Saturday, August 9, 2008

Sweet Dream


Yesterday marked 8 weeks since this nightmare began. Last night, tired from little sleep and feeling the crushing weight of the reality of my life, I went to sleep early. I slept long and hard and in my sleep I had a dream. 

I was in my mother's bedroom talking to one of my girls. Behind her on the bed was Camille. She was just a little older than she was when she died-- maybe the age she would have been about now. She was beautiful. She was so alive. She was so aware. I couldn't take my eyes off of her. 

She was talking but I don't remember what she was saying. In my dream, I knew she had died. My other daughter to whom I was speaking was unaware of her presence. My conversation with the other daughter continued, but I can't tell you which daughter it was or what we talked about because my entire focus was on my sweet, living, beautiful baby girl behind her. How I wanted to go to her- to hold her and squeeze her and feel her wiggle in my arms again. But, even in the dream, I knew I couldn't.

I worried that she would disappear, but then I was told, I am not sure by whom, that she would always be there. She would always be that real, that much a part of our home. We just wouldn't be able to touch her or talk directly with her. But she would be talking, watching, and living in her own way right along with us. It was a powerful feeling.

We were interrupted by a doctor, but not just any doctor. It was the Chief Medical Officer at the hospital where Camille was born and where, 14 months later and one floor higher, she died. In real life, he had come to visit us the Sunday morning before Camille died. I had never met him before, but he knew my father and he was recently made our Stake President (a church leader over about 8-12 congregations). 

Back in the dream, Dr./President Jones came in to tell me the autopsy results were something I should see.  I followed him into the living room and he showed me Camille's skeleton. He showed me a hole in one of the bones on her leg. (In real life my sister in law Nikki's dad recently found out he has a form of cancer that causes holes in your bones.) 

I asked the Dr./Pres. Jones in my dream if that was evidence of cancer. He said it was. He told me she had very early signs of a very aggressive and painful cancer, nothing we would have been able to detect yet, but that would have been fatal. He told me her drowning was really a blessing because it saved her from feeling so much pain.

The next thing I remember was waking to Lauren tugging on my ear and telling me she wanted me to go downstairs with her to turn on Little Bear and give her a "jelly sandwich." (This kid is addicted to Uncrustables).

As soon as I got Lauren set up, I came to write this. It is so fresh in my mind and I don't want to forget it. I know Camille probably didn't have early signs of cancer in real life, but the message of the dream was real. If it hadn't been this, it would have been something else and maybe something more painful. 

And though I don't get to see Camille here in our home, lighting up the background to every conversation, I got her message. She is always near -- smiling, talking, watching, living. 

46 comments:

Deb said...

This gives me chills. I am so glad your baby is so alive and always will be in your home. She is so precious.

Brittany Osborn said...

Wow. That's an incredible dream.

Shanan said...

What an incredible experience. The Lord truly is amazing with how He relays sweet whisperings to us. May you always see your sweet Camille in your dreams and may you always feel her presence in your home. Thank you for sharing Steph.

Mrs. Morty said...

What a beautiful, amazing experience. What a blessing to be given!

Miss Molly said...

I'm so glad we both got to have dreams this week of our sweet daughters. Messages from them, from God. I felt the spirit as I read this, attesting to me that yes, it was their time. Vic has so much faith, he knows it would have been 'something else' for Lucy too, if not the apple. I have struggled with this. Hearing your strong belief in this helps me today. Endure, endure. That's what I keep thinking. Endure well. You are.

kathryn_m said...

What a truly amazing dream.

Dreams have a way of incorporating bits & pieces of real life that we have picked up -- even subconcsiously -- but I am a true believer in the messages that they send.

After the very sudden death of my mother-in-law, I had a number of very distressing dreams. In them, I would talk to her even though both us of knew she was dead. In the dreams, she always appeared very sad and would say things like "I keep waiting but no one comes" or "I lay here and nothing happens". I would try to comfort her.

