Someone asked in a comment about if I ever blame myself. I decided to answer that question because I know people well enough to know that most people want to know the answer to it even if they do not ask. Also, and more importantly, I hope my answer will help someone out there in similar shoes to mine.
Let me start with a story. It may not even be a true story. But it is a story I had heard third hand some years ago that inspired me. Years ago there was a man in my parents ward who went on a scout trip with my brothers and father. The story goes that he had in his youth been out hunting with his dad (or some other activity that included a gun) and that the gun he was holding misfired and the shot fired hit and killed his dad. So on this scout trip with my brothers someone asks this man how he was able to grow up normal and well adjusted after such an event and did he ever feel like he was responsible. His answer was no. He knew it was his dad's time to go and the gun in his hand was just a tool the Lord used to take him.
Okay so I don't know if that is a true story or not but hearing that years ago I thought, "Wow. That is so wise and true. What an incredible person to see it like that." Since hearing that story I have heard my fair share of babies drowning or accidentally dying stories and thought each time, "Gee I hope that mother can see this accident the way that man did and know that it was not her fault. You would just have to see it that way or how would you live?"
Then June 13th rolled around. Suddenly, I was that mother.
There has never been any blame throwing in our house. I can only speak for myself in saying that there was a fight between my head and my heart about blaming myself. My head told me to be that guy. Whether the story is true or not, his response in the story was the right response, it is the true response. But, alas, I am human. And I am a mother. My mother instincts cried in agony and grief and regret that I did not better protect my child. It was a bitter duel.
I felt the sweet peaceful whisperings of the Spirit telling me that this was known to the Lord, that He knew this was coming before it happened. I had even dreamt it the night before, but I awoke with no recollection of the dream until I saw her in the spa.
I have often said that it is a miracle any child reaches adulthood for all the accidents that can happen. I have seen the Lord miraculously save each of my children's lives through promptings of the Spirit and sheer miracle. I really believe that the Lord helps us raise our children and helps us watch them even when we can't. This day, however, there was a total silence in the minutes before I found her. There was no thought, no prompting, no feeling of an unsettled nature. Just silence.
Now I may not have been at a spiritual high when this happened (a regret I had to do some repenting of in the hospital). I had been on vacation for 2 weeks prior and had slipped out of the habit of family scripture study. But, I was living worthy of the Spirit and so was my husband. Both of us were home and neither of us felt any warning voice.
I believe I had that dream and remembered it when I saw her as the Lord's way of telling me that He knew this would happen and it was in His plan. I felt very peaceful in the hospital once we accepted that she was not going to live. I felt like that was the will of the Lord. I felt like it was her time to go and that the spa was only a tool. Still, I wanted to KNOW it.
I wanted an angel to appear with the message that it was her time and if it hadn't been the spa it would have been something else and possibly something worse. There are so many worse ways to die than drowning. I felt that was true but I wanted to know it. I didn't even care who the angel was or to whom they appeared. I just wanted to hear it from a divine source and know it with a sure knowledge.
As far as I know, no one has seen any angels with this message to give to me. But I don't feel like I really need it anymore. Other equally reliable spiritual experiences over the last couple of weeks have let me know that this was no surprise to the Lord. He could easily have prevented it and He didn't. I know that Camille's death is serving His greater purpose. Most importantly, I know that I am clean before Him. And that is all that really matters.
So, no, I do not blame myself or anyone else. But it was a struggle to let go of my so human mother instincts of regret and "if only." I hope in relating this that someone out there who may be holding on to blame for an accident will let it go. I hope we all can come to know that, no matter the circumstances, the Atonement can allow us to be clean before the Lord through repentance. I hope we all can realize that being clean and acceptable before the Lord really is all that matters.