Life. Love. Loss: An Interview with Genavive and Cameron Edman

so hey this is Matt Laughlin and I am thrilled to sit down with Genevieve and Cameron Edmund they're friends of mine here in town that I've had the privilege to get to know better over the last year and a half and the more I've gotten to know them the more I just admire them and I really think they're a beautiful family a beautiful couple and they radiate something out to the world that I'm just grateful to be around so I'm thankful for the two you being here today we were talking about a really profound lost that Cameron and Genevieve experienced together as a couple the loss of their son Clark job and I think the best way to introduce that would be just it's funny I didn't even know about your story I mean I met you and cyah Church and then I'm Cameron and I would run into each other it's a men's group that we attend and but it reflecting on the fact that you guys were coming in it really struck me that people go through all kinds of things and they don't necessarily broadcast it or talk about it in in semi day-to-day life it's like a private experience and I was reminded of that and my my wife knew about your story Genevieve and she so she was the first one to direct me to your Genevieve and Cameron shared a facebook album photo album that really gives a pictorial of some of what they experienced in losing Clarks job and all I could say is like you can't you cannot look at those pictures or read what you wrote and just not weep like just weep and and and I knew you guys a bit and then I'm and I was so and it was a simultaneously I was incredibly moved by what like in an uplifting kind of way but then like a heartbreak kind of like the compassion that comes up so why don't we start with by way of an introduction just for the listener the your your your son was diagnosed with a cranium so let's start before we start there let's talk about the birth of Gabriel and kind of a little bit about you too and then take us to when when Clark when you found out about what Clark job had sir yeah well quick background on us we both we met at Gonzaga University we both went to school there and got married a couple years after college and pregnant gave birth to our first son Gabriel about a year after that so we started our family pretty early and then you know we're looking to have you know a big family we like kids and we were raised that way that's how we kind of wanted to do our life and and so at that point we you know we got pregnant with our second son Clark job and that's kind of where everything kind of turned for us a little bit skewed her life turned a lot you know and we and that's where our whole story I guess begins is you know after getting pregnant with him in 2015 that's what wives are for normal pregnancy and birth and so I see those years as young and dumb in a good way they full of you know just joy that didn't know death yet and yeah yeah yeah well even I mean you're almost alluding to your first personal encounter with the problem of suffering profound suffering and as a young couple like to experience it has a track certainly a major-league tragic element so you're kind of oblivious to that prepared our marriage because we we didn't see eye-to-eye in faith a hundred percent and so we did spend our two years of dating trying to work this out trying to work out how God works in our lives and if you know if we do need to be on agreement with everything or if God really mattered and raising a fan all of these things so we really through dating had to dive deep yeah yeah that that uh that spiritual alignment your marriage like what is God to you what has got to you to see it yeah talk did you find before your wedding ceremony was there a high degree of alignment and peace there or was that a process it was definitely process I was raised Protestant faithfully for the most part and and Jinnah raised Catholic and we we started dating kind of with the basics in line and wanting to you know get through that and then once I got serious we kind of had to realize all right we've got to kind of aligned on some things here if we're gonna move forward you know kind maybe had a back sense that this wasn't gonna work if we were separated on how he wanted to go about raising our kids and spirituality or how that wanted to go down so we actually broke up several times we were dating just trying to make sure we were on the right path you know as far as why we were doing what we were doing and was that was that where the I mean other than being young sort of individuation process and sorting yourself out and things but um what were those breakups somewhat related to your faith alignment or yeah we have the exact same faith yeah but it had more to do with our we both seeking the truth and and so that's kind of how dating was there were different points for both of us where it was yeah I remember Cameron saying well that may be true I just don't know if I could ever follow through on that for the persecution that wouldn't take place you know that type of thing and then I remember thinking well the further I look into this church difference I was either losing faith or gaining it more so you know for the Catholic Church so even we did we we went through a lot of that and and honestly our faith is what gave us purpose to suffering because the more you look into it the more you see how the Saints suffer and yet cling to God and so I think he was just preparing us to not give up on him you know yeah yeah and I think we'll definitely swing to that because I know you're both devout Catholics and the problem of the Catholic faith seems to have a unique understanding of suffering and I'd be interesting to hear how something abstract or maybe conceptual became very real for you so just for the listeners sake you now have four children well three three three with you and the dark job spirit is number four and so take so you had a so you you resolve that did you come to a resolution before your wedding day I mean how you know it's probably been a process it's a journey sure but as far as the the alignment of faith as far as that's concerned yeah we resolved that before we got engaged yeah but we got married yeah so you got married how were you guys when you got married 24 yeah 24 yeah yeah so you got married young for today's standards yeah yeah your old souls though so you're you had Gabriel pretty soon yeah and then when did you get pregnant with Clark Joe Gabe was a little over a year so we were trying to sort of spaced out every two years or so to give siblings until we it's a spring of 2015 when you have 2015 so tell us about what was what when did you learn about a crania and tell us about that process for you yeah I was I was actually at an appointment on my own Cameron was working and I was 11 weeks along which is very early and they decided