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.