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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Goodbye Star

If ever I had a doubt about the power of prayer, from this day forward I can never doubt again. In my real life, I have seen miracles performed and I've witnessed the efficacy of prayer even beyond it's desired duration. Her name means, star, in Latin and her ability to shine effortlessly both in health (as I'm told) and in sickness (as I know to be a fact) is only one of the things that makes Stella so special.

As I write this, with an aching heart, Stella lies in her bed, at home, neither in this world or the next. The beloved wife, cherished young mother, treasured friend, and admired woman that is Stella slipped into a coma after a courageous and miraculous dance with the beast that is Cancer. I can call it a dance because as I see it, Stella is not the type of person to raise a voice let alone a fist. Stella seems to gracefully dance away from the aggressive cancer that  is destined to eventually end her life. Without any reason that any of us can comprehend or accept, Stella's physical body continues to dance a now macabre and torturous Waltz with the beast that has left her ravished and unable to live on this earth.

As documented in Stella's best friend and beloved husband, Yarden's, blog, Crossing The Yarden, Stella's journey is abundant with miracles that cannot be explained by doctors or scientists. Now, Yarden has asked that we stop praying for miracles. It's time for each and everyone who knows Stella to say goodbye and make peace with the fact that we've all been blessed to witness the many miracles that Stella showed us but our prayers for more miracles are perhaps too bold and brass and the time has come to make peace and let go. There is no valor in keeping Stella here, on earth any longer. It's time to pray for G-d's mercy on Stella who lived a life of grace, elegance, and clarity and deserves to cross over to eternal paradise that is the World to Come.

I met Stella just over a year ago. I'd been introduced to Yarden's blog and read every post and taken both inspiration and hope from their journey. One morning, while waiting for my chemotherapy treatment to begin, Yarden and Stella walked into oncology ward. I jumped out of my chair when Stella walked by and approached her like I was meeting a celebrity with a big, "Hi Stella! I'm Erika...." and Stella beamed at me with her bright smile and answered, "You're Erika! It's nice to meet you." and we hugged. After that I just felt very connected and drawn to her. We had chemotherapy on the same day and one of the few things I actually looked forward to at the oncology ward was seeing Stella. Surely Stella had already been through so much more than I had and yet she stood so upright and smiled so radiantly. Stella spoke strongly yet softly, clearly yet serenely. Stella never said a negative thing. I never saw her grimace in the "Chemo Lounge" and never heard her utter a moan or a complaint. When we corresponded, Stella always encouraged me and I took her every word to heart. If Stella could do it than I was inspired and reassured that I could do it too... and I knew she'd suffered way worse things than I.

I cherished our visits together at Yarden and Stella's home in Neve Daniel. At some point, it became apparent that the miracles were coming to an end. After a visit, I didn't know if I'd get to see Stella again and that had to be okay. Even at our last visit, not that long ago, Stella's words were encouraging and words I will never let go of. Even as I come to terms with the end of her dance and the end of her journey. I wonder, if the pain in my heart is only a fraction of the pain her devoted family, her best friend and husband must be feeling, how can they continue to endure what is beyond excruciating and torturous? There are no words....

When is it okay to stop praying for miracles? When is it okay to ask for G-d's mercy... and pray for Him to take Stella up into His eternal arms? I truly believe that that time has come, if not weeks ago, than surely now. Please take a moment to say goodbye to a star that shines so brightly, she refuses to fade out. No one wants to say goodbye but the prayers of thousands miraculously kept Stella on earth beyond any imaginable timeline. It's time to pray for mercy. A woman of such valor and grace deserves our prayers.... not for miracles this time but for peace and for the miracles to fade away. Please L-rd, our G-d, Ruler of the universe embrace Stella and carry her to Heaven. Amen.

UPDATE: early this morning, November 14 at 4:50 am, Stella went to eternal paradise that we call, Heaven. May G-d comfort her family among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem and may they know no more sorrow.


  1. Simply beautiful.

  2. I don't have any words. I just know that whenever HaShem decides to welcome Stella back, he's got a seat somewhere nearby his own for her.

  3. I'm!

  4. Steve & Carrie FranklThursday, November 14, 2013

    I had to read this through tears, it is amazing how Stella, Yarden along with their family have touched so many lives. They have taught me what absolute love and devotion is. They are pillars of strength and among the strongest that I know and love.
    Your words tell it all we have seen a miracle yes it seems time for G-d to take this star into his arms and give them peace. I am sure that her star will always shine in our hearts always
    Amen beautiful

    from the East Coast Frankl's

  5. Beautifully written.
    May HaShem grant Stella the peace she deserves and help her family and friends cope. She is one amazing woman.

  6. Erika your kind words will live in me for all of my life. You speak with such clarity and dignity about Stella and her family which may be a greater gift for all of us than you actually know. You are blessed with an amazing ability to write with great force and power yet with such a gentle style. Thank you…

  7. Erika...i wish we were friends. And i wish i would have known your beloved friend, Stella. She sounds marvelous. Your writing ,...your expression of love and appreciation is amazing. You have a gift from God. Fabulous. *jeanie

  8. Thank you for sharing your loving words with strangers as well as family and friends. You are truly blessed to have a friend like her.

  9. Erika, 2 beautiful neshamot, and beautiful, yet torturous words. Thank you for sharing- and we will davern for her star to continue to shine on, always and forever. Because, as we know - this world is only the beginning. xx love Judith Gerzi.