to do an ultrasound just for the sake of confirming pregnancy and making sure there's one baby not to it you know yeah you're just very practical yeah again not expecting anything and they sent me home and didn't mention anything but I got a phone call saying you need to come in immediately and I again I was so naive that I was like oh sure it'll be fun yeah yeah so that that they did tell me while I was alone sadly and Cameron was not there that he was incompatible with life and that was the biggest yes they said yeah yeah your baby's incompatible with life he's not gonna make it no matter what we do that was there you go and and the biggest sadly the biggest thing was it's okay you're still really early you know we can you can try again and they were basically very yeah just a typical thing to do the typical route which is really what the courage of your choice is in the face of that is what moving to interview you but yeah so the typical culture or the typical thing was like well obviously an abortion is the next step here kind of thing like and that's a good thing it's like the the mercy argument right it's mercy of the parents mercy for the kid in this case they thought you know and so a couple of things that stuck out in my mind with that whole discovery process was I actually pretty distinctly I was at home actually working on a paper us work on my masters at the time and Jenna walked in the door and immediately she said there's something wrong with our baby and she stood up in the street collapsed in my arms and we removed and I didn't know what's going on sighs she's crying and you know I started he's just not knowing what was going on and once we found I found out I was you know I don't I don't know what I thought at that point but I assumed birth thinking you know what it just such as like burned in your brain you know when something like that happens I'll never forget that and then the other thing I thought was interesting too is you know that the point of being naive like we've kind of mentioned there earlier when we were in that ultrasound initially you know we're all happy were smiling giggling and poking each other and stuff when we first saw the first ultrasound and as we were driving home later like yeah that nurse was she must've been like tired or just must have worked a graveyard shift or something you know because she was just kind of out there she's acting weird and kind of goofy and not really saying much you know and we did too so and I didn't know what was going on and haven't yet of anything and looking at ultrasound pictures later be like oh yeah it's pretty obvious that's missing the top part of his head you know because you can in Oldtown see good job picking up you know hard yada you know and you couldn't see it where it's like yeah okay there's totally clueless you know there's no idealist Center for context of crania is that without a skull and I remember reading in the article you shared that you wrote in a local periodical um that some babies can live a little bit right yeah some period of time or some die in the birth process but what was that described you at this point like what like the significance of going full term and they never spoke past death really there was no I mean there may have been a time where the nurse said you know I may live a couple hours or something but we we did we faced we faced a difficult meeting with a doctor and didn't go back afterwards because he after we said you know we're probably been raised pro-life this is a human being we just gave birth to our other son and saw what that means you know to marry a child and you know your soul I I know that's a life you know and maybe that's why God gave us Gabriel first you know this healthy baby to be able to realize you know who Clarke was also another human being in our son and all this so I just remember um Cameron being you know my back my backbone saying no we're not we really just we don't want to take the baby we're you know this is where we're at and the doctor kept kind of trying to bring it up again and again well you've got time you know until 24 weeks to decide and that kind of thing and then finally I kind of lost it as as much as I can I don't like confrontation but I just said you know what we're all gonna die I just it finally hit me and I was like nothing nothing guarantees that you are I outlive this child we could die in a car an hour you know and so it just hit me that you're not planning your funeral even with the knowledge that you will die so don't don't force my kid into his early funeral if it's not you know if he's fighting to be alive right now then were with him and quite I could do and quite healthy and pain-free at that point right yeah as a baby he's layin and the one like any other baby yeah and thankfully you know that's something that you of course are afraid of that you might be causing suffering we've yeah there have been accusations of that but again it was still what's the alternative to you know to kill him early you know and that would cause pain so again pain we had to let go well yeah that you were you were faced with the baby would go through pain and suffering no matter the decision potentially yeah yeah and so it was more like well we are on his team so as long as he's fighting to be alive then I will you know I I planned on being fully pregnant and giving birth to a baby anyway you know and yeah and again we knew that was his life and that that was the time we were given so why would we cut that short how did that I'm trying to wrap my brain and my heart around like what the following months were like for you you know cuz you were oh you're pregnant and and in the kind of conversations and I don't know like what that had to be a profound long before you gave birth to him like a boundary orienting in your spirit of life and Fisher like what yeah was that like all speak from my perspective that I'm not from first person here you know Jenna this probably better but yeah I just remember it being I've wrote about this before and a couple things I've written is that it's like it was most painful like bittersweet it embodied the essence of like bittersweet alright it's like you knew it hurts it's gonna hurt we're gonna experience loss meaning that we hadn't yet but we knew it was going to happen and but still it's like we were so determined probably by the grace of God to be able to actually embrace what was happening and to live in it and to embrace the suffering that we were feeling at the time you know even though it wasn't we knew it wasn't even really the culmination was suffering yet at that time you know it's just we were experiencing it day after day you know people toast well it probably been easier fuse you know for those who lose their babies without ever knowing something's wrong and I was like I can't speak to that but it kind