Cheslie Kryst’s mother opened up about the grief she’s encountered since the loss of her daughter during a recent episode of “Red Table Talk.” Per reports from the medical examiner, the 30-year-old died by suicide on January 30.

“I never thought I would be here,” said April Simpkins during the interview. “I don’t know that I’m going to get over the grief. I’m trying to accept that grief and I are going to do life together.”

Simpkins also shared that Kryst secretly lived with “high-functioning depression” and that she hid it “from everyone-including me, her closest confidant-until very shortly before her death.”

Despite the fact that Kryst revealed some of the parts of her depression with her mother, no one really knew the severity of it all. Simpkins disclosed that her daughter, who was also an Emmy award-winning journalist, had even begun to show progress with her mental health.

“I wanted her to feel comfortable calling me: ‘If ever you’re in crisis, call me,'” Simpkins continued. “She began taking all the right steps. She began seeing a counselor. She was getting good sleep at night. She knew all the things to do.”

Kryst was a former Division I athlete and North Carolina attorney who earned a law degree and an MBA at Wake Forest University. While she worked as a correspondent for “Extra,” some of her passions included her work as a civil litigation attorney where she did pro bono work in order to reduce sentences for inmates.

In 2019 she was crowned Miss USA before later competing in the Miss Universe pageant that same year.

“Cheslie had the ability to deflect,” said Simpkins. “If you said to Cheslie, ‘Cheslie, how are you doing?,’ she would say, ‘I’m fine, how are you doing?'”

While the loss has been devastating, Simpkins says that the family bond is stronger than ever. Together they aim to honor Kryst by protecting her legacy.

“People aren’t kind sometimes to those who have mental challenges, and Cheslie knew that,” Simpkins expressed. “I do hope that opening up these discussions and just talking about where Cheslie was – her state of mind at that time – hopefully encourages people to be kinder.”

If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night or chat online.