Saturday, April 13, 2013

Joy and Grief

It's amazing how emotions work.  The dichotomy of those feelings has always been a mystery to me.  Why is it that when you are feeling the highest of highs that something can drag you down to the lowest low?  How is it that a simple thought can bring you back from the depths to the clouds?  Of course, I am specifically talking about grief and joy.  Unfortunately, these two have been my companions for some time now.

I have kept the intense pain and sadness that I have felt for the past few years hidden in my heart.  I realize that it was an inefficient coping mechanism, but it was the best I had.  For some reason, I haven't felt "allowed" to grieve publicly for my many losses.  Perhaps it is that I am very sensitive to what others say, or maybe I haven't been ready to deal with those losses head on.  Somehow, keeping them under my pillow makes me feel safe.  But it's that same pillow I hug at night and cry into.

Today, I would like to bring some of my losses to light.  I have found it therapeutic to name each of my children, even though I didn't get to hold them.  I have kept a list of those names in my journal.  My husband and I (and a few close family members) are the only ones to know of them.  But I think it's worth it to share them now:

Elizabeth Rose - Jan 2010
Noah Benjamin - Jan 2010
Emma Christine - Feb 2010
Joseph Bradley - May 2010
Elysia Amber - May 2010
Emily Ruth - May 2010
Elijah Jacob - July 2010
Isabella Rose - July 2010
Evalyn Anna - Aug 2010
Seth Alexander - May 2011
Kate Marie - May 2011
Spencer Morgan - Apr 2012
Eden Grace - Apr 2012
Alayna Faith - July 2012

A hole was torn in my heart with each loss.  This is a hole that will only be filled on the glorious day of the Resurrection, when all of our losses will be made up.  I know that each of these precious children is mine, and that I will have them again.  It doesn't make the waiting any easier.

Many will not understand how I can feel such loss for so many babies that were only within my body for a very short time.  It is not something easily understood with the mind.  It is something felt in the heart.

This great shadow that has been over me has had a beautiful ray of sunshine break through.  I am pregnant again.  This news fills me with joy, but also with terror.  At 20 weeks, most risk of loss is diminished.  I should be jumping for joy that I have made it this far - and I do.  But deep in the recesses of my mind, I still hold some fear that there will be a grand "just kidding" from the Lord, and I will lose yet another piece of my heart.  It is difficult to explain, but I still remain cautiously optimistic about this child making it to my arms safely.

It is this child that I am carrying now that brings tears of joy and wonder, but also tears of grief and pain.  How is it that both can coexist so acutely?  I realize that this is my own struggle, and perhaps no earthly answer will ever satisfy.  And so, I try to focus on the joy.

I think that Psalm 30 helps to express my feelings... "...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." and "...thou hath turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness".

I know that all pain is temporary.  I know that all challenges can be overcome.  It is the enduring part that will always be difficult for us mere mortals to deal with.  But I do have hope and faith in a glorious and joyful reunion with those loved ones I have lost.  That is what keeps me going.  What will tomorrow bring?  I don't know.  But I will face each day with the hope of brighter tomorrow.


  1. Oh, Cami! What a heartbreaking thing you have had to go through! Praying for this new little one to make it here safely! And hopefully help heal some of your broken heart! If you need anything, please call!!

  2. Thank you, Jacie. Prayers are always appreciated and welcomed! You are so sweet and generous with your time and service. I love you so much!

  3. My sweet Cami, my heart breaks for you as I know some of what you have been going through! It is hard to see our children go through such sorrow and trial and not be able to do anything to bring relief. I, too, pray every day that you will be able to hold this little one in your arms and feel the real joy of motherhood. There is nothing to compare with the awe of being a parent! I have shed many a tear for you and your 'little ones' lost...and many a tear (of joy and anticipation) for your future baby. I know that Heavenly Father will bless you with a healthy little boy or girl and soothe your aching heart, at least somewhat. You have been such a blessing in my life and you were well worth the wait and trials before your birth! I love you very much!! Mom

  4. Thanks, Mom. I have a feeling that today will be a 100 Kleenex day... ;) Thanks for all of your love and support.

    1. You could use my shoulder if I could be there with you today. I've shed a few myself today. ;) Hope your day gets brighter...

  5. I am also praying you will be able to hold this precious one in your arms. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Hope you are enjoying your new place. We miss you!

    1. Thanks, Virginia! I miss you all, too! We really like our new place, but I do miss the ward a lot.