of had a point because every day we were suffering not just one said something yeah you said were you you said we embrace the suffering like when we embrace is suffering them like did did you notice an inner like like a strength to bear or because the basic you know like the Christian Catholic understanding you embrace the suffering and somehow your there's a grace or strength to bear it right like what was that like did you feel that strength and grace or was it I mean ironically we look at the time when we were pregnant with him as yes you wake up you know or you feel a kick or are you in the mirror or you get complimented by someone yeah beauty of being pregnant yeah yeah you have that 24/7 and yet you know deep down it was it was definitely a place of surrender because there's nothing you're told as a parent there's nothing you can do you're told that all the time but you know again it was like well do we really have much control outside of our yes to God anyway you know and so by saying yes we did I there were moments where early on especially you know when I started to feel him kick a lot of times that would just make me sad you know because I felt like he was communicating with me and yet there's nothing I could do to yeah prepare him or tell him that I love him other than giving him life and so in a way our choosing life was we can do something about this and we can love him with any of our kids you know yeah and so it yeah I I look at the pregnancy actually fondly and yeah you know some of the memories that we have comes through and some of your the picture you shared on your album like yeah in the mirror to your pregnant belly just the joy of it yeah you look yeah that's like the paradox I think that the Christian faith and as a whole they think the Catholic faith specifically presents is through suffering we experience the most joy somehow you know and I don't fully understand that still but I think that's we experienced a little bit of that and what that kind of means being like poor and spirit and being so like devastated because you know our future plans things that we had kind of planned out or just death in general you know it hurts it's hard and somehow that like makes you appreciate life even more when you experience death you know it's kind of an odd paradox and then yeah sure we could have taken the easy route you know just indicial try again you know like we were kind of told but seeing the growth and like the closeness with God and each other I think is the main thing it's like we could have grown apart we could have grown together you know and because a lot of family saying this dad is like 90 percent or something of families who lose a child in their marriages from then on you know I mean and so like yeah I live been probably easier to just end it move on but I mean it would have missed out on the richness and the joy I think that God had for us through that which is kind of strange that that's how it plays out but that's how it is and that's how it was for us yeah and that well tell us about as the birth approached like how did you was that like well thankfully we were connected with a photographer right two days before we gave birth and she also she had lost her daughter ten years almost ten years before to anencephaly so very similar neural tube defect and and just the science behind it you know a lot of a lot of modern medicine teaches that the child is brain-dead or lacks a brain stem again justifying endings that just not even looking into why this is a problem or how we can help it you know yeah it's just a very highly aborted diagnosis and so we know nothing about it and again as parents you know being faced with that it's that was another reason to carry our baby was like well can we get to know this better yeah you know and spare other families or motivate them somehow and yeah and if it hadn't been for the ultrasound that pregnancy was the same as every pregnancy I've had he he reacted to the ultrasound pressure you know he pick up see sleep you know and wake when yeah you felt the same yourself as a very wouldn't knowing any different if there was no shunt and so again that's why I don't know I think that was consolation that we if he's wanting to live and thrive the way he is then you know we're supporting him and that so leading up yeah and leading up to the birth there was just excitement to meet him but but honestly dread to you know you just I mean did you pray more than you ever have in your life I mean I had it where did you lean yeah well I remembered through the whole experience like that was the closest I've ever personally felt to God was through that again strange how that works but that's how it how it is and leading up to the the birth I mean we was almost like we were preparing we're both athletes we were i preparing for an event almost you know or like a game because we knew what was coming and so we were trying to prepare our souls prepare our hearts for what was gonna go on by reading material and working watching videos yeah watching out that working out the soul I guess but yeah and so we did everything we possibly could leading up to that we were ready and we could my personal prayer was to that I would be there be present and embrace it and embrace whatever happened instead of checking out or being absent or yeah you know it present to the experience yeah and that's not he's gonna do and for me that was the challenge cuz for everyone I think you check out when things get hard just a quote quote unquote healthy birth is such an intense right you have similar considerations being present and yeah much less what you were looking at and what a what an incredible thing that the photographer had a compassionate like understanding yeah incidentally I think it should be stated like that Facebook album you had no intention to share with you just it was a private face or you know whatever you just posted an album on facebook to so many thousand views I mean two hundred thousand people have shared it like wow yeah so well before we get there because I want to let's I I'd love to hear that process of what that was like for you and what kind of was born out of that in terms of your own sharing of your experience but so the birth itself work did you have any family members present with you or was it just the two of you and our support group because that was one thing was that we we prayerfully considered you know how to introduce this sibling to our team you know and he he was one of the best things about it because one yeah good to meet him his innocent joy I hate dinner of you that I get teary thing like his you could see in the photos he was in pure joyful delight like like any older brother would be like putting his nose up to a Clark job and yeah I mean Clark was deformed I mean yeah and and the first thing Gabe does goes baby yeah and he