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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Week Update 8-16-10

I’m not going to take the time to post much today except about Darren, but I did want to at least post about my 1 year old! I still can’t believe she is one, but she is a doll and I love her! I have lots of fun pictures I want to post of her later, but for fun here is one to hopefully make you smile!

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I have thought long and hard about how I wanted to share this week’s blog post for awhile. I still am not quite sure how I want to share what we have gone through the past two weeks, but good and bad there is lots to share and somehow I will find the words. Most of you already heard the news one way or another about the death of Darren, Duck’s brother. Here is where I guess I get to share our experiences with dealing with this great loss in the Duckworth Family. I’m going to share very personal feelings and hope that as you are reading you can feel the spirit and love in which I’m sharing it with.

Tuesday the 3rd was a busy day, constant activities even through the evening Duck and I were booked. I was waiting for him to get home from his youth activity so I could attend to my meetings I had planned. When Duck got home he motioned for me to follow him to the back room. As soon as I walked in the room I could see on his face something was wrong. He then told me that Darren, his younger brother, had died. I think that news was the last thing I had expected to come out of his mouth. All we could do was hold each other and cry. Darren didn’t always have things easy, life was hard and he had been suffering from depression. Apparently there were thoughts and feelings too difficult to bear and he took his life.

Duck and I immediately decided we needed to leave that night to Utah. We packed up the necessities and headed out by 8:30. We dropped the kids off at my parents’ house, took showers then got to Duck’s parents house by 9:00 Wednesday morning. We spent the next few days, mourning and grieving with the family and making funeral arrangements.

It’s hard to comfort someone who has just lost a child. But even more difficult is finding and helping comfort when that child was lost to suicide. What do you say? I know that God is merciful. I know that our Heavenly Father loves Darren even more than his mother does, even though to her I’m sure that’s impossible to comprehend. Darren was a very kind person. He had a big heart, but he was suffering. Some friends of Steve and Linda gave them a book called ‘Jesus Wept’. In it was this quote by Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “Suicide consists in the voluntary and intentional taking of one’s own life, particularly where the person involved is accountable and has a sound mind. … Persons subject to great stresses may lose control of themselves and become mentally clouded to the point that they are no longer accountable for their acts. Such are not to be condemned for taking their own lives. It should also be remembered that judgment is the Lord’s; he knows the thoughts, intents, and abilities of men; and he in his infinite wisdom will make all things right in due course.”

I was so grateful to read this and be reminded that there is a plan for all, including Darren. Heavenly Father is mindful of him and knows him and his heart! I felt peaceful knowing it’s up to our wise Father in Heaven to take care of Darren now and we don’t have to worry about him.
Duck’s family has had their share of trials. There have been times Duck has been emotional thinking about his family. He hasn’t been really close to his brothers, mainly because he hasn't lived in the same state for the last 7 years, despite a desire to be so. Recently I read this quote: "When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us." --Alexander Graham Bell. After a few minutes of thinking about that…I thought it really could be applied to any negative experience. We are here on this earth to be tested and we grow stronger by applying those tests, learning from them, and taking what we can be it good or bad and making it better. I tried to think of what windows might be opened by Darren closing his. I thought about the Duckworth family and how much time we spent together last week. It was really nice. Unfortunate reason for getting together, but being together was wonderful. We just hung out together, talking, laughing, and crying together. My niece Madi was able to spend one night with us toward the end of our trip and the kids absolutely had an amazing time together! I love that little girl and I don’t get to spend much time with her. It was so wonderful to have her with us! I hope we can do that more often! I love Duck’s family. I think we haven’t allowed enough opportunities to really enjoy being together and if anything can come from this, I hope it’s to draw this beautiful family closer together. I feel that maybe, in a way, Darren sacrificed his life for his family. I hope we take advantage of this lesson and use every opportunity to be together, enjoy each other, and be a part of each others lives more. It’s hard because we are far away, but with email, blogs and facebook I know we can make more efforts!

I have never before been more grateful for my testimony of the gospel and of Jesus Christ. I know I am a Child of a Father in Heaven who loves each and every one of his children, and having a deep testimony of that has helped us deal with this tragedy with strength and peace. Duck is anxious to be able to do Darren’s temple work. Whether he accepts those ordinances or not are up to him, but I don’t worry about that. God has a plan. I trust that plan and having that trust and faith has allowed us to accept Darren’s death and feel at peace about what his eternal fate might be.

