Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Arleen Campbell - picking up the pieces

Published:Saturday | July 30, 2016 | 7:00 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston

On February 16, 2014, Arleen Campbell received news no mother should ever have to.

She was washing clothes when she got a call from one of her friends in Kingston about 7:30 that morning.

Her friend informed her that her daughter had been killed, reportedly by her child's father. She had four children.

"I was numb. I was in total shock. I just ran out of the yard and called my sister," said Campbell.

The pain has not lessened since that day. In fact, every time she looks at her four grandchildren she is reminded of the loss. However, it's those very children who are now giving her strength to go on.

"I feel so sad. Every day I cried. I didn't know the day would come when I could stop crying," Campbell told Family and Religion.

 

Responsibility

 

Campbell said sometimes she is stressed about the huge responsibility she is now saddled with as she never envisioned starting all over again, raising children, the youngest of whom is six years old.

"Sometimes I question God on why this had to happen, but I have come to accept that He knows best," said Campbell, who shared that at first she had a problem accepting that her daughter was really gone.

At the thanksgiving service for her life, Campbell said she did not know how she got the strength to make it through. It was only the realisation that she had to be strong for her grandchildren that prevented her from totally giving in to her grief.

Campbell's eyes lit up as she spoke about her daughter. "She was a fun person. She used to make me laugh. She always told me not to worry myself about anything," she said.

Campbell also said her daughter was kindhearted and whenever she felt down, would know just the right words to say to get her spirits up again.

"I just don't know how I am going to do without her; I miss her so much," said Campbell.

If there is any regret she still harbours about her late

daughter it is that she never probed hard into about what was taking place in her life.

 

Hindsight

 

"If I had known that she was having problems in her relationship, I would have told her to come home," said Campbell, who lives in Farm, Clarendon.

"Up to the Thursday before her death, she told me everything was all right," said Campbell.

It is this regret that now has her reaching out to other mothers to be more vigilant where their daughters are concerned.

"Listen keenly to anything that may be off in their voices. If you have a gut feeling that something is wrong, don't ignore it. I wish I had a single clue that my daughter was facing danger," said Campbell.