Friday, June 27, 2008

Breathe



Some days are harder than others.  Today has been one of those days.  I nearly lost it in the middle of my Pilate's class.  My teacher doesn't know about the accident.  I haven't told her because I wanted some place I could go without everyone knowing my pain.  She gets to see my physical pain every time I go.  She tells me to breathe through it, "Inhale through the nose; exhale through the mouth.  Don't forget to breathe."

"Don't forget to breathe," I remind myself now when the waves of grief crash over me.  "Don't forget to breathe, Stephanie.  You can't just hold your breath forever.  You have to live.  You have little girls to help through this.  You have to breathe."

And eventually the wave subsides and I don't have to remind myself to breathe anymore.  Then I can come sit at my computer and write out my own personal therapy session for all those who love me to come read to discover the answer to that most difficult and mundane question, "how are you?"

Today, my answer  -- I am breathing.

32 comments:

Liz's Blog said...

We are here breathing with you. Praying for you today...Love you!
Liz

Diaries of a Wonder Woman said...

You don't know me, but I am cousin to MaryAnne Duke. She wrote about you in her blog. I just want you to know my heart and prayers are with you and your sweet family.

kdskids said...

No one is expecting any more or less...just breathe and know that you are surrounded both earthly and heavenly by those that love you best.

Hugs- Kathy Fairchild

Anonymous said...

In these early days, breathing is about as much as you can ask of yourself, Stephanie.

Be gentle with yourself.

Hoskins Family said...

I wish we could all help you breath, but I know it is a burden that is difficult to help you aleviate. I truly wish there was a way for us to lighten your burden. Contiually praying for you all.
Love Daleen

jaanderson family said...

Thinking about you and your sweet family today. You are always in our thoughts and prayers. I really enjoyed seeing you on wednesday at young womens. You are a real example to me.
Amanda Anderson

Tricia said...

I am sure so many people ask you how are you but would those people really truly want to know your answer. I lost my dad years ago. He was my everything and we lived together, work together, spent every day together and I lost him to a heart attack in my arms. I could not save him no matter how hard I tried I could not save him and the one question I always hated to hear was how are you?

How do you think I am? Became my answer back. Not because I was bitter but because I knew they did not know how else to comfort me.

Prayer and family is all it takes. and one breath and one step at a time. The pain never goes away but some day and I am not saying anytime soon but some day they pain may be just a little less.

Tricia
http://gardnerdragonflydreams.com

Lloyd & Leslie said...

Ah, that "difficult and mundane question, how are you?'" ... yes, not so simple, is it? That reminds me that we never know the trials or pains someone has gone through when we judge their actions, nonactions, etc. And, "How are you" isn't always meant it's time to REALLY tell someone how you are! It is good to have this outlet. It's good to "talk" about the reality you are living. I can also understand how it's good to go someplace where "nobody knows".

Stephanie, sometimes I think you probably just need to scream and let it out and maybe you already are, but don't feel like you're failing if you do. There was a sister in our last ward facing a losing battle with cancer with 7 kids from preschool twins to teenagers that spent a day literally screaming, crying, pleading with the Lord, etc. It was something she needed to do.

Anyone, one minute at a time, this is a whole new journey now for you.

Hugs,
Leslie Wiley

The Morris Fam said...

Wish I could help. Sorry it's been a rough day.

Darleen said...

I love you Stephanie! Keep breathing--it will make you stronger and it will become easier. Prays are being sent your way.

Mark & Emily said...

It is my first time back on your blog since my surgery. i am in tears, of course. i wish i was physically able to come be with you, even for just a few minutes. soon enough. i love you steph. i know you will keep breathing, even when you don't want to. tell jon we love him too. we know he is hurting too and we are praying for him specifically as well as you and the girls.

Cairen said...

I really am so sorry that you are having to go through this...My prayers are with you and Jonathon, and I am so glad that you two were able to make it to the temple to hopefully feel some of the peace that is there.
I hope that tomorrow is a better day for you both.

Anonymous said...

Dear Stephanie:

I so understand your not telling yout pilates instructor -- it's a way of coping - of having a safe harbour in the storm.

I was totally devastated when, for the third time, one of my 4 children was diagnosed as having autism spectrum disorder. Initially, I was very careful about who I told. With so much of my life feeling out of my control, I felt I at least needed some control over when the topic was broached. I needed all my strength & focus to help my precious children and felt too vulnerable not knowing when it would be brought up. If I was not prepared, it was literally like a punch in the gut. I likened it to living on pins & needles. People close to me knew I would bring it up if I needed to talk.

Now, years later, it is not as difficult but in the beginning, there just were times when I could not talk about it as freely without crumbling. It is good to have some "safe space".

Shanan said...

we couldn't ask for anything more. just like the beautiful picture in your post, there are so many of us with arms outstretched and ready to comfort you on days like today. you, Jon and the girls are loved!

Carolyn said...

I love you Stephanie.

Kathryn said...

I remember at Camille's memorial your Bishop said one of the hardest things in life is to ask the Lord to make us equal to the burden, not to ask Him to make the burden less. I am so sorry you and Jon and the girls have to carry such a heavy burden. We are praying for you to be strong enough to shoulder it. Please keep breathing. That's all you have to do right now. Just get through one minute, one hour, one day. Love you so much! Hugs, Kathryn

scrap chair potato said...

I am so sorry you have to have days like this. Extra prayers header your way!

Alisa said...

So simple, yet so vital. You have such an inspirational insight, and I don't think you realize how many lives you are touching by sharing this experience with us. Camille's legacy will be the countless lives that have been changed for the better through hers.

Karsen said...