goes and he saw his nose and his toes and then he asked about his alley you know they say alley alley and you tried to kiss them in there and try to kiss him to make it better yeah which is just again like the innocent love of a child and yeah and we have those pictures forever he has those pictures and yeah yeah the what like the radiance of the precious of life just just radiates in it I think kids kids are less dulled by you know what the world thinks of life or you know the brokenness and and he just saw love and he saw his brother you know yeah that was I mean talk about consolation as parents yeah what was it like for you to hold him it was raw it was again a naivete that was taken away you know and it has it has affected my heart giving birth to other children to staring staring death in the face like that but also loving your child you know so yeah I can go right back to it in a second yeah but but to kiss him and oh it was it was a very it still is a very difficult lack of answer to prayer and in the sense that we hoped to I hoped to see him breather meet him alive and honestly it was probably two minutes that his heart gave out two minutes before he was all the way out and so again I look at him like he is such a little stud because it was a 16-hour labor and he lived all that time because I felt him and I remember he gave me one big kick in the end and I remember and I you know yelled that I loved him and that's kind of my moment that I hope that he heard that you know but again so the beauty of faith is that I know that now he knows it more than we could have expressed then yeah it's still a hard one to swallow yeah I it's hard to even talk about that I guess that whole experience because you know you say you never it's not right for a kid to bury their child you know that's just just not it's against the natural order of things and even worse I think especially for the mom to have an already deceased child hand it up to her having given birth you know it's like I don't know it's it's very difficult thing to even Express I guess the the sorrow and that the the pain I guess we felt during that time in the hospital there you know and I just remember holding him and again trying to take in everything we could looking at him and touching him and trying to experience you know knowing we wouldn't have him with us at all the rest of life you know and so like well this is the only 24 hours or whatever it was gonna be of even just having his body knowing your souls not even present you know and that in itself was something even more difficult to to grasp it's like what are loving his body that God gave him but his soul is already with God so in that sense word yeah very unique experience cameron baptized him anyway and we you know we were given this time to prepare so in a way it was a gift even though it was nine months almost nine months of knowing this was going to happen we were able to plan that his outfit would be you know baptismal white and just you know and to give meaning to literally everything that we did so the birth process you know as hard as it was he stuck it out with us which was amazing and Cameron was right there with me and an amazing support and then we got to bathe and dress him and give him to God you know and so I can't think of a more respectful or holy way to love on him I guess yeah when I think of what our alternatives had been yeah we and now as part of it and that's maybe what helped us too is when they were giving us the alternatives of starting over right is well that almost being the competitive selves we wanted to go the other direction and do everything we possibly could to enjoy him as much as possible I have no regrets yeah and your dad as best as we could yeah you know yeah you're well you were faced with choices and options to go you could be come Walker wrote of despair bitterness resentment not to say you didn't confront yeah I'm suffering throughout it all it strikes me how much you made a resolute decision to head in a certain direction with I definitely have a more compassionate view for people who are faced with it and and you know may may not have the example or or just the the truth planted in them that we had you know yeah because I don't think that anything really is the easier way out in the big picture you know there's like there's a concert there's damage and consequence to both but at least we can say this is beautiful and we don't have regret where it I can imagine seeing something like this later it had I chosen differently and wishing that I could have held him you know yeah you know it not to you know step away in the abstract lamb but again like earlier on this this you know we're talking about the problem of suffering and how you what it is to you and I use surrender how you deal with it with your faith in mmm-hmm yeah that's striking the way you put that because whatever and like a seemingly no-win option or an overwhelming scenario in essence in a way you're saying it's always worth it to take the high road the courageous road the noble you know what I mean like yeah choose what what would love but ultimately the pain of that path is justified by I mean loved ones out like right there's yeah there's there's like even so maybe you could segue here we like talked to us about because your process around this and in the way it impacted your having more children in your marriage like post birth what were the what was the default the coming the months after that like for you I thankfully kept being vulnerable and kept sharing some things and but there are some that you can't you know and yeah there is a darkness that I still I still deal with you know even now so to say that you know you're not affected in negative ways that would be a lie because there there are things and issues that we still have to work out or just live with you know I think many parents who have lost kids say it doesn't go away and that's yeah some of that darkness doesn't because almost like waking up being pregnant and knowing that your child is gonna die you wake up and you know that that God has allowed children to die so it's one of those that's a dark place to start your faith every morning you know kid today and so again it's that the paradox of love and knowing that this isn't it you know that that habit I mean heaven is the biggest motivation and the biggest hope and I couldn't do it without that that's for sure yeah it's it's such as the if there's ever something that's gonna stir you out of your like everydayness and your you know dullness of going through life and just kind of skating by and something like that with some life shocking event you know where you don't have any choice you know you either embrace it and you your eyes are opened in some form to you know there's way more going on than what meets the eye you know and and God is way bigger