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« on: Nov 05, 2009 03:03 PM »


If this doesn't touch your heart....

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Back to Dying 6-year-old girl leaves love notes behind
Dying 6-year-old girl leaves love notes behind
November 05, 2009

Andrea Gordon

 

 
From the moment she first picked up a crayon, Elena Desserich loved to draw. Even as a preschooler, her favourite gifts were pastels, markers and blank notebooks.

So it wasn't unusual for Keith and Brooke Desserich to find their little girl's trademark purple hearts and "I love you" notes on scraps of paper and stray envelopes all over their suburban Cincinnati home.

But it wasn't until weeks after their 6-year-old died of cancer that they realized she had left hundreds of messages planted in nooks and crannies for her parents and little sister, Grace, to stumble upon after she was gone.

Each one they find – tucked into bookshelves, dishes in the china cabinet, corners of dresser drawers, bags of stored clothing – is like she's sending "a little hug," say her mom and dad.

"She's giving us a little message saying that everything's going to be all right," Keith said in a phone interview Wednesday.

Elena was only 5 years old when doctors diagnosed pediatric brain cancer. They said she had 4 1/2 months to live. But she made it to almost nine months.

Her parents didn't tell her the prognosis; in retrospect they say she must have somehow known as her small body started to fail her.

Since her death more than two years ago, the discoveries of what she left behind have grown fewer and further between. There was nothing for six months. And then last week, there she was again, inside a Strawberry Shortcake notebook in the back of the cupboard tucked behind the game of Candyland.

"I love you Mom, Dad and Grace," she had written inside a heart with arrows.

Keith doesn't remember the first one she left because for awhile, he and Brooke thought her notes were part of the daily household clutter that had accumulated over the years.

"But after you get to 20 or 30 you realize this isn't just scraps," he says. "We don't even know when her notes started. We have three Rubbermaid boxes full." There could be 300, they haven't counted.

Elena left them for her grandmother too, and even a great-aunt's Chihuahua she adored, who stood guard at her bedside until the end.

While they offer a powerful source of comfort to those who adored her, Elena's family believes they contain a universal message too: cherish the small moments in life; be present for those you love.

The girl with a ladylike fondness for headbands, tights with polka dots and anything lacy or pink was also "a wise soul," says her dad.

"She found grace even in the smallest details."

Her parents hope to carry her message and her example in their newly-published book Notes Left Behind, a series of their journal entries during Elena's last months, written for her sister, along with samples of her messages and artwork.

Proceeds go to the research foundation the Desserichs created called The Cure Starts Now Foundation (www.thecurestartsnow.org).

Keith doesn't know how many bits of paper are still waiting to be found. Each new one is wrenching, but at the same time he never wants them to end.

That's why one letter he found in an envelope inside his briefcase still remains sealed. So too does another that had been slipped into Brooke's backpack.

Keith doesn't believe he'll ever open it, even though to him, this letter is the most important one.

"There's something wonderful about knowing there's always one more message from Elena."


Six-year-old Elena Desserich is shown in February 2007 in an unfinished playhouse built by her father, Keith. Elena died of brain cancer later that year but left notes and pictures for her family all over their Cincinnati home, hiding them in bookshelves and drawers. “That’s my favourite picture of her,” her father told the Star.

PHOTO COURTESY OF DESSERICH FAMILY

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/721390--dying-6-year-old-girl-leaves-love-notes-behind?bn=1

Your heart will not truly open until you understand Surah 21 : Verse 92  (Al-Anbiya: The Prophets)

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« Reply #1 on: Nov 06, 2009 03:55 AM »

That is so terribly sad Sad How do kids that young get cancer?  :'(
Nafs
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« Reply #2 on: Nov 06, 2009 05:29 PM »

I remember a few years back I was at a gathering...and I went upstairs to pray...and in the next room I saw three little girls looking out the window at all the kids playing downstairs in those big jumping bag things...

I think the girl in the middle wanted to go down but the other one who was a little bit older was like "no you're sick ..you cant go" ... and so I walked into the room and started talking to them ..and the sick girl was very quiet and just stared at me... until she was showing me that she was sick..she picked up her shirt and her belly area was all black ... I can't remember everything clearly...but I remember it broke my heart to see this child ... so full of sadness.

May Allah tala protect them inshaAllah.
doninapond
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« Reply #3 on: Nov 14, 2009 07:09 PM »

It isn't sad.
Allah gives and he takes away. Being given something for a little while is better than not being given anything at all. Some people don't have any children so people who are given a dying child should thank Allah and be grateful.
That girl who died was too young to sin, that means she is Jannah! How can anyone be sad for her when she is so happy?
I've been told my child is about to die loads of times. It isn't upsetting at all, because if he doesn't die now, he'll die in 60 years time. What is the difference other then the fact he would be saved from 50 years of sin?
When a child dies from something that isn't caused by Human neglect, what is there to be sad about?
So I wasn't upset when I was told what that girl's parents were, because I didn't do anything bad. So being told your child is about to die isn't something really bad like missing a salat.

