Camille (continued): Also, don't stay in bed. Because during that time, we received a lot of letters—which I'm just now beginning to read, because I couldn't read them at the time—in which mothers who had lost a child wrote that they couldn't get out of bed. You've got to get out of bed.

Oprah: Even if you don't know where to go?

Camille: Even if you don't know where to go. You've got to start. Of course, it helps if you have your family's and friends' support. But you must proceed. You must continue to live.

Oprah: I've heard extraordinary stories of women who can go into a prison and visit with people who murdered their children. I have never been able to understand that.

Camille: No. I can't do that. No.

Oprah: Will you ever be able to say "I forgive this person"?

Camille: I don't know.

Oprah: And is it even important?

Camille: It really isn't important. I don't think forgiving the murderer is a condition for healing, because what he did was so egregious, so outrageous, so evil.

Oprah: And you never want to ask him why?

Camille: No. Because he did it. That's all that is important to me, that he did it. Why he did it, how he did it or what led up to it—I don't care about that. The point is that he did it. That is the final act.

Oprah: What is it like to even say the words Ennis's death?

Camille: A lot of people wonder that. It is only because I took time for myself that I can sit here and talk about it like this. I miss my son. Ennis was my only son, and we had a special relationship. But I have finally accepted that he is not here. To think about him makes me smile instead of making me sad....

I could be sitting and reading a magazine, and somebody will come up and say, "I'm so sorry about your son." I find that irritating and difficult, because I'm not focusing on Ennis's death 24 hours a day. So I don't want people to say "I'm so sorry" every time they see me, because then it becomes a consistently grim thing. You know? People should talk to me like they did before he died....

I don't want to be immersed in sadness, and I know Ennis wouldn't want that. I have a life to live. And I know that my family has many things to celebrate. That we're doing great things we should feel good about. That we need to laugh to heal.

Oprah: How did you help the girls and Bill heal?

Camille: In many ways. We talked about our feelings a lot. We took a holistic approach; we had acupuncture, massages, acupressure—to relax the body, clear the mind. We spent more time with one another. I suppose I was the person who initiated bringing everybody together. I said, "Let's talk about this. Let's really communicate in a different way."


Next Story