than we can never even understand if he if he does allow children to die and things like this to happen to you know what we like to think are decent human beings you know then what what's really going on and when those questions aren't even aren't answer they're really unanswerable in some ways you know we can only ever know exactly what looks like and so I think that's really where like faith takes the next step and that was what we were faced with I think at that point is grasping the fact that we were probably never ever gonna know really fully what this was for why you know or what the plan is and where it fits in the whole grand scheme of things and that was I think what was difficult for me at least personally after the fact and we've been lucky enough to the his story in the world and making a difference where I know many you know many suffer loss without getting to see that so in some ways I think we have been lucky seeing that God yeah using yeah what a blessing that not only you had the courage to take him to full term but I mean two hundred that you I just spoke with somebody today and he was talking about he actually I will share who he has Betty locally he had a he almost has lost his son multiple times to a certain condition and we were just talking about life in any reference to a podcast a gentleman a national figure and the hope encouraged this particular individuals just listening to him brought into his life and that podcaster will never know that and you know the fact that a two hundred thousand some people shared and I'm deeply affected by what you're saying and uh yeah like and then I'm struck by so that there's a solace or peace knowing that his saying yes to his life allowed a life to radiate forth at a level that you can't even comprehend in terms of the yes yeah yeah he didn't even he was two minutes short of life yet he'll probably in some sort of spiritual sense have a more pivotal impact right you could say yeah on us and the world yeah really yeah IV says that that photo album we posted on Facebook more for friends and family and as an example yeah just so people can kind of walk through with us if they chose to not being tech II thought that public meant that you know people that my parents were friends with who were praying for us you know because word gets around so there were I was getting friend requests from people I didn't know but my parents knew and some I thought had been well my parents can share this with them yeah it's like early Facebook no one knows the viral stuff means or that yeah and honestly I I would never have posted it and so maybe that's why I wasn't allowed to no I think yeah I wouldn't get got against just your sensibilities there's a graphic side to it something I wouldn't want you know just all over but I think God had other plans and I I came to the point of about to delete the album you know yeah about a week after it went by a roll right before Christmas of 2015 just organically cuz I had posted it probably a month before that yeah yeah so as I am realizing because our computers were freezing and my phone was freezing and what's going on well you know and so I I almost deleted it when I realized that from all over the world this was being seen all too private thing yeah yeah exactly but honestly that for me for one every parent likes to talk about their their kid that's gone you know it's it's yeah it's a treat because you don't don't wear it out front I first guest said that yeah like he delights and talking about a son he lost the cancer you know yeah so it's you know that was I didn't want to delete him You Know Who I am because he was definitely you know a huge part of that but the other thing was just the the mass reaction was I've never seen love like this and again we know that the love that we gave him was all because God's love for us is so similar you know I really truly really our son being so vulnerable and broken and small and silent to you know what we have and our all of our inabilities compared to gods and yet God you know loved us loves us like a father and so seeing that I really think that that's why so many people love his story you know or I could realize gonna ask you about that like yeah what there's so identifying in a way in a way people grow men and women parents could personally identify with it like at the essence level oh yeah I think it was because not many people are identifying with something yeah because you can't relate to it in an actual I mean we'd have to live a million lifetimes and go through a million sufferings too but yet they identified with something they did which is you know it's kind of odd because you actually said there's not maybe able to go through this not that we'd ever want him to you know and it's not like people that you know people may not fully understand what we went through and that's good we don't even want them to do that but inside like you said in some form they they're related to it and they it struck a chord and yeah I remember getting you know we got message in friend requests and you know people from New Zealand and all over the China and we swear we got every every consonant or every country yeah it's weird had to spread it I don't know how that ever happened but so I even say these messages were like hey I'm struggling with this I'm trying to make this decision I just need some help for me I need some prayers you know that kind of thing and there was one point we were trying to go through all of them and try to like message people back but it just it was like there was somebody we had to do that yeah and it was yeah I was really interesting how that went down what he said something earlier geneviève that relates to the what we're talking about now you said I don't know how you put it but the perspective and going through the loss of Clarks job and what matters most and you said heaven and I'd like you to elaborate on that because I mean some of our listeners are gonna be Christian some are Catholic some are agnostic but there's something in that that I think people in and outside of faith could relate to like it like you know in a way you're saying life far transcends this one it's eternal and you believe that you take that on faith and experientially and like elaborate more on that rather than just what do you mean by that well it's especially when a baby dies that child hasn't lived you know if this is all that matters or if this is all that life is and and babies can be brought about and then die before ever experiencing it I mean that's the biggest void to me in the darkest void you know it's like a nihilistic meaning yeah we're talking about meaning and significance like yeah so there's that but I don't choose I don't choose to hope in heaven because that's the only happy alternative I like to escape today right no again I still go back and forth sometimes