09 September 2007

Camille Cleverley Memorial

The hymn wove through us like audible Gospel thread tying us all to each other.

Tonight I went to the candlelight memorial service for Camille Cleverly, who a few days back was reported missing. This afternoon her body was found near Bridal Veil Falls.

I don’t know much about what happened, nor did I know Camille. However, I do know a lot of girls in the same boat Camille was in just hours before she disappeared, and felt like I should remember not only the girl that disappeared, but how vulnerable we all are to sudden and drastic changes, and that we, like the candles we lit in Camille’s remembrance, can quickly start flickering or even be blown out (if you know what I mean).

As I sat there among the mourners, I got to thinking about how one person’s death is really sad for everyone but the dead. We all get left behind to deal with life without the deceased, and the deceased gets to go hang out with grandma and grandpa while they patiently wait for us to die and join them. And I’m sure that the time that passes between a loved one’s death and the deaths of those left behind is much shorter for the dead on that side than it is for the living on this side. The only thing that could cause the deceased grief would be our grief (and I suppose the sins of the world, the overall rejection of the Gospel, etc.).

The Scriptures say that our nature doesn’t change from night to day when we die, so maybe as we grieve, we should think about what the dead one would tell us if he or she were allowed to communicate with us. If they were funny in life, they’d probably be funny in death.

The memorial service was beautiful. As we lit our candles in the darkened stadium, Elizabeth Smart played a song on the harp. We reflected on things, such as the fragility of life, how complacent we become when we think we’re safe, etc., and at the end of the harp solo as we continued contemplating life, a closing prayer was offered. After the final “amen” was said, the crowd, under the inspiration of Heaven and direction of angels, simultaneously broke out into a whisper-quiet rendition of Nearer My God, To Thee.

It was the perfect ending to a rejuvenating Sabbath.

10 comments:

Kimberly and Devon said...

She was found dead? That is so sad. Devon and I were actually discussing whether or not they had found her yesterday. To lighten your mood your should read a story about Vampires...you would love it!

Kimberly and Devon said...

By the way, have you ever considered writing eulogy's for a living? You definitely have a way with words!

RobynandJoe said...

I heard about the candle light vigil this morning...that is so sad that she died. I'm glad you got to go...crazy how fast life can change, huh?

Susie said...

Thanks Michael for the beautiful entry. I've been praying all week for her and her family- so sad how life can change in an instant.

Annakaisa said...

I agree with Kimberly that you dafenitely have a way with words! Even though it is very sad that this young woman's life ended so soon, I loved reading your post. It was very beautiful.

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

That is just so sad. I hate hearing things like that. Did they say if she was abducted or did she just fall and get killed on the mountain? The news out here hasn't been too clear.

Pcrowther said...

Michael I loved reading your post. You said it beautifully. As a mother I can never imagine the 10 days of not knowing where your daughter is. I'm glad they found her and I prayed we would have had a better out come for her. I'm glad we have the beliefs we do. It makes it easier to know she is in a good place. Thanks for sharing

Diane said...

Thank you Michael for sharing your feelings. Out of all this stands Jesus Christ, he who died that we might live.
I love you.
Dad

Diane said...

What a touching tribute. I wish her family could read it. We really can't imagaine the heartache they must feel right now and will feel for years to come. I wish they all knew how much our hearts ache for them. It makes it ever more clear that we need to embrace each day and tell those close to us how much we love them.

Grandma Hand said...

Camille was such a vibrant young lady and to her life snuffed out so quickly. I loved your dad's comment because we are all brought to our knees in times of trials and to know there is more to life than just having a good time. I loved the way you expressed your feelings. I want all of you safe from harm. I do love you so much my Michael.