One morning, after one of these dreams, I was reading over the words our Minister had spoken at her funeral service. I can't remember his exact words but they spoke of those left behind having the faith that allowed her to go on - to move through the veil. A release.

I phoned my Minister and asked what he had meant. He said that in some cases, especially with a totally unexpected death, a loved one's angst (especially if strong willed & spiritual like I am) may delay the move to the afterlife. I have never been able to find any Biblical foundation for this but that day I prayed ferverently that she be able to move on and I deeply repented my holding her back. It was only then that I began to accept that she was truly gone from my mortal life.

The dreams ceased.

I sure would greatly appreciate it if anyone could explain this - especially with a Biblical reference - for, even years later, it feels very real to me.

Stephanie, Camille sent you such a comforting message. Praise God! What I find most interesting is that she appeared older to you. Awesome!

angieshaffer said...

What a blessing that dream was.

MM said...

Having had a similar dream experience after an old friend who died last year I can relate on what a blessing this is.

Thank you for sharing...

Marylin and Jimmy said...

What a sweet thing to have as a reminder of her presence and in many ways the Saviors presence in our lives.

Shaundee said...

I am so happy for you. You deserved that moment in time/dream. Thank you for sharing and making me cry. Thank you for being so strong.

MaryClaire said...

I love it. I think it only solidified things you already knew, but it's so wonderful to feel even more confident in the knowledge you felt before. It really makes me think of Morgan's idea about the Holy Ghost actually being our ancestors and loved ones who have passed on before us. I think there is a lot of truth to his theory, and I love thinking of it that way.

happy mommy said...

I have been following your blog for a while, but this is the first time I have commented.

Thank you for honestly, with an open and tender heart, sharing the growing pains you have had through your family's experiences.

Your blog has been a blessing to me.

talitha

julie said...

Wow, what a special experience. I am so glad that Camille is so close that she can communicate to you in your dreams.

Larsen Mom said...

About a month ago I found your blog through a friend of a friend of a friend. I appreciate your wonderful spirit and strength. Reading about your experiences makes me want to be a better mother and hopefully I can endure my trials with as much faith as you have yours. But the reason I am commenting now is because of SYTYCD. My pick for the top 4 would have been the same as yours and I was so excited when Joshua won! I definatly think he was the best.

Stacy said...

Everytime I need to feel uplifted I come read your blog. I know I am so blessed. Thank you for sharing these things. Your words amaze me.

Amberly said...

stephanie, don't discredit your dream. it's very possible the cancer was in little camille. it was a beautiful dream, so alive and fresh, thank you.

Heidi said...

What a profound dream. Thank you for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

Anne Morrow Lindbergh after losing her first child wrote that she just wanted to touch him. Just touch his curls. Your entry reminded me of this. I love your sweet dream about your sweet daughter.

Heather T said...

Your blog is amazing. It brings me hope, comfort, tears, and joy. I had a similar experience the night of my grandfathers funeral 13 years ago. I had NEVER lost anyone close to me and even though I was raised in the LDS Church and knew that I would see him again and be with him again...I didn't have a testimony of it. The dream that I had brought me comfort as well as a testimony of the here after. Now I KNOW that I will be with my loved ones who have passed on before me again. Thank-you so much for sharing your life with us. What comfort you are being given from our loving Heavenly Father & Camille.

Carrie said...

Wow, that gave me goose bumps. What an amazing dream to have. It is amazing that you are so intune, and willing to listen to the things that you are being shown.

Camille said...

WOW! I don't have much more to say than that. That must be so comforting to see and feel. The Lord truly does love us and look out for us. His work is evident in your life!

Just me! said...

Thanks for sharing!

julie said...

I am sure your dream was a whispering from Heavenly Father. A way to bring you comfort.

I have never lost a child, but a friend of mine has. And she often said that during those unbearable moments, those moments when she missed her child so much she felt she could not take another breath, she felt her child was near. So on your especially hard days take comfort that maybe, just maybe, she is snuggled right there in your lap.

Meredith said...