wondering you know because the world is full of suffering and we we know you know a tiny slice of it compared to many so suffering is very real and darkness is very real but did you name him Joe for that reason yes because Joe a favorite Swiss psychoanalyst of mine Carl Jung has this great essay on the the problem of suffering and job's answer to it it's really from a kind of a psycho spiritual perspective yeah yeah but I mean joke is that that inspires to speak to that suffering because he he lost everything that didn't matter to him and all hope and and he was also honest with God if you listen to the dialogue you know he didn't he didn't everything's you know great yeah psychologically some people call that a spiritual bypass where it's really a denial or a total suppression of what you're really experiencing but he was he was forthright and like what's going on with me right yeah so we Jobs tombstone it it refers to job 1:21 which is naked I came from my mother's womb and make it all I know I returned blessed be the name of the Lord I'm not I'm sorry I'm not remembering it verbatim but basically I come into the world with nothing I leave the world with nothing but blessed be regardless when her and that was you know and that is his life and that is our prayer you know and again the I would say the example of job and the example of many people who died in suffering but said blessed be God I mean that's that's that's further support for yeah that hope that's a high level like I'm reading a there's a I love this book practice of the presence of God my brother Lawrence like a 17th century Catholic monk but he talked about at one point in his writings he was in torment but he made a resolution to do all for the love of God no matter the scenario or circumstance so whatever suffering he was going through whatever joys there's something transcendent and even to even the scripture already had no idea yeah and in Scripture was a huge support because very important dates all seem to align you know God gave us the readings for the day type of thing and when we found out about Clark's diagnosis it was Good Friday and the readings for Good Friday are when Jesus is in the garden of the seventy and says let this pass you know take this cup from me if you're well it's the same so God again provided that I mean that was hard and that's what you read on the Friday of the day that we found out of his diagnosis and there were yes and get this this is this is a Catholic you know this was a Catholic like kiss from God but still the only day that my doctor could induce him full-term when he was in town and all of this all of these scheduling and Cameron being off was our Lady of Sorrows the feast of Our Lady of Sir where again God is giving someone to console us someone else has been here before and it's him you know it's Mary it's Jesus yeah God lost a child you know and that's why that's what for just context from the perspective of a saint one of the functions they serve is to inspire us to bear do or and then the you you referenced earlier the 1:21 is at the scripture verse 21 Joe 1 first 20 job 1:21 yes yeah so that's on his tombstone and then the other thing is enjoy the banquet to heaven yeah yeah I mean we do we do I think we have more ammo than just hopeful you know yeah well you know exactly I want to ask you about that because and again this is a question for some people some people it's like the the practical experience of one's faith and confirmations inner knowingness you know I mean like you didn't if this isn't an abstraction for you this is what's most dear to you in your life you know and you had said like it sounds like you had a lot of inner awarenesses or confirmations that support it you yeah does that talk to us for me it had a lot to do with just being fed the scripture readings like I said those words you know those were moments I think children have a good sense of that there's more you know and so again living life enjoy with my kids and the way that they speak of heaven and how real it is the communion of saints and and learning that we can you know ask our friends in heaven for help and they can pray for us and all that again it just connects I've familial and again I I think I God has been silent to me in a lot of ways you know some people experience gods voice just clear yeah but I relate more to the mother Teresa type where sometimes it feels very silent you know when you would hope for more consolation or something but and so many the Saints advised against being attached you're seeking consolation like if you read their writings and they're like you do you do it for the you know the love of the Lord Jesus Christ and don't seek any consolation from him or some but of course we want confirmation you know I mean like going through your experience it's interesting so you you know people appreciating the love the love that's shown in his life and the way we loved him that was so not by our own strength you know and I think that that is something to cling to as well because the the support of the group of people in your life grace even I just think that the reality of grace and and saying if I if I had looked at that beforehand I'd say I would never be able to do that never I never I never be able to smile at my kids funeral you know and yet it was their God you know like you could your your your spirit can bear much more than you realize with the with the grace and strength of God yeah I get are you you know that says something that it was a whole kind of thread gentleman I interviewed not long ago but he losing his son and he said he was just shocked at the like the love looked at him like he he was shocked and looking it was like shocking what he saw he could bear yeah out of love and in and you know and you experience it as like a use the word grace as far as consolation physical you know yeah that's a cling to like I don't know no but it is a choice you know and yeah and it's definitely the biggest evader reckon you know recognizing that we could meet our son one day it's definitely worth doing our best here and trusting that it's all real you know yeah magical thought that is you know mm-hmm well it's yeah and so easy to get you know lost and yeah this was what two and a half years ago in a three years ago now it's amazing crazy just by the way we have since had two other little boys right here like doing even the you headband with you're like man I don't know what I ate at noon today for lunch but yeah what I was contemplating doing he was ago but um tell me about one thing you said Cameron when when I was talking about this a while back you were talking about you know the strain on a marriage and losing a child how did you guys was there any strain or what what what how did you mourn his loss and like work through it and then move forward courageously to another having