Stella's Story: Part 1

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

Deeply and Profoundly Sad

I have spent this week in the darkest valley I have ever known.  There is really no way to describe how deeply I have felt the sadness of missing my Stella. I'm thankful for the strength of my God, for my husband, and for friends, because there were recent moments when driving in front of a tractor trailor in the opposing lane didn't seem like such a bad idea.

I've felt such extreme sorrow this week that I couldn't manage to do much more than pray.  For most of the week, even talking to well-meaning friends didn't help.  I have grown weary of listening to the same "consoling" phrases, so I just retreated within myself.   

I've had friends recommend books, sermons, and devotionals on sorrow and suffering, but I have to admit that I really only want advice and couseling from other women who have lost a child.  At the moment, I can't bear to hear from a man on the subject of suffering, no matter how faithful he is (no offense to the great men of the faith).    I've read several helpful books so far, including Angie Smith's I Will Carry You and Mary Beth Chapman's Choosing to See.  Since I've come to a bit of a standstill in my healing process, I decided to go searching again for another author who's been through something similar.  I came across Nancy Guthrie.

Nancy Guthrie is a woman of God who's life has been riddled with sorrow.  She lost two children to the same genetic disorder.  Since that point, she has written many books on the subjects of sorrow and hope.  I ordered two of her books on Amazon; they arrived yesterday. 

I have already begun reading Holding on to Hope.  It's awesome so far.  Everything she says has been resonating with me, and it's so good to know that I am not alone. 

In the second chapter (entitled Tears), she says that for almost the entire first year after her daughter's death, her answer to people asking "How are You?" was, "I'm deeply and profoundly sad."  EXACTLY.  That's how I feel.  I know it make people uncomfortable, but that's how I feel.  Nancy goes on to say that our culture is not at all comfortable with sadness. She says,

"Sadness is awkward.  It is unsettling.  It ebbs and flows and takes its own shape.  It beckons to be shared.  It comes out in tears, and we don't know what to do with those."

Nancy goes on to say what I've been trying to explain to people...not to be afraid to talk about Stella, not to be afraid to acknowledge her life, acknowledge her as my daughter, acknowledge the deep pain that I feel.  I want to talk about her.  I'm not afraid of crying.  I need to face this sorrow head-on.  I need my friends and family to face this sorrow with me and not pretend that it doesn't exist.    One of the best ways people can help me is to let me cry and let themselves cry.  Tears are healing to me, whether they be my own or someone else's.  Please, mourn my daughter's death with me.  I will be mourning not just today but for my lifetime.

There is a quote by an unknown author that says, "Being a mother is like taking your heart out of your chest and watching it walk around."  I believe in the truth of this statement.  Part of my heart is gone.  It's with my little Stella.  Nancy Guthrie compares losing her daugther, Hope, to having a limb amputated.  She says, "Even now, I can't say that I'm healed.  Part of my heart is no longer mine.  I gave it to Hope, and she took it with her, and I will forever feel that amputation." 

Ironically, my C-section scar started to bleed again a few weeks ago, and that was also when my heart began to again feel the raw sorrow of losing Stella.  I'm learning to live with an amputation.  I have moments of happiness, fun, and temporary relief (thank you to Megan, Tasha, Meredith, and Jennifer especially!), but my life right now is perpetual deep and profound sadness.  I long for more friends to understand this, not to be scared, and to share in my pain with me.  I'm deeply and profoundly sad...this is "How I'm Doing."


Me said...

Darling, I wish I could take away all the pain your feeling, but I know this is impossible. I hope that I am able to support you in the ways you need to be supported and that I can grieve along with you, even though I do not feel in the same ways you feel or deal with my grief in the same ways. I am praying for you and love you no matter your moods, sadness, or situation. you are my sweetheart and I am here for you.

Susan said...

I love you, Jenny. Thank you, so much, for sharing this.

Megan W. said...

jen, 'just catching up on your recent blogs today, and this one, about how you truly feel and what ought to be done with it, resonates within me as well. i think part of why i despised so many "im so sorry" cards from people when my mom died was because it seemed that that card should somehow make it all better. i know they were well meant, but i also felt more set apart from others than ever before. Who was i going to call now when the grief of my own lost children overwhelmed me for an entire month when they "should of " been bron? no one could replace that. but its like you said, somehow, you learn to live with amputation. sorrow touches every joy now, every single one and it stinks, it stinks majorly that i cant fully enjoy watching my kids grow up or have a special birthday or christmas celebration without thinking "My mom isnt here to share this". I am so glad you are a gifted writer and are voicing these truths for others to read. May it be used to teach us all how to weep with those who weep, and help continue those who are will be walking down this road for the rest of their lives, till jesus wipes EVERY TEAR AWAY! hALLELUJAH!

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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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