Usually when I post, it is something that has been on my mind and I want to share. This post is very unexpected and I did not wake up this morning intending to pour my heart out to the blogosphere.
But when I read my name mentioned in this post , it kind of opened the floodgates and this post came pouring out. If you don't know about the story of Camille, the foster daughter I loved and lost, you can read about it here.
To experience any loss is a horrible thing. But the thing about the loss of a foster child is that it seems like maybe the whole thing really didn't happen. There are no funerals. The child was never yours in any legal way, so if it wasn't legal then what is the big deal? The whole world goes on and life happens. The problem is that no one ever tells your heart that it wasn't real. To most women, the very minute a child is given to them to care for and watch over, well that bond happens instantly. And it is nothing legal or even logical, it is emotional. In fact apparently, it a divine gift we are given so we can carry out the mission our Father in Heaven intended for us. And that is why this loss is hard to explain and acknowledge, and grieve over, I suppose.
And in my case the fact that I moved the day after my loss doesn't help either, because most people in my new life don't know why this horrible event is so horrible. To them Camille is, well imaginary, because they never knew and loved her the way I did. It is hard feeling like I am the only one who is sad about this event. Even my husband does not share my pain because he was gone working for most of the time that we had Camille, and perhaps it is just that men grieve differently then women. It is not right or wrong, it is just a fact.
And so I do not suppose that I will ever get over the trauma of having a child I cared for, ripped from my life in an instant. Most of the time I think I do a pretty good job of pretending that I am OK. But just every now and then this grief sneaks up on me and over takes me like a Tsunami of pain that I am never quite prepared for. I have learned how to go on living, but I imagine that just like someone who looses an arm or leg, things are not the same and never will be.
It is strange. To say the least. At times I am pretty sure that I am crazy.
As Elder Johnson said in conference, "It should come as no surprise that the trials [we have] can be very personal, almost laser guided to our particular needs or weaknesses and no one is exempt, especially not those striving to do what it right."
Elder Orson F Whitney's counsel was referenced twice in General Conference "No pain that we suffer, no trial we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God...and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we came here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in Heaven."
And so it is not to say that I am not aware that my Father in Heaven loves me. I do realize this and have a testimony of the Gospel.
Most of the times knowing these things, I suppose does help, but sometimes I wonder if this pain will be the end of me. In fact it already has been the end of the happy, carefree me who believed that the world was my pearl and dreams were for the taking. So I not only lost a child, I lost myself. And I am still trying to find the person I used to be. Maybe that is just life and growing up, but I still find at times that I wonder where I have gone and who is the shell of a person I find myself watching my life from.
Like I said, it is strange. And most of the time I try not to think to hard about all of it.
But today the wall I have built around the pain to keep it back, came crashing down. And maybe that is a good thing every now and then.
So to my good friend Debbie, I say a big thank you for just understanding, acknowledging, and helping me carry my pain.