another child like and of course you know it's just tough to be human we got to work we got a man just tough to live you know but like how was that for your marriage as from your perspective well I I think by the grace of God again it is strengthened it and somehow you know I don't I guess I don't remember personally being overly intentional about you know how we went about things I just remember like clinging to each other because it's kind of you know realizing again that's kind of all we had in this life you know it's each other and then Gabe and it was a pretty dark time especially going into the winter you know after losing him in September and cold and dark you know I mean spiritually physically it all felt kind of felt that way so we were able to you know bundle up inside and be able to kind of hold onto each other for a few months and try to get through it you know and I think it just as easily could have gone the other direction you know but I think by the grace of God we had this strike to be able to lean on each other through it and grow through it and you you wrote reading I read through a good deal of your blog which is called life love loss and Clark Joe a WordPress site but you wrote used that phrase that Cameron just use cling to one another I was gonna ask you like from you know a couple out there that might be listening that just just said maybe in the early stages when confronting something of this order what would you say to them well I I think it's good to remember that you are two different people and that you do or will mourn differently you know and so let's say Cameron was very good at that he knew himself and he knew that you know his first inclination was sort of to become numb and not be there you know and yet he knew that about himself and chose the opposite because he knew that he needed to be present whether it was for me or just for his own heart you know dealing with the issue right then and there I am grateful of that because he could have easily gone the other way in that sense but so to appreciate each other's differences but also to appreciate that one person that can relate you know what I mean he's he's my teammate and suffering because he lost my son you know the bond is like yeah and also you know it's it's humbling having creating a child that is not perfect you know so again our marriage is not perfect but we've we've given it our all and and we come out the other side I think stronger and much less barriers I mean yeah everything we do as a team we yeah you guys are you have a great team vibe and all the different things you take you take on together it seems in life different outreaching so again yeah clinging to each other because it would be I guess it would be easy to cling to yourself and your own hurt or easier to cling to you know I don't I don't really know because I've really only clung to my husband and God you know thankfully yeah but it would probably be easy to cling to alcohol or to cling to and that talks to you better you know or something but yeah yeah you marriage it's so hard to you have to I don't know how what if there's a formula for this but one of our guests he mentioned the similar thing he's like you to respect allow one another to respect that you're gonna process it differently in the morning and then in your say and simultaneously lean on and cling to the the dearest friend you have in all of this yeah outside of your faith yeah if there were if there were a question and I guess this would might this might be just people who know you well when maybe family or close friends if there were a question uh I go out Wow Matt let's say I'm at you're getting you're gonna interview Cameron and Genevieve if you really want to get to know them and how they tick be sure to ask him about blank or you'd want to ask him about blank it could be something what comes to your mind it could be something uh if you want to really know understand this cut them ask them about blank and I'm sure each of you had something come to mind maybe think I lots that can't be whatever what came to your mind just then about what to ask us about and yeah like you know like like say I'm talking to somebody and they're like Oh Genevieve and Cameron Edmund you're gonna interview them about you know Clark job and these kind of things yeah if you really want to understand this couple or know them be sure to ask them about what comes to your mind erotic Lee for me the hilarious time you dance at your wedding or something like yeah epic humor it was kind of how you'll get to know us because again it's like yeah it's where it's where the rubber meets the road and that's why we want to be as real as we can with people because death is kind of on our hearts all the time you know and so in that sense we do our best to just appreciate everything as much as we can and every human being and like what a gift it is just be here right now and but we've also got a little bit of a perspective we're like one foot in heaven one foot on earth I would say we're you know it's it's probably hard to get to know us in that way because we're still learning how to live this life you know while being very pierced to be in heaven because once you once it become so real kind of urine for your urine for urine for God yeah you urine for full communion in that sense but we also are very you know desiring of bringing everyone with us and desiring of raising our kids and you know just that communion some day we kind of became old souls I think through this as now 26 and 30 it feels more like 10 20 years older than that because I think yes my perspective it would be what we would get to know us best is to sit down something like this yeah and to talk about things that matter outside of what we're doing every day you know it really matters where we're really going what's really happening in life and sitting down with like a dream yeah yeah yeah just talking you know we've got several sets of friends and Cooling you guys you know that we just sit down at ways talk and it's like that's really what fires us up because you know there are times we just go through interactions with friends or family or strangers and it's like it seems so shallow you know it seems so like temporal based and I think our eyes have been open slightly to the fact that we need to be I think embracing more of the other side of things beyond the veil and I think that's what's bringing knows better you know what's interesting I I am red padre pio I just love reading about him and for listeners he's a saint in the Catholic Church died in 1968 so there's like letters you could read about but one thing that really pained him was a being around idle conversation too long like he you know yeah like it would just and I don't think there's a judgment there I mean jeez you know business has to happen school life happens right and its