Wow, that is so neat. What a neat way to help you through week 8 huh. I love your blog and you are my 1st one I check everyday! I dont know that "love" is the right word...I love that you write so well, and express your feelings so great, but I wish you werent going though this (and nope, I dont know you!). I am going though a big trial with my little boy right now, and it brings me back to earth to read your posts.It helps me be more patient with him and just love him for who he is. So, thanks for that! and hang in there, you are in my prayers always

Brand N' Kys said...

I read your blog often. It keeps me humbled! Since I was twenty weeks pregnant I had to see specialist concerning my baby and a rare birth defect called CCAM. It's cysts inside her chest that potentially could cause a long list of problems. Thankfully through out my pregnancy everything went smooth. She was born breathing and was able to come home with us. She is three months now. The cysts are growing and so it is inevitable that she will have to have surgery here in a few months where they will be removing a faction of her lung. At times I think this is so overwhelming, then I come here, and am reminded how blessed I am.
You keep things in perspective for me. You make me remember that although my trails seem hard someone always has it harder. You remind me that we have a loving Father in Heaven and that no matter what happens it's his will that is carrying us through and even though sometimes it's not what we want, there is such a divine purpose. Thank you for sharing. It really is making a difference in so many peoples lives!

Marleen said...

Such a sweet and special dream. Thank you for sharing.

Heather H said...

What a beautiful dream, I pray you will find even more strenght as Heavenly Father continues to bless you and your family. You are in our prayers.

Amanda said...

Tears............................. Thanks for sharing! I am so greatful to have the gospel and be aware of all the whisperings of the spirit in our lives. What a true blessing that dream must be!!!!

Chelsea said...

So I'm preparing the lesson for Sunday School [Alma 40-42], which is about the plan of salvation and I read this quote from Teachings of Harold B Lee on page 58. When I read the last part of the quote, I immediately thought of you and your dream:

“Where is the spirit world? Is it away up in the heavens? That isn't what the scriptures and our brethren explain. They have told us the spirit world is right here round about us, and the only spirits who can live here are those who are assigned to fill their missions here on earth. This is the spirit world. And if our eyes could be opened we could see those who have departed from us a father, mother, brother, a sister, a child. We could see them, and sometimes when our physical senses are asleep, sometimes our spiritual self and we have ears, spiritual ears, and spiritual eyes sometimes they will be very keen and awake, and a departed one may come while we are lying asleep and come into our consciousness. We'll feel an impression. We'll wake up. Where does it come from? It comes from the spirits of those whom we are sealed to.” (Teachings of Harold B. Lee, p. 58)

Hollyween said...

I love the comment above me because it's so true.

The spirit world is RIGHT Here. I'm so thankful that you had that dream and that it felt so real. Ever since I commented last time, I haven't been able to get your loss out of my head. I spoke with my family and some friends about it and how tragic it was and how sad it made me during the week. But with that sadness, came clarity and peace too. And I'm so glad I found your blog. I'm in the RS pres. and I'm trying to think of a lesson and something about the 'spirit world' spoke to me so maybe it should be about that.

I'm so glad you found comfort with Camille in the background, always there, always with you.

chanel said...

amazing, what a gift.
between her message to her big sister and this dream, i think it is safe to say she is working hard behind the veil to let you know she's good, she loves you, misses you, but will eternally be close to you and her whole family.

Amy Jones said...

Stephanie,
This President Jones is my husband's brother. What a small world. He and his wife (my cousin as well as SIL) are both very spiritually in tune people. This dream I think holds some weight. Thank you for sharing...
Amy Jones

Lindsay said...

Hi! I have never commented on your blog before, but I have been reading for a few weeks now (a co-worker introduced me to your blog). I am inspired and uplifted by your words each and every day. Today in Relief Society the lesson was titled "Words of Hope and Consolation at the Time of Death". I always do my best to apply the lesson to my life, but, I am a single, 22 year old, BYU student and I really haven't had a lot of people who are close to me die. However, as I listened to this lesson, I immediately thought of you. I listened to the stories about how Emma Smith lost her children and I gained a love for you and your daughter (and all those other mothers who have lost children) by listening to this lesson. I wanted to share a few quotes with you from the lesson...

