A grieving family asked a Sacred Heart specialist to 'tell everyone COVID is real.' She did through a poem.

<p><p>Andie Daisley is there in the toughest moments, sometimes ushering in the beginning of the grieving process with families and children following a death. It’s her job. </p></p><p><p>As a child life specialist at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, Daisley helps sick kids or children of sick family members understand, process and get comfortable with illness, injury and sometimes death.</p></p><p><p>COVID-19 has changed Daisley’s job. While she is based in the pediatric emergency department, she and her other teammates are now often called to an adult floor to help a family begin to cope with how COVID-19 took away their loved one.</p></p><p><p>Never before has the same diagnosis and the same scenario played out over and over again for Daisley.</p></p><p><p>“There’s no greater honor than to be in that sacred space with someone,” Daisley said, acknowledging that these moments often contain both beauty and loss.</p></p><p><p>“It is so devastating, and if I could change that for these kids and families I work with, I would,” she added.</p></p><p><p>This fall, as she sat with one family coping with the death of a family member from the virus, their words struck her.</p></p><p><p>“Tell everyone COVID is real.”</p></p><p><p><!–[teaser id=981128]–></p></p><p><p>The phrase turned over and over in Daisley’s head, and toward the end of her shift on a break, she opened her Notes app on her phone.</p></p><p><p>Daisley has never written poetry, just songs.</p></p><p><p>But that night after her shift, the words flowed. She wrote the story she’d experienced over and over and over again with COVID-19, with families saying goodbye. Kids losing parents, grandparents, loved ones.</p></p><p><p>“This is everyone’s story right now,” Daisley said.</p></p><p><p>The resulting poem felt like a release after months of emotional ups and downs and burnout for Daisley and her fellow health care workers.</p></p><p><p>“I want to scream from the rooftops what this has been like, but there’s nothing I want to talk about less at the same time,” Daisley said. “It’s these two realities that are difficult to hold.”</p></p><p><p><em>Below is Andie Daisley’s full poem.</em></p></p><p><h3>How do you prepare a child to see</h3></p><p><h3>their parent for the last time?</h3></p><p><p>This tube does this,</p></p><p><p>that tube does that.</p></p><p><p>He’ll look different than before.</p></p><p><p>You can walk up close.</p></p><p><p>You can stay far away.</p></p><p><p>You can change your mind.</p></p><p><p>I’m here with you. Say the word.</p></p><p><p>You can always change your mind.</p></p><p><p>“Will he hear me?” – He might.</p></p><p><p>“Will he answer me?” – He won’t.</p></p><p><p>I watch through a window as you wail.</p></p><p><p>I know this wail. It’s THE wail.</p></p><p><p>It’s the wail of understanding that what has been, will never be again. That once was, is no longer.</p></p><p><p>Heaving shoulders.</p></p><p><p>Clenched fists.</p></p><p><p>Trembling.</p></p><p><p>I wish I could take it away.</p></p><p><p>I wish I could turn back your clock.</p></p><p><p>My clock. Our clock. The world clock.</p></p><p><p>I wish I could heal you with my thoughts,</p></p><p><p>but instead I’ll just keep thinking them.</p></p><p><p>I’m so sorry, young one.</p></p><p><p>I’m so sorry you’re here.</p></p><p><p>You shouldn’t be here.</p></p><p><p>We shouldn’t be here.</p></p><p><p>Why are we here?</p></p><p><p>“I’ll miss you, dad.</p></p><p><p>Don’t forget us.</p></p><p><p>I love you.”</p></p><p><p>Heaving shoulders.</p></p><p><p>Clenched fists.</p></p><p><p>Trembling.</p></p><p><p>We practically ran back to the waiting room.</p></p><p><p>You did run, when we got there.</p></p><p><p>Out the door. Outside. Into the night.</p></p><p><p>I don’t blame you.</p></p><p><p>Anything to be out of that space.</p></p><p><p>That space made of broken hearts and dying breaths. Of chimes and tangled cords,</p></p><p><p>all saying the same thing – this is it.</p></p><p><p>Run, weary soul. Run.</p></p><p><p>Run into the fresh air.</p></p><p><p>Let the chill hit your face.</p></p><p><p>The sadness will follow,</p></p><p><p>but don’t let that stop you.</p></p><p><p>You won’t outrun the waves,</p></p><p><p>but you can keep pace. Run.</p></p><p><p>Heaving shoulders.</p></p><p><p>Clenched fists.</p></p><p><p>Trembling.</p></p><p><p>“How else can I support you tonight?”</p></p><p><p>I ask your family.</p></p><p><p>“Just tell everyone that Covid is real,”</p></p><p><p>they say.</p></p><p><p>“I promise.”</p></p><p><p>Heaving shoulders.</p></p><p><p>Clenched fists.</p></p><p><p>Trembling.</p></p><p><p>Deep breaths.</p></p><p><p>Count to three.</p></p><p><p>Dry your eyes.</p></p><p><p>Walk it off.</p></p><p><p>Another ticking clock awaits.</p></p>