Love, Katelyn:

Love, Katelyn:

The Indelible Mark of a Daughter, Her Addiction, Illness, and Suicide. A Mother’s Journey Through Faith and Discovery.


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love katelyn book cover

    “No parent should ever have to experience losing a child. That’s just not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s unnatural. It’s unfair. And it’s just plain devastating.”

    Michelle L. Atherton


Learn About a Mother’s Love Through

The Good Times

The Heartache

The Hope

Katelyn and Michelle

What's Inside

I know it’s hard to talk about addiction, mental illness, suicide, and loss – especially when it involves those we love the most. You are not alone… but together we are stronger!

Michelle and Katelyn

What's Inside

I know it’s hard to talk about addiction, mental illness, suicide, and loss – especially when it involves those we love the most. You are not alone… but together we are stronger!

    “Addiction, mental illness, and suicide can be taboo topics, but they must not be ignored. My daughter was far more than the sum of any of those and losing her has been the hardest thing I have ever had to endure. From unanswered questions, immense pain, and a wide range of evolving emotions, I invite you to join me on an intimate journey through reflection, discovery, and hope.”

    Michelle L. Atherton

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Praise for Love, Katelyn

  • As I read Love, Katelyn I was moved by the honesty and raw emotions that Michelle expressed throughout the book, as well as the poignant words from Kate’s journals that allowed us to see into the pain she was experiencing. The unimaginable hurt that Michelle feels having lost her daughter is met with peace and reassurance that God is with her every step of the way. I have no doubt that this book will be a source of hope and inspiration for others. Not only for parents with children going through addiction or mental health issues, but for people who need to recognize God’s unconditional love during difficult times. Awesome job Michelle, I know that Kate is proud of you for telling her story and for sharing yours!

    AnnaMae M.

  • I just finished reading Love, Katelyn. The book is beautifully written and it made me cry. Having lost a daughter myself, I feel it is important to get this book out to others as it will help other families that are going through a similar loss and those that are struggling. Thank you for doing this and I hope it will help save lives.

    Margorie J.

  • I just finished reading Love, Katelyn.  I had a feeling I wouldn’t be able to put it down and I was right.  Reading about all of Michelle’s memories and more importantly feeling these moments through her incredible account was amazing.  The way she continued to love, support and pray for Katelyn through all of it is like nothing I’ve ever read before. Michelle’s brutal honestly about every facet of being Katelyn’s mom will be so invaluable to others. Loss, sadness, pain, guilt, vulnerability, uncertainty, lives forever changed and touched by a sweet girl who is finally at peace. Thank you for sharing your story and your many faith-based epiphanies... Katelyn is surely looking down, very proud of her mom.

    Beth A.

  • In a word: Powerful. I believe that Love, Katelyn will profoundly affect every reader no matter where they are coming from. THANK YOU. Thank you for your openness and honesty and for sharing this story.

    Maureen M.

  • While reading Love, Katelyn I cried several times, laughed, wanted to hug Michelle, and found Katelyn so endearing. I'm sure there are so many mothers out there that will read this and feel a sense of relief that somebody else knows the pain, joy and frustrations that you so eloquently have expressed. It's raw and real.

    Melissa H.

  • I couldn’t put Love, Katelyn down. Wow! How powerful Michelle’s words are and I appreciate how honest she was with her feelings. I think this book will not only help people with addictions see the love their families have for them and the pain suicide inflicts, but it will also be for parents the- “Wow, I’m not the only one who thinks and feels these thoughts”. Michelle’s openness is brave and selfless. I pray this book will honor Katelyn and bring help to those who are suffering from the hurt and loss of a beautiful child.

    Angela L.

  • With the publication of Love, Katelyn, Michelle Atherton has taken on the impossible task of dealing with the suicide death of her daughter. With raw emotion, unflinching candor and a tortured Mother’s heart, Michelle opens up her spirit and her faith as she examines in deep detail, for what must certainly be the thousandth time, her beautiful daughter’s all-too-brief journey on earth that ended in suicide. There is no shelf in a parent’s heart to categorize or place such a devastating loss. Life will never be the same. But, as Michelle discovers, the task is not to dwell on the tragedy of Katelyn, but to celebrate her life and use it as inspiration to move forward and touch the world with great humor and gentle, good and selfless grace, much as Katelyn did.

    Phil B.

  • With its simple, raw, and deeply personal honesty, Love, Katelyn is a remarkable read and is profoundly moving. This book will speak to anyone who has suffered any type of unexpected loss. Devasting loss, grief, fear of the unknown, things that were never spoken and will remain unsaid, anxiety about the future, and wondering if you can ever be happy, content or “normal” again. Michelle has captured all of this beautifully and perfectly in this book and readers will appreciate her candidness and willingness to peel back the layers of her vulnerable and humble soul.

    Jenn D.


You can reach out to me and stay up to date on upcoming events and what's next here


You can reach out to me and stay up to date on upcoming events and what's next here

Michelle L. Atherton


About the Author

Michelle was born in Memphis, Tennessee and grew up in Conway, New Hampshire. She has been married to her husband, Pete, for 25 years, and they raised their family in Scarborough, Maine. She is a devoted and proud mother of three and former stay-at-home mom who didn’t want that life season to end. She is a former teenage mother, a compassionate animal lover who recently received her certificate in Veterinary Assisting, and a confident woman of faith.

After experiencing a mother’s worst nightmare of losing a child, she decided to take time out to write this book. Michelle is now dedicated to sharing her and Katelyn’s story to help and encourage others who are struggling with addiction, mental illness, suicide, and loss.


Get Help

Addiction and Mental Illness

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

National Institute of Mental Health

For signs and symptoms, risk factors, treatment and therapies.

1-866-415-8051 to speak to a representative, or email [email protected] for an online chat.

Suicide Prevention

Suicide Prevention Resource Center

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255 or Text 741741 to speak with someone

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

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