Our beautiful Madeleine took her own life when years of depression and opioid dependence seemed to stretch endlessly before her. She could not find for herself the deep affection, empathy, and compassion that she always extended to others.
Madeleine loved animals. Over her life she had loved pet hamsters, guinea pigs, rats, cats, dogs, and even tarantulas. She loved playing hockey. She loved swimming and fishing in East Pond in Maine every summer. She loved her family, her husband Raleigh, and her son Jackson.
After asking for help with her addiction in her teens, Madeleine entered a wilderness program in northern Utah. She lived in a tent through the winter getting help managing her addiction, learning how to cope with her attention deficit disorder, and studying for her GED. After a hike and a 3-hour car ride, she took her GED exam passing all but the social studies section when her ADD kicked in. (She passed that section later.) In the wilderness she proudly mastered the all-important art of starting a fire using a bow drill and other survival skills. The program assigned her a spirit animal, a dragon fly, symbolizing her beautiful transformation.
The next step for her was a transitional living program in northern Idaho where she became known for her deep empathy for others. She formed deep bonds with fellow residents who were struggling with depression and other disorders, in particular with a young autistic man. Those relationships endured for the rest of her life.
During four years in Texas, she became a Certified Nursing Assistant and found work in a wound clinic and with private clients.
Back in New Mexico, she married Raleigh Whitt. A year later, their beautiful son, Jackson, was born. He is a happy, heathy little guy thanks to their love and her focus on being a good mother.
Madeleine is survived by 8-month-old Jackson, her husband Raleigh Whitt, her parents Ann McLaughlin and Bill Wadt, and her brother Gabriel Wadt. She is also survived by her birth mother Joyce, her birth father Troy, her birth grandmother Sandy, and their families.
Please note updated web address: If you would like to do something to honor Madeleine, we know she would appreciate a donation to the Land of Enchantment Wildlife Foundation at https://newmexicowildlifecenter.org/.
Think of Madeleine when you see a dragonfly.