It was with sadness that I heard the news of Treena Mielke’s passing, as I have known Treena for several years. I remember her back during her days with the Sylvan Lake News, and then we worked together for several years at the Red Deer Express. Treena went on to be editor of the Rimbey Review – and not only did she cover any community she worked in really well, she was also very much appreciated for her superb columns, which appeared in several local papers over the years. Treena had an insightful, warm and engaging style to her writing indeed. But more than that – she was a good friend over the years to many as well, too. I remember after I lost my mom in January of 2020, Treena and I had a visit and she asked me a question which no one else did, and which really meant so much to me. She looked directly at me and said, ‘Tell me about your mom’.
Never in all the years of losing loved ones or friends has anyone ever asked me that, and it really meant the world to me – and still does.
In a culture where death isn’t understood very well, and the topic is generally steered away from, she took the time to – in a very real and personally meaningful way – pay tribute to my mom. And she allowed me to talk about someone who I loved so much and missed so deeply. That expression of understanding and friendship meant the world to me.
The other thing about Treena that I always appreciated was her calm and friendly personality. There were a couple of times when I saw her treated rather disrespectfully, but she never lost her cool or countered with any meanness. She just carried herself with dignity and grace. She was ‘real’, she was good and she was simply always there if you needed a chat. Unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to do that very much over the past several years, but I still knew she was there; I knew she was in my corner.
Treena was pretty much always the same – she was kind, she was interested in YOU and what you might be going through or dealing with, and she was so good-natured. We shared some good laughs over the years, and I always appreciated her kindness and humility, and her enthusiasm in chatting about her family. We will miss her.
Mielke worked for the Black Press from April 4, 2011 to July 9, 2020.