Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst left a heart-wrenching suicide text for her mother before jumping to her death from her 29th-story Midtown Manhattan high-rise apartment in January.
April Simpkins, 53, revealed her daughter’s tragic last words on an emotional Wednesday episode of the Facebook series “Red Table Talk,” hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter, Willow Smith, and mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris.
“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 it will hurt you the most,” Kryst, 30, wrote to her mother.
Kryst sent the texts when she knew Simpkins would be in an exercise class so she wouldn’t be able to intervene, the heartbroken mother said.
Simpkins told the Smith women that she had read the message an hour after it was sent, and was overcome with grief while scrolling through it, sensing that her daughter was already gone.
“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,” the text continued.
“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 needed 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 like you loved me.
“I love you more than any person I’ve ever known. You’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve done everything right.”
Simpkins said her daughter also included her final wishes and some personal information in the suicide note, which she declined to reveal during the poignant and tearful interview.
The mother said her daughter had struggled with depression since her early 20s and had tried to kill herself once before.
Kryst had openly discussed her struggles with mental health and her strategies to improve her wellness in various interviews in recent years.
“The most important thing that I did is talk to a counselor. She’s really easy to talk to. She gives me great strategies especially if I’m sad or happy or have a busy month ahead of me,” she said on Facebook during World Mental Health Day in 2019.
“When I’m not talking to my counselor, I spend time at the end of every single day to just decompress,” Kryst added. “I unplug, I shut my phone off, I don’t answer messages. I just sit and watch my favorite movies.”
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or are experiencing a mental health crisis and live in New York City, you can call 1-888-NYC-WELL for free and confidential crisis counseling. If you live outside the five boroughs, you can dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.