"... Why is it that infants, innocent children, are taken away from us, especially those that seem to be the most intelligent and interesting? The strongest reasons that present themselves to my mind are these: This world is a very wicked world; and it... grows more wicked and corrupt... The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again...
"... The only difference between the old and young dying is, one lives longer in heaven and eternal light and glory than the other, and is freed a little sooner from this miserable, wicked world. Notwithstanding all this glory, we for a moment lose sight of it, and mourn the loss, but we do not mourn as those without hope"

"A question may be asked - 'Will mothers have their children in eternity?' YES! YES! Mothers, you shall have your children; for they shall have eternal life, for their debt is paid. Children... must rise just as they died; we can there hail our lovely infants with the same glory - the same loveliness in the celestial glory"

"Joseph Smith taught the doctrine that the infant child that was laid away in death would come up in the ressurrection as a child; and, pointing to the mother of a lifeless child, he said to her: 'You will have the joy, the pleasure and satisfaction of nurturing this child, after its resurrection, until it reaches the full stature of its spirit"

I know you have a strong testimony of the gospel and that you'll see Camille again one day. I just really enjoyed the lesson and wanted to share a few quotes with you and share my testimony of the ressurrection and that you will raise Camille again - but it will be even better as it will be in the eternities with our Savior, instead of this wicked world. Thank you for your inspiration and for helping me realize that we can get through our trials. I look at my life right now and I think the smallest things are such a trial, but when I read your blog I am humbled and count my blessings each and every day. Thank you.

Lindsay

Char said...

What a blesssing your blog is for me today. Thank you for sharing such personal things in a personal but public way! It's been 5 yrs ago today that my dad died. He had cancer, and I'm grateful we had a warning of his death (with the diagnosis) but it was miserable to watch him 'go down hill' so quickly. Even if death is a part of life, and even if it was more natural to loose an aging parent rather that a child, it still isn't easy to let them go--to live with out there physical presence. And some days time goes quickly and other days it drags on for eternity. My prayer are with you and my gratitudes are for you each and every day. May you and your family always have the comfort of the Spirit.

s g said...

I am so glad you were able to have this dream and that it comforted you in just the way it needed to. I love that you can visualize sweet Camille living amongst the girls daily, watching, laughing and smiling with all of you.

Thank you again for sharing your amazing testimony and continuing to uplift and inspire others. Sending love...

Vanessa said...

Hi Stephanie,
Like so many others, I am a stranger to you but have been so touched by your blog that I keep coming back to read it, you're words are so inspiring and I just wanted to thank you for sharing. Today in church we had the lesson on death from the Joseph Smith book, I shared some of your thoughts with our relief society (giving you credit of course :)). I still wonder how Emma Smith dealt with her losses, what would she have written had she had a blog... Anyway, I am so happy that you had that dream - I really believe that God uses our dreams to comfort us and send us messages.

Kathryn said...

Very powerful dream and such a blessing for you. It must bring you so much peace to know that losing her in this way was protecting her (and you) from a more painful and difficult path. And it's wonderful to know that she will always be with you and is a part of your forever family. Thank you for sharing.

y3aland said...

Stephanie,

I have heard of this happening before.I think the Lord communicates to our subconcious because He knows it's a place where we can be attentive. Just think of how peaceful sleep can be, and when you are that much at peace, how can you not be influenced by the spirit?

My daughter has Autism, and I dreamt, before she was born, of experiences and challenges I would have in raising her. Like you, the dream was so vivid and I wrote it down to remember it. Since her diagnosis, I have gone back to my journal entry and been reminded that I knew this child before she came to Earth, and no matter what happens in this life, her spirit was sent to me for a purpose.

It's the same with Camille and you will continue to have experiences where her spirit will be as real as in the flesh because you are spiritually in tune with her. What a blessing to realize our Heavenly Father's love and that he would grant such a privilege to you.

