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What do you call a mom or dad who is now childless? There are words we use, like widow and orphan, to describe others who have lost a family member. But the loss of a child is so uncommon and unexpected that there isn’t an English word to describe it. A couple I know lost their daughter on Easter. In the midst of everyone’s celebration of new life and resurrection, they mourned their unnamed loss.
Their baby girl, Ella, was a dear patient of mine whom I’d worked with off and on since her birth nearly a year and a half prior. I saw her roll over for the first time; I witnessed as she reached for her favorite toy, a pink Oball; I was part of the audience the first time she blew a kiss; I celebrated her progress. In fact, I fought with the other therapists to see her whenever she was admitted. But she had a complex medical situation, so when she contracted an infection, it overwhelmed her delicate body despite her brave fight.
I loved her.
I mourned. I’m still mourning, months later.
Therapist - Hospital - Patients - Heal - Muscles
I am a pediatric occupational therapist. I work in a local hospital helping the littlest of patients grow, develop, play, and heal. I massage tight muscles, mobilize swelling, improve endurance, and promote strength. I have the privilege of working with amazing babies and parents in tenuous situations where length of days is not guaranteed.
How do I work in this job surrounded by sick little ones? How do I perform occupational therapy in the hospital setting knowing that some of my patients won’t see adulthood, or even their first birthday? I work in faith. I know that no matter how lengthy a life is, it is full of significance.
Years - Parents
Several years ago, I was talking to my parents about...
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