Today in Primary I taught sharing time. The lesson was on Jesus performing the miracle of raising the Dead. It was a great lesson and I felt the spirit there as I shared my testimony of the Resurrection. I know there is life after death. I know that we can be made whole and that our spirits will be reunited with our bodies in perfect form. One of the scriptures I shared with the kids said, “Now, there is a death which is called a temporal death; and the death of Christ shall loose the bands of this temporal death, that all shall be raised from this temporal death. The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; …. Now this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.” (Alma 11:42-44)

During the viewing and funeral services I was able to meet many amazing people that knew Darren and that love the Duckworth family. Old and new ward members and friends who reached out, showed their love and mourned with us. Kind words were said, actions of service were rendered, and I am a better person because of their goodness. Being with the extended family and feeling of their love was incredible. They have an amazing family and I’m so grateful to know them all. We also met some friends of Darren’s we didn’t know before. They shared stories of Darren, we laughed and we cried. How wonderful to see the love that people had for him! Although he may have doubted before, I know that he now knows of the incredible love that many feel for him as well as his heavenly father.

Darren’s heart and smile will always be in ours and I’m grateful to have known this sweet man.

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I have a video we made for the Funeral that I will hopefully get posted soon.

14 comments:

Hunsaker said...

That was so beautifully written Camille. Thank you for sharing that, and I do hope that because of this tragedy in Ducks family, Many will be blessed and be better because of it. I Know it will. Thank you for sharing your testimony. This Gospel is true, and is impossible to deny it. Today in Relief Society, we talked about the truthfulness of this gospel, and it was just another reminder to me that we have a loving Heavenly Father, and He is Merciful, Kind,and Patient. I was even able to share Darren's story today, and many were touched by his story in knowing, and remembering about Life after death, and that the Faith we can have, to endure to the end. I Love you guys! Hang in there, and I keep praying for all of you and ducks family as well.

Michelle Denson said...

Thank you for sharing that message, Camille. I had no idea this happened...only that there was a death in Duck's family. Our hearts and prayers are with all of you!

me/mom/NANA said...

Beautifully written Camille. This is a very touching post. Thanks for sharing with us. This Wednesday, our Melanie would have turned 34 years old. There is nothing worse than to bury a child. Believe me you never forget. I think about Melanie all the time. The gospel message keeps families like the Duckworths and Higgins who have a special loss focused on the eternal picture. We pray that Heavenly Father's blessing of peace and comfort will help bring your family to terms with what has happened. Darren is now with his Heavenly Father and that too will help ease the pain over time. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the Duckworth family.

Ryan, Helen and Kids said...

Beautiful Camille. Thank you for sharing and thank you for the frindship that we have and will be better in the years to come :)... Love you guys!

Amy said...

Camille, that was beautiful. Thank you for sharing such heartfelt and touching words. My prayers go out to you and Duck and his family.

Lowry Lowdown said...

Camille and Duck, I am sorry for your loss. There really are no words to really make this situation feel okay or comforting. Camille, what you wrote was just beautiful and calming to my spirit. All our families have been affected by suicide and it always raises so many questions. In the end, it is between Heavenly Father and that person. All we can really do is make sure everyone around us feels the love we have for them. Life does pass by so fast and we really do lose sight of those things that are really the most important like spending time with family. We take it for granted. Take care and give each other hugs and kisses often! We love you, miss you, and think of you often!

Karman said...

Thank you so much for you thoughts and testimony Camille. You and your husband's family have been and will continue to be in my prayers. I am so sorry for your loss. Your words and faith are such a comfort to so many. Thank you. I love you Camille.

Michi Nelson said...

I'm sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing. Our prayer are with you and your family. I am sure that Heavenly Father knows Darren very well and takes care of him.

The Duckworth Family said...

Thank you for all your kind words. We are doing well and we appreciate your prayers. Sorry if you guys couldn't view the pictures...my computer they aren't showing up on, but it could just be my computer

Kathryn said...

Camille, I'm sorry to hear of your tremendous loss. May God bless you and Brandon and his family as you continue to deal with this. I wish I could have been in Primary with you as you taught! We miss you!

Emily said...

Hope your's and Ducks family are doing well. Danielle told me the news last week and we've been thinking about you guys often. You are in our prayers

mary lemons said...

Your words of love and testimony are beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Love to your family, Mary Lemons

Warrior Princess said...

camille. thank you for sharing this. it was something that i needed to read. i love you.

Heidi said...

Camille and Duck,
We are so sorry to hear of your loss. It is never easy to lose a sibling. You are in our thoughts and prayers.