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« Reply #4 on: Nov 14, 2009 07:21 PM »

Salams,

I don't think that's really true. I can't imagine the loss of carrying, giving birth to a child and having him/her for a short while. There really is no love like it on the earth. And this loss affects you all of your life. It's not the same as never having a child. Yes the child is in Jannah, but the human being is a human being.

Remember when Rasulullah saw lost Ibrahim, his beloved infant son. He cried. A lot. And when people asked, like you have, why do you cry? He said, “Eyes are tearful, hearts are in sorrow, but we only say what pleases our Lord. We are certainly sad that you, Ibraheem, has left us.”

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« Reply #5 on: Nov 14, 2009 07:54 PM »

salam

The pain of not being able to have a child is completely and utterly different from that of losing a child.

You can rationalise it, that the child has not time to sin, it could also be that this child has no time grow up and do a great deal of good either in that case.

It's gut wrenchingly, heartbreakingly awful when anything happens to ones children, seeing ones children in pain is unbearable in itself, for any parent to suffer the loss of a child, well I cannot even begin to imagine the earth shattering pain of it.

One persons approach is no reflection on how another will respond to any  given situation. One persons indifference or resilience does not make another persons mind losing anguish any less valid.

It would pretty much finish me off I think to lose my babies, my mind refuses to even go anywhere near the notion.

We've a parent on this board who has suffered this grief, please don't belittle a persons grief. It's human to feel the pain of loss.




Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
doninapond
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« Reply #6 on: Nov 15, 2009 12:04 AM »

salam

The pain of not being able to have a child is completely and utterly different from that of losing a child.

You can rationalise it, that the child has not time to sin, it could also be that this child has no time grow up and do a great deal of good either in that case.

It's gut wrenchingly, heartbreakingly awful when anything happens to ones children, seeing ones children in pain is unbearable in itself, for any parent to suffer the loss of a child, well I cannot even begin to imagine the earth shattering pain of it.

One persons approach is no reflection on how another will respond to any  given situation. One persons indifference or resilience does not make another persons mind losing anguish any less valid.

It would pretty much finish me off I think to lose my babies, my mind refuses to even go anywhere near the notion.

We've a parent on this board who has suffered this grief, please don't belittle a persons grief. It's human to feel the pain of loss.




Wassalaam



I agree that the pain of not having a child is not like losing one. That was my point. People who have had one should be grateful for what they were given even though Allah took it back because there are people who will give anything for a child. Even if it is for a very short time.

Unlike in Christianity, we Muslims do believe that children are sinless, and will go to heaven if they die. Allah is the one that decided on that child's death. How can anyone be upset by the decry of Allah?

I don't think it would finish you off because you are Muslim and you believe in the next life so you will know that the child is in a better place than you could ever provide for it. If you were an atheist, yes I believe it would have finished you, because than you will believe your child is nothing anymore, and if it was painful you would believe all it had or will ever have is pain. And if you were a Christian and your child was unbaptised it will finish you off because you would believe your child is in limbo and have no hope of ever getting in to heaving. And if you believed in one of the dermic religions well that would be really bad because you would believe that your child must have did something really bad in a previous life for this to happen to them. But as a Muslim, you believe it is just what Allah decided for you and your child, and what your child has now is better than what they would have had on Earth.
And this isn't bad at all.

In regards to your last sentence, read my post you were replying to again. And remember that I am not talking out of ignorance when I say:
The process isn't as upsetting as you think. It isn't as upsetting as missing a salat at the correct time, because missing a salat is due to the person own inaction while the death of a child from something like this is to do with the decry of Allah.
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« Reply #7 on: Nov 15, 2009 10:45 AM »

salam


The pain of not having a child is different in that it is incomparable to the pain of losing a child. It's like comparing cheese and wood, there is no basis for comparison.

The reaction you think you would have at the loss of a child does not invalidate the grief of a parent who has suffered the loss.

I think it's regardless of religion, yes most religious people can find solace in their religion, but the heart doesn't always react in accordance to what the head thinks/knows.

And, you know absolutely nothing about me, you cannot know my reaction to such a horrendous situation.

Btw, Catholicism got rid of limbo a while ago.

I personally find nothing strange/wrong in grief for the loss of a child, regardless of religious affiliation of the grieving.


Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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