To the Nurse Who Held Her Last
I do not know your name.
I do not even remember your face.
I vividly remember your heart.
It was the most devastating moment of my life, the one where I had to hand Adeline over to you, a stranger, and to say goodbye forever.
A moment riddled with unimaginable pain and yet you found a way to invite peace into the room. As I look back, I am so grateful for you.
Thank you for taking your time. You knew our hearts were crumbling with every step you took. You did not rush. It was as if you knew every second mattered. Every second allowed us to be in the presence of our daughter for one more second.
Thank you for your gentle hands. As you laid her in the bassinet, you did so gently, with reverence. You took great care to wrap her in her blanket, tucking the sheets into the sides and snuggling them around her. You placed your hands on the sides of the bassinet and looked at us one more time and said, "She'll just be down the hall. We can bring her back any time you want." It made the end not feel so final. I could always change my mind.
Thank you for caring for our daughter as the precious little human that she was. We never questioned the care she would receive after she left us. Because of you, we felt like she was safe. You did that. No one else. You. In your one simple and yet monumental interaction with us, you managed to leave us with a feeling that our daughter would be safe even though she could not be with us.
Thank you for not interfering or being intrusive. You were there when we needed you but not directive or emotional. I must imagine these moments are hard for you too. I'm sure emotions well up inside you, but you didn't crack. Not once. You allowed space for us to do this the way we needed to do it. For us.
To the nurse who took Adeline away for the very last time, I say, "Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kindness, for treating our daughter as the precious gift she is, and for allowing space for our fragile broken hearts."
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