympathy touched me.

My family and friends are in shock.

Just as I had to tell Amber 34 years ago, that her birth father had died 
( suicide )
 I had to tell her own son,Chandler,
his mother was dead.

Tonight, my dear husband,
 has the task of telling my elderly father, 
his troubled granddaughter is dead.
We did not want to tell him over the phone.

I am sure other friends,
 reading this
 will also be in shock.

 I apologize for not contacting 
each of you in person.
 I just don't have the energy.

Amber suffered all of her life 
with mental issues.
My family has never been considered a 
 BAD family.
We would,I believe,in general, be described as a typical American family, wanting the best
 out of life 
for our loved ones
 and others.

We tend to be
 kind, caring, compassionate,
 law abiding citizens,
who are supportive 
of law enforcement
and we are in shock --

 Despite our efforts,
 in each and every way possible,
from her early years on, 
to somehow help our daughter,
our efforts failed.

She was a little girl that was loved.
She was our daughter that was loved.
She was a granddaughter that was loved.
She was a mother that was loved.
She was a friend that was loved.

Despite the love,
Despite the efforts,

 She was a person who chose
 a self destructive path of drug use,
 leading to addiction,
 leading to crime,
leading to death,
leading to sorrow 
for us
and for others.
We wish it had been different
so different
we are GrAtEfUl
no other innocent person 
was hurt
in this last dramatic event 
of her life.


Kelly Amber DuPriest
February 23,1971
June 6,2010


Chia said...

CeCe, My heart, and my most sincere and loving thoughts, go out to you and your family. I know you never gave up hope for a happier ending. I hope you can find comfort knowing that Amber is no longer broken and tormented, as she was in this life. I hope she is at peace now, and I wish that all of you left behind will also find peace.

Judy said...

I cannot begin to tell you how shocked I was to learn of this. I am so very, very sorry, Cece. Please know that I send you love and hugs. Now you have to go on without her, but Chandler remains. He is going to need you, your husband and Ria more than ever. God bless you all.

80 Porter Toes said...

CeCe, You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so sorry. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. Love you, Lindsey

CeCe said...

May I just say, to each and every one of my dear friends, Thank You, for your thoughts, prayers, and concern. The blogging community has been a great source of joy for me. It has also provided me with a place to share--- I am ever so grateful for your support. I do KNOW that Amber is no longer broken and tormented and it is with that knowledge that I continue to go forward. Grieving is a process which all too many of us understand. Blessings to each of you as you continue to bless me with your caring spririts.

Dianne said...

CeCe, Suzanne told me about this loss today. I am so sorry. I feel so helpless to and I am without words, but know that I will pray for your family and especially Chandler.

Love Dianne

Paris Cowgirl said...

Once a loved one becomes a memory, their memory becomes a treasure. CeCe I am so very sorry. Keep the good memories alive for Chandler. Hugs for you all.

Ria said...

I postponed viewing the blog long enough. You did a perfect job in expressing yourself and what we are all going through.
I love you,

Lizzie said...


I am so very sorry for your loss of Amber. I cannot imagine what you and your family must be feeling. I am not very good with this, but I wanted to express to you if there is anything at all, AT ALL, you need from me, I will be there for you.

You are one of the most amazing people I have ever met. You are sunshine and happiness . . . I know that I'm not the only person that feels that way about you. You are kind and inspirational. I adore you and my heart breaks for you. I know you will work through your grief and it will be hard, so again, if there is anything you may need from me, please let me know!!

Love, Lizzie

Susi said...

For some unknown reason when I sent you a Facebook message resently I called Chandler Tyler. Please forgive my mistake. Please know you have been in my thoughts and prayers ever since I found out from Thom. Please be brave. Amber is now in much better and stronger hands.

expose said...

CeCe I just heard about Amber. I am so sorry that her life was ended in such a tragic way. You were always there for her as a mother, mentor and partner. When she spoke of you in front of me, you were her hero. I hope hearing that brings you some peace. I am sure she did not relate that view as of recently, even though I am sure if she had gotten help she would have told you that. Chandler is the bright light in all of this. He is a gift from God. Trust God's path and you will find peace. You are in my prayers.