This year has been huge for me. I have learned so much from my Doula/Bereavement Doula training, and I have learned so much more about life. Talking to these families has really shed a lot of life on the bubble that I have been living in for so long. My heart breaks for each and every one of these women that have gone through loss. Each has their own story. Some of the stories are so much more than just loss. Some of these women are truly alone and have no one to love them and support them through it. I just can't fathom not having a family to turn to when I just couldn't keep on going that day. I am trying to be that person for so many women. Trying to understand and love them through their loss. Letting them know they are not alone. It is why I have such a passion for what I do. Grief is so lonely, and when you have no one to talk to it can seem daunting. My official title is Bereavement Coordinator with Emma's Footprints. It sounds like such a fun job, right? So many people say they don't know how I do this every day. Dealing with death day and night. I honestly don't know either sometimes. I do know that God has always given me the words and the strength to do it though. I never thought I would be able to be in a place emotionally to do this, but look at me now. It's crazy to think that this was my purpose. Aubree existed so I can learn how to help others. She really did teach me about more than just loss. She taught me how to love others through it, how to look at the world differently, how to serve others in a healthy way, to step out in faith, to be a better person, and she really has helped me to understand things I never would have thought twice about before. I am so very grateful that I am able to be a part of such a beautiful organization. I have met so many wonderful people who volunteer their time to serve families who have had a loss like theirs, and I have met some really strong mommas who are living their life for the babies they lost. I have been so blessed this year by this organization. Every single family that I have talked to this year has impacted me, and their babies are forever etched into my brain. The idea that I get to meet these precious children someday really makes me giddy.
I know that 2017 is another year of growth. We are starting group support here for our families. So many have requested it, and I hope that they utilize it and find peace in grieving together. We are also starting to connect more with the local hospitals, and we are working on education. Education is huge for me because if we can help the caregivers learn how to handle a loss in a more positive way they serve the families in a healthier way. A negative experience at the hospital can truly make your grieving process even more difficult. Those that have had a good experience do not have to grieve how they were treated while they were in the hospital. I have hopes of going to some training in 2017 that will help equip me as well. I know that each year we are going to be getting busier and busier because this is not something that will ever go away unfortunately. My goal is to serve these families even better this coming year. I am excited to see what 2017 has in store for me. I know it will be busy, but I am ready to take on the challenge. It is what I have been called to do after all. Aubree is alive and well within my soul. Each family I help is because of her. I used to worry about forgetting her or not doing right by her. I can honestly say that I never think about those things any more. I like to think that she is proud of her momma for saying "yes" to serving other families who have gone through loss too. Her life was such a gift even though at the time it really didn't feel that way. It's been almost seven years since she left me physically, but she has been with me this whole time.