Sunday, June 28, 2009

Not Alone

In the dimmed light coming from the hall I can faintly see what looks like tears welling in Sabrina's eight year old eyes. We are sitting in the nursery with the lights off. I am rocking seven week old Noble to sleep. He has been fussing and Sabrina and I have been singing to him.

We sang "I Wonder When He Comes Again." I added a verse that I made up on the spot. "I wonder when He comes again will Cami be with him? Will we know her when we see her face? Will we know her by her grin? Will she be small like she once was or will she seem all grown? Will she laugh and smile to see us then and know us as her own. I am sure she'll know we love her so when we see her once again. Because of all the fun we had while she lived with us here at home."

Sabrina tells me she misses Camille. I can hear the tears she is choking back in her throat. It is the second time this week she has been hit by the wave. It has been months - many months - since a wave of grief has hit her before this. I wonder if she can sense the year mark we have just passed.

I ask her if she is okay. She nods. Still the tears threaten to fall. I tell her it is okay if she is not okay. She touches her throat and chokes out in a broken voice, "it hurts." I tell her I know. I miss her too. She is not alone. I have felt everything she is feeling. I feel it now with her. She is not alone.

How can it be that my little girl so tender hearted and young must feel such grief and be familiar enough with it that she, like me, is reluctant to let it out whenever it rushes over her? Isn't she too young for that?

How can it be that I must go to the cemetery to visit my child? Aren't I too young for that?

I ask Sabrina if she has just been thinking more about Camille lately. She says baby Noble reminds her of Camille. Seeing him is like having Camille here but not. I ask her if she wants me to let her cry (I can tell she is on the verge and fighting it) or if she wants me to make her laugh. She giggles a little. I tell her Noble does look somewhat like Camille but Camille was much cuter. She laughs. Noble -- he is too boy looking to be as cute as little Cami. Plus, I tell her, he toots and burps WAY more. He is all boy. She laughs again.

The wave passes and I am left deep in thought with Noble asleep at last in my arms. I feel pained that my child must know such sadness. At the same time, I am grateful that I am not alone in missing my sweet little angel girl. I am sad that Sabrina carries this ache and at the same time happy that she knew her little sister well enough and was old enough to remember her enough to miss her. I wouldn't take that away from her. It is hard now to bear, but it is a pain borne of love that I would not erase if I could.

I think of the times I have been hit by waves over the last year. I see now how I have not been alone. The Savior felt it all before. He feels it with me in the moment. I am not alone -- never alone. I have been carried. I am still often carried.

I hate having to be carried. At the same time I cherish the "knowing" I have gained through this experience. I hate the pain but I would not erase it if I could. It is a pain borne of love. It reminds me of the empty room in my heart that will only be filled when I am with her again. No, it is hard to bear now but I would not erase it. If I must live without her I would not erase the pain. It drives me to live worthy. It makes me more able to fulfill the promise I made at baptism to mourn with those that mourn. It literally makes me more like the Savior. It allows me to let others know that they too are not alone.

None of us, in our diverse aches and pains, in the depths of our forsaken feeling, is alone. He has felt it all before. He feels it with us know. We are not alone.

21 comments:

Scott and Mandi said...

Thank you so much for that post. I have been following your blog for about a year now. I don't know what to say other than your words touch me deeply and remind me to have more compassion for others and more faith in my Savior.

Olsens R Us said...

Stephanie-
How grateful you must feel to have found such an empathetic friend in your beautiful little girl, and yet I understand your feelings about not wanting her to have to carry this burden along with you. Much like we feel about the Savior carrying our burdens....I'm so saddened that He had to, but eternally grateful that He did. I know Sabrina must be grateful to know even more now how much you understand what is probably one of the deepest parts of her- her grief, and the testimony born of that grief that is forever intertwined with her love for Camille. You are a wonderful mother, and I hope you realize how much you are blessing the lives of your children in guiding them ever so gently through this experience. Thank you for being so willing to share it with us as well.

Presley family said...

BIG HUGS to you and to your sweet little Sabrina. I often times hear Regan saying things that a child shouldn't have to think about. What an amazing tool we have in the gospel to teach them the way and the light of our Lord.
BIG HUGS!!!!
Julie

Jenny M said...

That was beautiful. That song has been tender for me as well and I love singing it with my children.
Your writing talent is amazing. Thank you for writing this and describing this time and emotions so precisely and perfectly. Beautiful.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

That was such a sweet post...so glad I found your blog.

Anonymous said...

thank you. I have been blessed to not know the pain you have. The last five days have been hard, very hard for me. I needed your words to remind me that I am not alone.

Anonymous said...

Tonight I AM alone. Alone in my home, alone in my grief, alone in my despair, alone. I need to scream for help, but instead I will scream silently in written word. I want so much to please my Heavenly Father, but as much as I love Him I don't think I will ever be a daughter he is proud of or has confidence in - I don't know why. I'm trying so hard but tonight I am discouraged and I've lost the fight.

Randi said...

HUGS for you and Sabrina!

Gabriella marie nellis said...

Hello sister Waite! I just want to tell you I read from the very beggining to this very day. All in about 48 hours. And I am t-i-r-e-d. But it was very much worth it, you are sooo inspirational. You not only motivated me to be kinder to my siblings ( who can be very hard to be kind to) but you also have helped build my testimony of the church. I know I am sort of the rebelious one in our young womens but now I see how true and real the church is and our Heavenly Father is. So overall a big huge gigantic THANK YOU. Hugs, gabriella marie nellis

MM said...

As painful as it is to see your child hurt, in any way. It's such a tribute to you, mom, to know that your child can come to you and freely express that it hurts and be free to know that when she is in need, that she can come to you.. even when you hurt too.

Not many mommies can say that...

lauren said...

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahlil Gibran

Chelsa said...

great post. my heart aches for you... for sabrina... for myself... and my whole family in losing Andon. you did a great job putting my feelings right out there again for me!

Anonymous said...

Love to you, Stephanie. Sabrina is a special little girl.

Jane

Bacardi Mama said...

Such a beautiful post. Prayers for you and your family and especially your sweet Sabrina.

Laura said...

What a beautiful post. I love the words you made up to that song. I could hear it with the tune in my head. I am sorry sweet little Sabrina has to be hit with such waves as you do, but as you said, I'm also glad she is old enough to remember little Camille. I hope you all continue to remmeber Cami, but also continue to enjoy that burping little boy :) hee hee

Sue said...

You are a good mom, and they are lucky to have you.

=)

Sue Sparks said...

Wow. So touching, sweet, tender and beautiful.

runningmom said...

That has always been one of my favorite primary songs--I sing it to my girls every night. But your new verse is extra special. It really touched me. Eternity together with family is what it is really about...

Tracy said...

I found your blog today and have read your latest post I am deeply touched by your words and outlook. You not only provide inspiration to your children but to mothers like myself. Thank you.

LaRae said...

I loved this post, Stephanie - so beautiful and thought-provoking. I can only imagine how difficult it is to experience your own grief then watch your children experience it in their own way as well - yet comforting to know that you are not alone. Thinking of you & your family & baby Noble :)

Lori said...

Grieving is good and very cleansing. Isn't is wonderful that Sabrina was old enough to remember her very special baby sister? And, isn't it wonderful that you no longer have to greive alone? You have a very compassionate and loving daughter. You are so blessed.