Letter to the Duggars

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Dear Michelle,

I am so very sorry for the death of sweet Jubilee Shalom.

There is nothing easy about pregnancy loss, and having it occur in the view of the whole world certainly doesn’t make it any easier.

And, there are aspects of our shared Christian faith, you and I, that make the experience more bearable, but there are certainly aspects of the grief journey that are excruciating because of our faith.

When I experienced my own loss, I blogged about it in real time.  It received thousands of views, and drew the comments of well-meaning, but often not well-versed, replies.  I was told things like:

“Now you can focus on your other children better.”

“You shouldn’t have had your children so close together.”

“Having that many children is the sort of mother who would drive her children off of a bridge.”

“Your body wasn’t ready for this baby; it was your fault and you should have waited.”

“Now you don’t have to worry about having a special needs kid.”

“At least you have your other children.”

“At least you have your husband, so be glad that it wasn’t him that died.”

The truth is, none of these things are true.  Losing a baby is hard, and shouldn’t be compared to anything else, by anyone else.  And a war was waged within me, between satan and God.  I was extremely angry, and deeply ashamed that I felt I could not carry my broken heart more gracefully.

I wanted my baby.

And, I know you wanted, and still want, Jubilee Shalom.

Please know, that my heart breaks for you at this time.

In the first few weeks after my loss, I experienced a tremendous amount of various emotions, from deep sadness to extreme anger.  I cried out loud, a lot.  I had some very important conversations with God, and it was an experience that at first attacked my faith, but ultimately served to strengthen it in ways I would have been too weak and too fearful to have obtained on my own.

Please know, that every mother who has come before you here at stillbirthday knows what loss is like.

We know that it doesn’t matter how many children you have; losing one is devastating.

We know that losing our infants brings out parts of ourselves that need a great deal of love, nurturing and care.

We know that there are additional aspects to losing a baby at 19 weeks gestation, including not obtaining a certified birth certificate for sweet Jubilee Shalom, among other things that many other people, not ever impacted by pregnancy loss, do not consider.

I pray that you are shielded from any negative aspects of your public position, and that God will use the very real life, and the very real death, of Jubilee Shalom to strengthen your conviction that your ministry, your public display of family love, is extremely important and valuable.

We, the pregnancy loss community, come from various backgrounds and belief systems.  Not all of the mothers who have been here are Christian and so they do not all align with your family values.

But know this: we ALL welcome you into the community that truly no one ever wants to be a part of.

May God fill your heart with peace as you prepare for Jubilee’s memorial service today, and in the many days to come.  This is only the beginning of your healing journey.

For our readers who would like to keep updated on the Duggar family, please visit the Duggar Family Blog and their original blog here.

This video is Michelle’s letter to her daughter, Jubilee Shalom:

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Comments

  1. Beautiful! Mrs. Duggar, if you read this please know that the community of this website is here for you. This is a safe space of comfort, information, and healing.

  2. teresia mitchell says:

    Mrs. Duggar you and your family have been such an encouragement to me. Thank you so much for allowing the Lord to put you in a position to minister to so many! I no longer have cable so i do not get to watch your family grow there any more but i do follow posts about you on facebook. you continue to bless me! I am so sorry for your loss. I know the death of a baby girl in my 2nd trimester and it is painful and sad. I know too how many times the Lord has been able to use her short beautiful life to impact others for His kingdom. I am praying for you and your family. I know that whether intentional or not He will use this event to encourage many other loss mamas around the world. It is often an event like this that will open the eyes of someone lost to their need for a savior. I pray He uses this event to reveal to others God’s amazing Love and power through suffering! sincerely, Teresia Mitchell birth and bereavement doula north carolina

  3. Love this. I love the Duggar values. All kids are cared for, all kids are afforded, all kids are called a blessing, and because they choose to follow the truth first. I still would support her having more kids and am sad for her loss. Some may say it is her fault but I know that there is a child called Jubilee Shalom in heaven that is waiting for her family who might say one day, “Thank you Mamma for having me, I am still a blessing.”
    …..And I’ll agree in that prayer with Teresia.

  4. Patsy Beshears says:

    Michelle, I have been keeping you and your family in prayer through all of this. I have 7 boys and have had a miscarriage of my own. The pain in my heart was wrenching but I knew that God had his reasons. I praise you for for the love and care you have for your family. It is hard to loose any child at any stage of life but God will get us through this to help us minister to other Moms and families going through this stage of life. I will continue to pray for your family and hope that God will show you his love in every way. Patsy Beshears

  5. Melody Edmisten says:

    Dear Michelle and Family, We were very saddened to hear of your loss of Jubilee Shalom. We know you have the comfort of our Lord in your grief but extend a hand of friendship to you as mothers who have also lost precious members of our families. I delivered a stillborn son Corey Christopher in my eighth month of pregnancy due to spina bifada and anencephaly. It has been many years since my loss but I have not stopped wondering what he would have like and how it would have felt to hold him in my arms and to watch him grow. My hope for you is that you are allowed time to grieve privately and that you know that all of us are praying for you and your family . God bless and keep you all

  6. Dear Michelle,
    May the God of All Comfort pour His strength, blessing, grace and annointing on you. We are so thankful for the great character of our God, so exalted and magnificent, that we can know your sweet child came directly from Him and went directly back to Him. We thank Him for the peace of knowing, because of Who He is, that one day your family and Jubilee will be reunited in the perfection of Glory.
    Peace.

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