social cordiality and all that stuff but um in a way you're in to my original question it's almost like you're saying well if you want to get to know what's most dear to us you'd have to talk about this yeah like yeah I mean not not every day I mean I've laughed with we did not talk about this but we did talk about Cameron and I have participants a men's group and then you know faith related stuff but it's just laughing on kids and that's the answer in a way you want to know what's if you really want to know us as far as the fun side I mean we love to hike yeah your poppies you're both athletes too let's start there you're both that's kind of cool they're they're good-looking athletic couple hair folks claim to fame for her is that she was six months pregnant with gear when she's so shot at 75 oh you you call University yeah they're ranked number one for our listeners right baby Dukes not too long ago yeah yeah and in basketball but um go zags anyway we'll go back but yeah so you're an athletic couple at least you seem to love I mean you're busy with three little ones but hiking getting outside yeah that is that yeah I envy your young stamina that's great any other well let's let's let's wrap up with this question I like I don't know again I don't know what pattern this podcast is gonna heroics gonna follow because we have just guests of different stripes and faiths and orientations but one thing I like to do is ask people really if you could picture somebody facing what you're facing and without knowing someone personally to give advice is sort of very presumptuous so maybe in the context of like what you found most helpful but in retrospect in a way I think we've already spoken to it but what would you advise what would you say is most essential for a person who's facing the loss of a loved one in a tragic way in particular like before all tragedies like you know losing something out of the natural order I think you said can do you have any advice for a couple because I think this might appeal to couples this podcast this particular episode but do you have any advice for a couple little tips that you maybe didn't mention or cover well I think something like this like naturally makes you think and makes you you know dive deeper and ask questions and I think that shouldn't be denied I guess to me my opinion is to allow yourself to go places as long as there's a purpose to it you know like we said out and wrestle yeah like you know we we did we did we still do you know yes I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing as long as you know there's a direction to it and it's not just continuous doubt a continuous complaint but like more of a truth seeking faith seeking sense of doubt to where it can kind of enrich your experience I guess yeah honestly kind of always continued because this was three and a half years ago you know we find out we've always kind of made it our prayer though that we still stay pierced to love like this and to have our faith like this to rely on God like this because there's nothing like tragedy to make you realize how little control you have on things you know and that is in itself shocking and and can be brutal if you're a control freak so again I just would say that fine you know finding meaning in what you're going through sometimes that doesn't come fast yeah there's a real variety like in Scripture like you have to wrestle with don't be afraid people can have a sort of fixed you know you're young you had a certain orientation like puppet a puppet and this happens and it could be scary to walk off the plank into the unknown yeah feel like you're losing all your supports question your faith question things yeah so it's like have the courage to bear with the uncertainty in a way you're saying like that love has been the biggest motivator the biggest glue I would say for our family and for friends and everything else is just to keep to keep loving and again when someone is losing you know a child or so one that they hold dear a lot of times loving that person or loving their memory is what inspires you know the good things that happen later the motivation to start a foundation or to loving their memory yeah one of our speakers said a friend of his his son went through a whole cancer process and he got like he recovered but then he got a terminal terminal diagnosis like he in and uh a friend of his who also has childhood pediatric cancer he's like what are you gonna remember most and he said that question somehow just pierced and he and he decided to love every bit of it like every paint every tool of the memory of it it was interesting though that's the biggest the biggest challenge but the best medicine is to keep loving you know because it would be easy to get cold you know and that and it's still you know there are scars I guess that's the other thing is just like Cameron was saying like be real I mean you do have to be honest about yes this was beautiful and brutal at the same time and so many good things have happened but a lot of bad things you know remain this this side of heaven and so just being real about that is this domain is yeah it's not without its crosses and suffering yeah it's it's a lonely road you know I would kind of I would recommend for couples especially to try to find friends that have a similar loss or something yeah some sort of support group that has that understanding and I would imagine that be very lonely yeah today's are a lot of people with unusual diagnosed they'll find people from different parts of the world and grow very close well thank you so much both of you yeah it's really mentioned before but we appreciate it because that was the chair because that we don't you know life gets so crazy we don't really get to think or talk about them as much as we'd like to you yeah when we you initially asked us for like yeah we love to just I just think you know today the modern world is crazy I mean like I'll obviously I'll give you a copy of this recording and stuff but like if I were your son five-year-old Gabriel or side I'd want to know like when I'm 30 I'd want to listen to this like I'd want to go how did they talk about this like what was it like for them yeah once he gets through the narcissism of youth yeah I've been bragging out to everybody I talked to saying what an inspiration could be for people so yeah thanks can hopefully yeah yeah yeah that's totally my my I love it there's nothing when I used to work as a therapist I'd say there's no more no greater privilege and sitting down talking to people about these sorts of things like what's the most most terrifying shameful and then what's where do they find hope what's most dear to them I just think it's privileged yeah and I just your friends of mine some thank you thank you yeah all right guys cool god bless

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