Such a heavy load, Steph! Even with all the prayers and love and support directed your way, still such a heavy load. Why is that? Elder Maxwell called it "excavating the soul". I wish it didn't have to be so painful.
Karsen

Heather said...

xoxo
i'm so sorry~

Miss Molly said...

One of my favorite doctors from the hospital, (who, subsequently, lost her husband in a tragic accident and donated his liver and is now very close with the recipient)...said that the grief comes in storms. Let it wash over you..it will pass. Lean into the storm. It won't last forever. And we can enjoy the moments when there are no storms.

It has helped me immensely. I'm glad you made it through a storm today and came out breathing. I had one last night when it was time for bed. But here I am...

Thanks for your comment on your blog. We have added you as a link, if that's ok...

A Horde 'a Noordas said...

Stephanie & Jon,
I think of you and your kids every day, throughout the day. While I'm sure I cannot comprehend the pain you feel, I know you're not alone. It's comforting to me to read this blog and see the Lord's hand in your life--I don't mean that to sound selfish, but to say that I recognize that God is really the only true source of Comfort. Nothing we can do will compare with what He can do. That said, though you have family near and a bit of heaven's help even closer, we offer our love and our hands as well, in complete sincerity . If there's anything that will make the burden you bear seem lighter for a moment--even if it seems mundane, silly, or disgusting :-) , please say so. Your sweet family is in our family's prayers. Love and hugs to everyone, Valerie

Rebecca said...

Oh,Stephanie. I feel your pain through your words so acutely and how clearly I remember that feeling. The complete disbelief that you even are still breathing and that breathing is the only thing you can handle. Reading about the intensity of your grief brings back my own, but hearing your strength, strengthens me. Thank you for sharing your experience with us all. I have nothing magical to say, but know that I am reading your blog everyday and praying for your family.
Rebecca Wells

Adam and Megan's Mom said...

one day at a time is all you can do. Know that so many people are praying for you!

jenn said...

Stephanie you do not know me and I only know you from your blog but I want you to know that I think of you and your family daily. You are always in my prayers. I am so inspired by you and your faith. You have helped me have greater patience and a deeper faith.
I am so sorry for the pain you bear. Your Camille was truly an angel and I know she is watching over you. For those times you feel it hard to breathe I pray that you will feel the love of all of those whose lives you have touched so deeply and I pray you will feel the strength you need from us, as we have all felt from you. Praying that your breathing comes easier.
Jenn White

Rach said...

Yes, Sweetie, breathe. I found if I didn't look too far past the next moment, remembered to drink water, and just breathed, I could be "okay". It's so hard to be around people who know your situation, and sometimes worse to be around people who don't.

I'm glad you got to pilates. That's a big step. :o)

HUGS!

Anonymous said...

You don't know me, but I heard about your tragedy through a friend at work and I have been praying for you and your beautiful family. "Breath" is about all you can do right now. When I was pregnant with my third daughter my husband died suddenly at work. Breaking the hearts of my 3 1/2 and 5 year old,telling them that their daddy was never coming home was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I had to be strong for them and the unborn child I was carrying. Just "Breathe" through it I know it is so hard. Your beautiful Camille's memory will live on through you and your family. There were days I thought I would never get through, I found the strength through the Lord, lean on him. From reading your blog I see just how strong you are. One day you will see your beautiful Camille again, always remember that. You are all in my thoughts and prayers daily.

Mandi said...

Wow! You don't know me but a friend put a link to your blog on her page and i thought I would check it out. How inspiring. I know how hard it must be for you. I hope things get better for you and your family.

Laurie said...

This is my first time commenting on your blog. I found you through 5 minutes for mom. I am so so sorry about the loss of your baby girl. I wish I could take away the pain and sadness. I have lost stillborn twin daughters and I can tell you that you will never forget. The pain does get better as the days pass. I will continue to pray for you and your family.
Again I am very sorry for this tragic loss.
Laurie

sumi said...

((((HUGS))))

I don't really have words, but I can tell you that I relate.

Debstmomy said...

You do not know me. Someone directed me to your blog. We belong to the same sorority though, one we did not rush to join, but the same initiation that we did not want. We are Mother of Angels, and for this we are sisters. I am so so sorry about your dear sweet Camile. I chose this post to put my comment on, because I remember how hard it was to breathe. I had to think in order to do it. Coming to your blog has taken my breath away again. I wish no on had to feel this pain. I wish you peace my MOA sister. You have strength beyond strength. Your faith will carry you. Peace to you.

andrea.nicole said...

I find your blogs very inspiring. I too have lost someone very close to my heart, just a week ago. It was not my son or daughter, but it was my soon to be missionary and first love. This particular post of yours I love because I don't really know what to say when people ask, "how are you?" My answer has been, "oh ya know :) how are you?" because this way I wouldn't have to answer, or tell how I felt, or lie and say "good" -- the subject would be turned on them, and I could be lost in their life instead of the burning and agony my heart was feeling. However, I like your response better. "I am breathing..." I hope you don't mind, but I am going to use your answer :)

There is a cd called "happy happy joy joy joy" by an LDS woman, and one of the songs on the cd has lyrics that go like this, "Thank thee Father, thanks I give. Today I have the chance to live. Oh dear Father, Thans I give, today I have the chance to live." It is hard to continue living and "breathing" once one is put through a trial like this -- but Heavenly Father knows our strength.

"It is wise to fear that our own skills are inaequate to meet the charge we have to nnourish the faith of others. Our own abilities, however great, will not be enought. But that realistic view of our limitations creates a humility which can lead to dependence on the spirit and thus power.." -- President Henry B. Eyring

Thank you for your strenght. It is helping me, and probably others too, more than you know.