The Post without a Title

Posted on October 30th, 2013

I’ve been meaning to post for awhile.

I just have not been able to find the right words to express what is going on.

There are some situations that are truly beyond words. And it feels that the nightmare within a nightmare within a nightmare that we are now in twenty-four hours/day is one of them.

Stella was “fine” until last Tuesday. No, she wasn’t really fine. But we were able to go out for a dinner, she made sushi with her mom. We even took in a concert at the local Matnas. So things weren’t terrible.

In an instant everything changed. No, it should not have been surprising what happened. We all were fully aware that with no more treatments that could arrest the spread of the cancer, it would at some point become aggressive and spread. So it wasn’t surprising.

It was shocking.

The cancer viciously took over and shut down her liver. She lost even more weight. She became unsteady on her feet. I need to carry her the few times she can get out of bed.

And each day, she has longer bouts of “confusion.” This disease is leaving no part of her body unscathed.

So now.


Now. there are no words that can accurately describe what it feels like to watch the pillar of your life disintegrate before your eyes. Every time I think things can’t get worse, they do.

I find myself checking her breathing all the time and trying to brace myself.

We are stuck in a painful limbo. It feels like when you crash on a bike. For a split second you are in the air, above the handlebars, and you wonder just how much the landing will hurt and how much permanent damage you will do.

But a million times worse.

An explosion is coming, any time. And I just can’t comprehend how huge it will be.

At least until last week, Stella and I could sit together and talk about fond memories we have collected over so many years. We could watch television together, and she could still crack a smile.

But not any more.

I would ask for continued prayers, but I don’t even know what we are praying for. No one should have to live like this.

We fought hard. We were fierce. Stella gave the battle everything she had.

And never — not a single time — did she lose her temper, express fear, or lash out.

All she has said is that she hates putting all of “us” through this.

If there ever is a model of kindness, gratitude, and modesty, it has been Stella.

We are still holding on to every minute.

But honestly, I don’t know how many are left.

Yarden Frankl, Neve Daniel

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  1. Karen Eisenberg says:

    Thank you for posting — many of us have wondered what was going on but did not want to ask.

    You may not know what to pray for, but I think I do. For peace. For the absence of physical pain. And for the strength to deal with what comes next.

  2. carla friedman says:

    I sent you love and strength. I send you peace and the knowing that your love has sustained Stella and Stella’s love has sustained all of you. I pray for a gentleness and Hashem’s kindness for you all.

  3. Arabella says:

    Love and prayers to all of you. It is past our mind’s s ever comprehending how the kindest and sweetest of souls have to go through what cancer does to them. It leaves us only able to appreciate intensely our sharing wavelengths and time with them during our time on the planet. Hug the kids. Will be thinking of you.

  4. Paul Goldstein says:

    What do we doven for? Perhaps that things should go well for Tzuria Kochaved bas Sara, that Hashem should take care of her.

  5. Nava says:

    Sometimes it’s not so much what we daven for than what we daven to be — to stick close to Hashem and each other.

    Stella and Yarden, hold on, we love you.

  6. Rachel Moore says:

    Our hearts are breaking for you, with you…. I so wish there was more that we could do. There are people all over the world – and down your street, and around the corner, here to pick you up and hold your whole family and continue to cry and pray with you….

  7. Eric and Lori Solat says:

    crying.. and praying for you both.. thinking of you both.. sending virtual hugs..

  8. Zefi & Dorron says:


  9. Binyamin Farber says:

    Our prayers are with you

  10. Iris says:

    Thank you for writing and sharing what’s happening at such a difficult time. We continue to send strength and love. Thank goodness, Stella has you. Praying for you both.

  11. Brian Miller says:

    Stella isn’t the only who is a “a model of kindness, gratitude, and modesty”. Give yourself some credit, Yarden.
    You both have touched my life as well as many others in ways that are unimaginable. Stella has accomplished in her 46 years more than I could even dream of if I live to 120.
    I am davening that Hashem will make what ever his plan is as easy as possible for you all. Maybe, one day we will understand what doesn’t make any sense to us today. I thank Hashem that I have had the Frankls as a part of my life for the past 17 years and look forward to having you in my life for a very long time.

  12. Jay says:

    Yarden, no words to express…..your personal combat medic is at the ready should you want/need anything. Truly call on me if I can be of any help,

    With all the Frankl’s deep in our thoughts and prayers, Jay

  13. Adina Gewirtz says:

    I wish there was something to say that would ease your pain, and your family’s pain, and Stella’s pain. But all we can do is say that our hearts and our minds are with you, and that you are not going through this alone. Thank you for sharing, and I pray that you will continue to have the strength you need.

  14. Samara says:

    A very painful read. What an incredible woman. Our thoughts and prayers are always with you both and the kids as well.

  15. Greg Neilsen says:

    Yarden Praying for You, Stella and your family. I pray for her peace and comfort. Please know that everyone who Stella touched is saddened. Accept the comfort, even though it can not ease the pain, offered by those around you- online and in your neighborhood.

