For most parents, the thought of losing their child is unimaginable. It’s not something you ever want to even think about, much less experience.
That’s the way it was for Anna-Marie Elizabeth Jenks and her husband.
Their daughter Scarlett was healthy and happy, a perfect baby in every way. Jenks said that when her daughter was born, she felt complete — as though she had a purpose for the first time.
But when she was 15 months old, she suddenly began running a high fever.
They rushed her to the emergency room to find that she had a cold that had started an inflammatory response in her body. Her heart became enlarged and stopped, triggering a brain bleed. Sadly, Scarlett passed away.
Now, her mother runs a blog called Momma of an Angel Baby, where she documents her grief and remembers her love for her beautiful daughter.
In one post, she shared a picture of Scarlett’s hair — a tiny clipping that she still has.
“This is the last physically whole piece of Scarlett we have, just a tiny bit if her hair,” wrote Jenks. “Darker in color than we remember and stiff from the ultrasound gel, but it is HERS all the same. It proves to me every day that my daughter existed.”
The hair clipping was brought to her by a kind nurse who took care of Scarlett during her final days.
Now, Jenks and her husband remember the nurse with gratefulness. They don’t have much except pictures to remember their daughter by. But thanks to the kindness of that nurse, they have a piece of her hair.
“With my permission but without me knowing when or where our nurse snipped this small bit of her hair,” said Jenks. “Ben and I were so busy with the help of the child life specialist making castings and imprints of her hands and feet, that we forgot about asking for a bit of her hair.”
Jenks says that although she can’t remember the name of the nurse who gave her the clipping of Scarlett’s hair, she will never forget her.
The death of a baby is something no family should ever have to suffer through, but that nurse gave them a tiny bit of comfort in the darkest period of their lives.
“I don’t remember the nurse’s name, but I’m forever grateful to the love and compassion she had for our family,” said Jenks. “I will be forever grateful to have this uninterrupted part of Scarlett, tied together by a small string.”
Jenks says that even though it has been more than a year since Scarlett passed away, she and her husband will never stop grieving her.
Their one spot of comfort is their son Arlo, Scarlett’s baby brother. Jenks says that Arlo’s birth has helped her heal in some ways from Scarlett’s death. He also reminds his parents of his big sister.
Even though Arlo never met his older sister, there’s one thing he’ll never doubt: how very much his parents love them both.
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