Stella's Story: Part 1

Here is the beginning of Stella's Story: Stella's Story: Part 1
The rest is coming soon!

The Boys' Grief

Now that we're in the midst of the holiday season, coping with our grief from losing Stella has gotten both easier and harder. We are all looking forward to spending time with family up north, and I'm especially looking forward to the boys being distracted by new playmates and new toys. The way the boys are currently dealing with losing their sister has been very hard on us.

Milo still thinks Stella is coming back. This past Sunday night, on the way to watch the Children's Christmas program at church, Milo said to us, "Mommy, we put Stella in a pot?" Confused, I looked at Mike, and he whispered, "He means casket." Patiently, we explained to him that Stella's body was in the ground, but her spirit is in heaven. Then Milo asked, "After I go to heaven, Stella come back?" Well...technically, that's correct, but explaining the principles of death let alone revelation to a three-year-old is impossible. So, I told Milo, "No, sweetie, Stella isn't coming back. She is with God forever."

Reminiscing about the two very short visits he spent with Stella, Milo says emphatically, "And I touch her hand!" Smiling sadly, I affirmed his sweet memory . "Yes, Milo, you touched her hand." Then,sorrowfully, Milo says, "I wanted to tickle her." Aw, my loving little Milo. He wanted to be able to play with her. I could feel my heart breaking. I tried to encourage him and told him that someday he would get to play with Stella, but that we would pray for another baby to play with here on earth. As painful as it is, I am thankful that my little Munch continues to remember his sister. I hope he will always remember his sister.

Ely has been harder to read in his grief. A few weeks ago, we were talking in the car about Ely's shopping list for Santa's Secret Workshop . This year was the first year Ely got to shop by himself for Mommy, Daddy, and Milo. (I can't wait to see what he picked out!) Mike asked Ely, "Besides Mommy and Daddy, is there anyone else you'd like to buy a gift for?" Ely thought for a few seconds, and then said, "Tasha." Surprised, I asked, "Do you have a friend Tasha, or do you mean Mommy's friend Tasha?" He replied, "Your friend Tasha." He continued, "We need to take the presents to the hospital, because her baby's at the hospital."

I was blown away by the heartfelt generosity of my big man. He wanted to help someone who wasn't even technically his friend (not one of his classmates or friends from church his own age). "Ely, that is really sweet, but Marissa (Tasha's baby) isn't at the hospital anymore. God healed Marissa, and she is at home now." Even though Ely was in the back seat and I couldn't see his face, I knew his head drooped and his eyes lowered when he replied sadly, "But not our baby." I told Ely that God had healed our baby Stella, too, just not in the same way and that she was healed and was with God forever. I asked Ely if he still wanted to bring Tasha a present even though Marissa wasn't still in the hospital, and he said that he did.

After this conversation with Ely, even though he has shown thoughtfulness toward others, I have begun to notice that he is sad and confused (and I think also a bit angry) about why his friends have gotten to bring their babies sisters home and he did not. That same night, Ely also talked about Aidan and how Aidan's mommy got to bring home her baby. We can explain over and over that Stella is in heaven and that God is taking care of her, but we can't change his little heart or make him understand. It is so painful to watch him suffer the loss of his sister, and it is even more painful to watch him be angry with God.

Tonight at dinner, the boys brought up how much they want another baby. Ely loves thinking of names for his hypothetical brother or sister. His first suggestion tonight was "pink," and after we gently rejected that one, he wanted to use the name Stella. We explained to Ely that we can't use the name Stella again because he already has a sister named Stella. Ely's response was, "I had no sister." Okay, now I can handle a lot of questions and responses, but for Ely to deny his sister's existance brings a new level of pain that I cannot even describe. Ely turned away from us in his chair and crossed his arms. Mike said, consolingly, "Ely, Stella will always be your sister." Ely said (as he often does these days), "nuh uh." No matter how we tried to phrase it, Ely refused to acknowledge that his sister had been with us.

Please continue to pray for us, but please pray specifically for Ely. He has become angry and defiant at times and has changed from the boy who wouldn't let anyone else say grace at meals to the boy who doesn't want to say grace at all. He doesn't want to go to church or talk about God. It seems he is blaming God for the loss of his sister.

