Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Once in a while I get hit with a brief but powerful wave of grief and longing. Usually this happens at night. Tonight it hit a few minutes ago.

Lauren took an extra long and late nap so she was having trouble sleeping. I was rocking with her downstairs when I heard Noble crying for a midnight snack. I sent Lauren to bed to wait for me and took care of Noble. The feeling started as I was nursing Noble. It just wasn't so long ago that I was nursing Camille. 15 months just isn't that long ago.

Then when I had him asleep, I went to snuggle Lauren. Lying in bed with her surrounded by her big sisters, the absence of the fourth sister hits me. Here are all my girls in one room. Well, all but one. Somehow the absence of that one little sleeping girl seems so huge.

I talk to Lauren as we snuggle. I tell her that I love Sabrina and Annie and Camille and her. She says, "I love Camille too." She then tells me that she misses Camille only when she sees her on a video and just sometimes when she doesn't see the video too. I tell her I miss Camille every day and a lot.

"And every night?" she asks. "Yes, and every night too." I reply. Then I ask "Is it okay if I miss Camille?" I want to know what she thinks about this. All this while I am not crying. I feel the tears threatening but my voice is even and calm.

"No," she responds. "I don't want you to miss Camille because I don't want you to be sad."

I have no response to that. She gives me a hug and I hug her back.

Permission denied.

A few minutes later in my own room getting ready for bed I think deeper about the words from my four year old. I have heard similar responses from my other kids and other people who love me and don't like to see me sad. I wonder how Camille would respond to the same question if I had posed it to her.

Immediately I feel as though Lauren had spoken for her. Camille would have said the same thing. Sometimes I have to remind myself that this is just a temporary separation. It is as if she is away on a mission or at a really long camp and while we miss each other it is just easier to forget the missing and get to work making the best of the day in front of you. We will have eternity to spend together someday but today we are better off making the most of the present.

It is a hard pill to swallow. But for Camille's sake I am going to renew my efforts to miss less, be sad less, and try to maximize my today while it is still here.


Diana...aka...MeMe said...

Stephanie, you thoughts put to words are priceless. I love that you say "WE" because Camille must be longing for the same things... yet she also longs to see you happy, being the Mommy she remembers most. Praying for you, and sweet Camille.

Chelsa said...

great outlook...

Rachel said...

I've been told by countless people in church how sometimes it seems as if our grief here on earth prevents the ones we love who have passed on from doing what they need to do on the other side. Even though they have moved on and have their knowledge of our pre-earthly life back, they miss us, too. I hate to think that my wallowing and grief might prevent my Emma from doing what she needs to do on the other side. And I often wonder if that's the reason why we only had her for such a short time. I often wonder if she's needed more there than she was here and was only here because she had to gain her earthly body.

Anonymous said...

You said you needed a topic for a fireside. I think you got your answer last night...miss less, be sad less, and try to maximize my today while it is still here.
. .think about it. You can apply this to so many aspects of life. I enjoy your site and have followed it since just prior to Camille's passing.

Jennifer said...

Your words - "Camille would have said the same thing" struck me.

An "Ah-ha" moment.

My son feels the same way. I appreciate your sharing all this with us.


Miss Molly said...

thank you, stephanie.

much love

staci-d said...

Definitely an "ah ha moment" So true! That is exactly what Camille would want for you!

Thank goodness for the Plan of Happiness!

Thank you for sharing!

kara jayne said...

I've been thinking about you so much the past couple of weeks. I've been listening again to the conference talks from this past April and have been surprised at how much they mentioned loss of family members and the blessings of the temple. I though about you each time. You are such an inspiration and your words have often been ringing loudly in my ears as I try to relate as a mother of zion to my children. Thank you so much for all you do. Camille truly is an angel and is happy...not the way your story has touched so many lives.

Rach said...

I understand what you are saying, Steph, but sometimes, you just have to be sad. You have to embrace the sad for the moments you have it and then strive to once more be happy.

For me, the happy is so much more meaningful for having been sad to begin with. Does that even make sense?

I admire your outlook, though and think what you have to say makes a lot of sense.

I wish, oh how I wish we weren't on this journey. Big HUGS.

Lena Baron said...

I was struggling one night with the endless longing that you have described. I finally asked my husband for a blessing. In that blessing, I was told that my little girls were praying for me... Just to know that they were thinking of me as I was thinking of them brought me a deep comfort. May you continue to find the comfort you need is my prayer for you tonight...

chanel said...

you know i thought about you this week. i sent my first born to 1st grade and was all weepy about it. I held my new baby and thought it wasn't that long ago that my oldest was the babe in my arms. i was sad a preparing to miss her and then i thought about you and how you miss camille and how it has got to be a billion times harder. i really can't imagine how you feel, but i am happy you feel your feelings, i think it is so important and i think how you really listened to lauren and understood that is how camille would feel too, that is awesome. it is a very large pill to swallow, but it just might be the pill you need to get through another day. i admire you sephanie and thank you for sharing and teaching.

Kelly said...

Beautiful thoughts.

I often wonder about the children/siblings who are left the death of their sibling affects them for the rest of their lives.

That sibling is forever frozen at that age...cute, with little time to have done anything 'bad', so the memories are all good and special, how they are revered and remembered (not that they shouldn't be)...just always feeling like maybe it could have or should have been you, or how maybe you could have saved them...if only you had been a better big sister or brother. Survivor guilt. Like you're not enough to fill that empty spot, like nothing you ever do will measure up to the magnitude of the loss, and the love for the one that is no longer there. No disrespect intended, I just wonder how it would feel.