Kevin and Natali McKee said...

I really felt the spirit when I read this. Maybe it is more than just a dream.

Jessica Marie said...

Thank you for sharing this. Your posts sure make me cry.

Kass said...

What a tender mercy from above. Thank you for sharing.

Playful Karen B said...

My heart goes out to you and I am amazed at your strength.
Thanks for posting this..

Playful Karen B said...
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Playful Karen B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mama said...

i have been reading your blog for a little while now, but i have not commented. this post really brought tears to my eyes. i had a similar experience that i would like to share with you. my cousin was killed in a tragic accident about 10 years ago. at the time, i was 19 years old and i did not belong to any church or have any beliefs in a God or the after life. His death hit me and my family really hard. He used to come and stay summers with us and he was more of an older brother to me than a cousin. when he died, i was dating a member of the LDS church. I started to wonder if there really was something after death. a few months later at the request of my boyfriend, i took the missionary discussions and after praying and asking if the church was true, i had an overwhelming feeling that it was and i was baptized shortly thereafter. even though i now had faith, i still had a hard time dealing with the fact that my cousin was taken "before his time". over the next couple of years, i would often pray to Heavenly Father to give me peace so that i could deal with the loss of my cousin. i didn't understand why he had to die so young. Then, one night, i got the answer i was looking for in such an awesome way. i had a dream. i was at my grandmas house with my family and we had all taken a trip to the store to pick up some food. as we returned to the cabin where my grandmother lived, i was leading the way to the front door. right when i went to open the door, the rest of my family disappeared. when i stepped inside, my cousin was sitting in a chair in the middle of the living room. i paused and just stared at him for a minute. i knew that he had died and i said to him "why are you here? you're not supposed to be here" then, he got up from the chair and walked towards me. he grabbed me in his arms and gave me a big hug. i started to cry on his shoulder. i could feel his arms around me and i breathed in his scent. it was so real. it was amazing. then, he whispered in my ear and said "don't worry. it was supposed to be this way" i could feel his breath on my hair. i woke up after that and i knew that this was the answer that i had been praying for. he was okay. he told me himself that it was supposed to be this way. i just felt so lucky to be able to have had this confirmation in such an awesome way. i wasn't asking for something so wonderful. i just wanted to find peace and to have him actually come to me and tell me himself was the most amazing thing.
the dream that you've had about your precious daugher will give you peace throughout your life. it's something you can always look back on and know that Heavenly Father is there for you.

Angela said...

Dear Stephanie,

You dont know me but we are fellow members of the same faith! I've been reading your blog for about a month now. Many girls in my ward here in OKC read it every day and insisted I do the same! First I want to say I am so very sorry for your loss. She was absolutley a beauty! Ive always loved the name Camille as well! You are an inspiration to so many! Your faith is so incredibly strong, and immovable, I pray daily that someday I can have an ounce of what you posses!
About your dream... My best friend passed away when I was a Senior in High School. Im not sure how long after her passing that I had a dream about her, I think it was a few years. I was having a hard time in life. In the dream, I was sitting around in a circle with a bunch a friends talking, and I looked next to me and there was my friend. She was so beautiful! She just smiles and lights up the room and she did. I was the only one in the circle who was aware of her presence. And for a few moments we talked. Not with our mouths, but like we were reading eachothers minds. And I remember asking her.. in my mind if she was happy, and there was an overwhelming wash of YES! Also I remember also asking about Him, like if he was there (Christ, God)? It wasnt that I didnt believe, I just think I needed reasurrance at that time in my life! And the feeling that came over me was just so wonderful, and I knew without a doubt! It still gives me chills to this day to think about it. And I truley believe that we do have Angels watching over us, and that she is mine, just as Camille is yours, and she visted you in your dreams to reasure you of something you needed at that time. I truly believe that! My prayers are with you and yours! Thankyou for sharing your life with all of us and for being you!
Much Love,
Angela