Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A legacy

I wanted to take a step back and pay tribute to a woman who helped the loss community in central Arkansas immensely.

When I think of nurses on labor and delivery, I immediately think of the happy deliveries. They are the ones who push a momma through labor and then turn around and hand that beautiful baby to the families. They are a face of comfort and joy.

Until, you aren’t that typical family. Your baby has died/is dying/will die. You are in a state of shock. You are numb. You are terrified. And then you are expected to labor and deliver all of your hopes and dreams, knowing you won’t get to see them come true. It is here that you hope and pray that you have a nurse like Treasure Grier; someone who even in the darkest moments is a ray of light, a woman of unending grace and infinite compassion.  Someone who will look at your baby and be able to show you their beauty and make sure you have every memory possible. A nurse who wouldn’t shy away from your room because she is uncomfortable, rather she embraces your entire family and loves your baby without limit.

Treasure began paving the way for grieving families long before most others. She recognized the need and wanted to make sure that these families were able to honor their children. She stood at the front of the pack and made sure no baby was left behind. Treasure became the coordinator for the bereavement program at her local hospital, Love Lives. Bracelets, bears, hats, clothes, layettes, books and pictures all came to be because of her dedication: all precious memories that countless families have because of her heart. She was more than a nurse. She became a part of your family.

I didn’t deliver Aidan at Treasure’s hospital, but as time crept by she still filled that role for me. All of my questions, all of my doubts, all of my fears….she was able to give me some answers. She was able to give me the knowledge I needed to begin to heal.

She is one of the first people who believed I could carry a baby to term. She promised to walk the journey with me and be my nurse. She started the hope that grew to be Kellan.

When I think of her, I think of someone who radiated joy. I see her in her scrubs, I hear her laugh, I feel her tears when she talked of the babies, I soak in the love she had for her own family. She saw the best in everyone and was determined to make us all be that person and nothing short.

Today is August 6th. One year ago today, Treasure ran into the arms of all of those babies she cared for. In her earthly life, she loved our babies and carried their families through the darkness. For the past year, we have loved her and carried her legacy on. Each and every life she touched has been changed.

 We are group of nurses, moms, doctors, friends, family and we are all connected by a woman. She left us much too soon, but we are all determined to finish the task. We will break the taboo. We are shattering the silence. With each and every day we walk in her footsteps. Every step is a promise to remember, honor and treasure these lives.

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