Please pray for us, too, that God would bless us quickly with a healthy baby. I have walked the road of infertility twice now, and I just don't feel strong enough to walk it again. We will allows love our sweet Stella, but we are hopeful that a new little one will help us continue to heal.


We got our genetic results back yesterday. Dr. Tag called me personally to tell me the results.

Drum Roll..............................They were completely normal!

I let out quite a loud "Praise the Lord!" from my corner "office" (really, it's just a decent-sized cubicle). This news made my day, well, my whole week, really!

It is crazy, though, that what happened to our little Stella was, in medical terms, de novo (purely spontaneous). God obviously had a higher purpose in sending us our little girl. She wasn't meant to stay here on earth, but her memory lives on in us, and we hope to continue to bless others as a result of her death. We would like to continue to help families whose babies are born with heart defects or genetic disorders, specifically. Families who have chosen life for their babies, despite the diagnosis, and despite the odds.

We rejoice in knowing that there is nothing adversely affecting our boys or my sisters. I am amazed every time I see a healthy baby, knowing that God put that little being together perfectly. And even one someone isn't genetically normal, it doesn't make his or her life any less precious or any less valuable in the sight of God. The thought that has comforted me through this time is this: "Stella's body wasn't strong enough to contain her soul."

Stella is the most precious gift that I have lost here on this earth. But losing her has also given me the greatest spiritual gain I have ever experienced (since I came to know the Lord, that is). Because of this, even in the midst of sorrow, I can still say that God is good.

On this side of heaven, I pray that our loss would translate for others into the greatest gift in this life: knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Born to Be

Today, I feel weary. I think I'm fighting something off in more ways than one. The burden of grief has been particularly heavy. When that happens I start to have trouble sorting through my thoughts. Time slows down and begins to drag.

Today was one of those days when the pain got so bad that I couldn't breathe. My chest feels compressed and so does my heart within it. The bittersweet that is so prevelant in everything I do now tastes more bitter than sweet, and smiling isn't so natural.

I don't think the twenty-something, chilled-to-the-bone weather helps. Mike mentioned that he'd like to curl up in a ball under a blanket and sleep for a long time. Sounds pretty good to me.

We both felt like curling in a little ball together after the service this morning. I know that Ron didn't mean the sermon to be sad; it was about our Savior, after all, but it was hard for us to swallow. It wasn't difficult only because Ron mentioned us by name and our daughter being the "baby who has already gone home to be with the Lord" (out of the 15 or 16 babies born in our church this year). Ron preached about Jesus coming to earth as a baby, and in his sermon he mentioned many sweet details of being a parent. He talked about how parents in biblical times carefully considered the name of their little ones because it was believed that the child would become their name. I couldn't help but think about how careful we were to give our Stella a great name even before she was born, a name she could live up to.

Stella did become her name. She became an extraordinary star, shining the way to Jesus in our lives. And hopefully, she's shining the way to Jesus in other people's lives because of the way she's changed us.

Not only was the sermon sad, but so was the special music, at least to me. "Mary Did You Know" has always been a song that causes me to think solemnly about Christ coming to earth. But, this year, it took on new meaning. "Mary, Did you know, that when you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God?" Of course I can't compare meeting our Stella to Mary meeting Jesus in baby form, but I feel like I can now understand just a small part of what Mary felt. It's as if I got to know God a little better after looking at my baby's face.

My mind doesn't always work in a linear way, so when I was listening to the sermon and to "Mary Did You Know," I thought of the song that has been in my head the whole week: Stellar Kart's "Born to Be." I thought about how as much as it hurts not to have our daughter here with it, that she was born to be a part of something holy. That we are all born to be part of something holy. This thought has giving me consolation today, a day that has seemed unbearable otherwise.
Stellar Kart
Born to Be

"We were born to be,
A part of something holy.
All of us are restless 'til we find.
We were born to be,
A part of something holy.
Bigger than, bigger than
Bigger than you and I.
Bigger than all our lives."

Please pray with us that our Stella's life and our lives will be part of something holy.


About This Blog

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This is the story of our daughter, Stella Rose, who went to be with Jesus after five days here on this earth. Stella was born with multiple birth defects due to a severe case of Wolf Hirschhorn Syndrome. Although Stella is no longer with us in person, she has changed us forever. Stella's legacy is my journey on a new road without my daughter, and how God is working in our hearts.

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