Stella's Story: Part 1

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

Feeling Weak

I haven't written for several days now because honestly, I just haven't felt strong enough to write.  For my friends who have taken the time to read and comment on my blog, thank you!  I cannot even begin to tell  you what it means to me to feel heard and feel supported. 

For those of you I've upset by the intensity of the emotion with which I write, I am sorry.  I'm sorry if you don't feel like you can read what I'm going through without being upset or saddened, but this is my life right now.  I need to work through my emotions, and I'm writing in order to heal and to become closer to God at the same time.  Working through all these crazy feelings allows me to better deal with life and with people who don't know what to say or say the wrong things.  Please don't feel obligated to read what I'm writing.  I don't expect anyone to read my blog, but I find it very comforting and touching if you do.

Until a few days ago, I felt like I was really making some progress, really leaning on God in every moment, whether it be sad or joyous.  However, this weekend marked three months since we said goodbye to Stella.  I make a genuine effort to forget dates, but for those who have suffered loss, especially loss of a child I think, acknowledging and mourning these milestones seems inevitable.

 For some reason, the three month anniversary of her death has hit me much harder than two months.  Maybe it's because those watching me mourn have this unspoken "time limit" for me to be sad.  After that, life is supposed to return to normal.  I'm supposed to be normal.  I think I come across as "normal" most of the time.  I'm thankful for my life (it was so fun to play in the snow today!), and I laugh heartily often.  I try not to come across as a "gloomy gus."

Although I may seem normal, I still feel very much broken.  I feel very weak.  I don't like answering the question, "How are you?" because I can still only say "okay."  Someone asked me that yesterday in church, and I replied that "I was okay."  The person replied, "So you're doing good?"  No, I'm not good!  "No, I'm just okay," I repeated, frustrated and downhearted. 

Some days, I still just don't want to answer that question.  Some days, I don't want to listen to friends and acquaintances try to relate to me or offer some consolation that just makes the pain worse.  It's not that I don't appreciate their concern.  It's just that they don't understand.  And I don't expect them to.  I just wish they'd quit trying.  I'm very, truly sorry if I seem mean, but this has been a subject I need to get off my chest. 

Frankly, it really upsets me when friends compare their miscarriages to me losing our Stella.  I've had an early miscarriage, too.  It's upsetting and there's a sense of loss, but it's not the same.  I realize that if it's the only loss someone has experienced, they're trying to relate to me, but sometimes, I just wish they wouldn't.  I do feel badly when someone says they've had a miscarriage, especially if they have difficulty getting pregnant.  I've been down that road, and it's horrible.  Awful.  But to me, there's nothing as utterly horrific as having your own child die in your arms.  Nothing. 

My husband lost his mother to cancer when Ely was six months old, and it was incredibly awful and tragic.  Although I miss Linda and often wish she was here with us, I don't have the experience (praise the Lord) of losing my own mother.  A few weeks ago, on a rare and treasured lunch date, Mike shared with me that as painful as it was losing his mom, it didn't compare to losing our daughter.  He said that it just felt so cruel, so unnatural and against the order of life to lose our Stella. 

When I see other babies, especially babies of friends who don't think twice about whether or not I feel comfortable being around their babies, it still hurts.  I'm sorry that it does.  I wish I was always strong enough not to let sweet, round infant faces affect my emotions, but they do.  I will always long for my little Stella, and it's not my friends' babies that I want, it's my daughter I want.  Even if God blesses us with another baby (and I desperately hope He does), I will still always miss and long for my Stella. 

I wish I could sit in church and not be bothered by newborns and infants in every section of the santuary.  I pray constantly for strength, but I'm feeble.  And, I have to be gentle with myself.  There's only so much I can handle.  Some days, I can handle more, but some days, I can't handle much.  I'd very much like to go to church and not see babies just so I could focus solely on what I've gained and not what I've lost.  So I can go to meet Jesus and not be distracted by the constant nagging feeling of what's missing.  I feel like an awful person because I'd like to tell the parents in the service to please put their babies in the nursery.  I wouldn't want them not to come to church because they don't feel comfortable putting their babies in the nursery, but I also want to come to church without feeling like I'm in an emotional battle for the entire hour-and-a-half.  I'm sorry, friends.  I know time will help heal my wounds, and I wish I was stronger.  But, I'm not. 

I know this post is pretty random, but these past few days have leveled me a bit.  I've struggled with a lot and have come to realize how weak I am and how I wish I was stronger.  I realize anew that any strength I have comes from my God.  I don't feel very strong right now, but I know I can be stronger with His strength.

Psalm 119:28 NIV
My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.

Psalm 18:32-34 NIV
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.Isaiah 41:10 NIV
So do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 40:31 NIV
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on the wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Philippians 4:13 NIV
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.


Nicole said...

I don't have much to say, but I did want to comment, and let you know that I am reading, and sending you much love as I do.

Tabitha said...

When I got to the end of this and read Is. 40:31, I was reminded of my time with a friend during Thanksgiving vacation. I was watching these two videos by Louis Giglio with her("Indescribable" and "How Great Is Our God") and Giglio was describing creation and showing us how cool and amazing God is and all thru what He created and the beauty of it. That was amazing to see all the pics we saw in the videos. But then in the one video, he talks of Is. 40:31. And he talks about what that phrase "wait upon the LORD" really means and what it means when it says He will raise us up on eagle's wings and give us strength. He said that it is like He comes under us or something like that and just is there when we need the we don't quite know how we are to get thru something but we are getting thru it b/c He is with us and lifting us up.

Bethany said...

I will be much more active in reading now that I am away from the office. I hope that Cara can be of some comfort to you. THinking of you!

Kim said...

I love you Jen-poo. That's all I got...

Anonymous said...


Thanks for sharing your honest emotions. I'm truly touched by your words each and every time. All I can offer is prayer. I know I don't understand but, i'm here, if you were to ever need me.

Love you, Jen

<3 Maggie

Megan W. said...

dear jen, dont apologize dear friend. right now, you only need to show your children and husband that you are bringing all to God, nothing else is required of you. Dont feel like you have to or should be stronger. God does not ask us to shout triumphantly through grief and death and pain. He wants to "lead you to still waters, and restore your soul" and this takes time. Allow Him to friend. love you.

Susan said...

Isaiah 61:1-3
The Year of the LORD’s Favor
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

- my prayer for you today, Jenny.

tasha said...

i SO love you!!!!!

Me said...

You are the strongest women that I know and I am so proud to be your husband. I wish I had the strength to express myself like you do and the ability to put my thoughts into words. Your words are a blessing to me because it is so much easier for me to read than to try and have a conversation about Stella much of the you sweety

Stacey said...

Praying for healing every day for you guys...

the Jollys

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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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