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.