  16. Adina W says:

    My thoughts and prayers are still with you and your family, Coach. Be strong for yourself, your dear kids, and most of all, for Stella.

  17. rachel himels says:

    you have been incredible guides to all of us during this difficult time. There is so much respect love and awe at what is happening that words themselves are limiting. Only know that every second with you both is one incredible zechut that has changed all our lives forever. May we only know Shalom.

  18. Joshua Frankl says:

    Dear Cousins
    Your words are ever so eloquent. Filled with love, devotion, gratitude and grace. Please know we are thinking of you all, of your fight and challenges. No words could adequately demonstrate my compassion and sadness that I, we, feel. you all have so much adoration for one another. A wonderful and everlasting example to us all. Continued loving thoughts of peace and comfort to you all. With much love, JWF

  19. Steven Wolinsky says:

    We continue to daven for you, Stella and the family. We wish all of you only the best.

  20. Shaine Spolter says:

    I wish your whole family the strength to cope with this difficult time. It is touching to see such a warm love.

  21. Carol Ginsberg says:

    Every day I ask G-d to watch pver Stella and your family. Our hearts and prayers are you

  22. June Fooksman says:

    I’ve been following your journey through your postings. Sending positive thoughts and prayers. We don’t understand, we just follow Hashems plan. I wish no one has to endure this pain. So sorry for this difficult time for all of you.
    June Steinberg Fooksman

  23. laurie cohen says:

    Yarden. We are saddened and strenghthened by your words of love. The love for Stella and by Stella and your whole family. !y prayers are for Hashem to give you strenghth and comfort in this terrible difficult time. We are with you.

  24. Robert Rubinoff says:

    Yarden – You and Stella are in all of our hearts and prayers. I wish I could be as eloquent as you are to express how deeply I and everyone here in Potomac feels.
    All I can say is that there are many people here who would do anything to lessen the challenge you and Stella are facing.

  25. Irene says:

    Thinking of you every day. We send our prayers

  26. Sheila Rinde says:

    We pray for all of you to find Shalom and Comfort and to give it all over to G-d. It is G-d’s World and we all attempt to do our part to fulfill all that we need to do while we are here in Ruchneas and Goshmeas. May G-d Bless all of you with all that you need at this time in all ways as you go forward. Love the Rinde family

  27. Haya says:

    Huggs to all

  28. Shira says:

    Sending you much strength and thinking of you all.

  29. Karyn London says:

    No words to speak but there are words in all our hearts and they are, as always words of prayer. Prayer that Stella feel no pain while you all continue to make every minute , every second as cherished the one before it.
    We pray for your strength and courage and for peace for all of you.

  30. Chava Levin says:

    Yarden, I will daven for you and the children — that you have the strength to get through this nightmare (what an anemic word for what you have described), and the courage to rebuild your lives together in time. And I will daven for Stella that she passes easily when her time comes to pass. And I hereby dedicate my learning, from today on through her eventual shloshim, as a merit for her and eventually an aliyas nefesh.

    It sounds, and has sounded all along, that this is harder on you than on her. Draw on her reserves of strength, courage, grace, trust, belief and hope — they will be there for you when you are ready for them, since you are one neshama in two bodies.

    I only met Stella once, although I feel that I know her well by your blog. And I would like to share with you what I told her at Dovid Eastman’s wedding: Stella has inspired me to be a much better person. I have a number of chronic medical conditions, none of which are as serious or life-threatening as hers. And the grace and courage she has, the emuna and bitachon she has, the always-present smile she wears, have served to show me that I, too, do not need to succumb to my disabilities. I owe her a debt of gratitude that I don’t see how I can ever repay.

  31. Chava M says:

    I don’t doubt that Gd knows how to pull off surprise miracles. I daven for her constantly. May you celebrate many more sweet moments together.

  32. Nina says:

    I had mixed feelings about seeing you out with Baley. I was glad you had your furry four legged best friend, fresh Neve Daniel air, body movement (even that much is exercise compared to sitting in place) and your music. But, I also knew you were out and needed some mental, physical, emotional…. escape, release, refresh….. My prayers and friendship go out to you from a distance.

  33. Shraga Simmons says:

    Davening for you, for Stella, and for your kids.

  34. Victor Ofstein says:

    sending love

  35. Dan Ostroff says:

    Stella and you are and will remain a source of inspiration for many people.

  36. Paula Stern says:

    When words fail a writer…I have been reading your posts for so long; we’ve kind of met on the peripheral; I was at a wedding one time and turned around and realized I was standing next to Stella – again, passing on the peripheral. Friends of friends, and all that. I’ve been following the blog for a while, each time dreading to come here, each time grateful to read your posts, to read about Stella’s incredible courage…and yours.

    I wish you…God, I wish you both so much. I am praying for you both, for your family and community.

  37. Bentzi Spitz says:

    We are praying for you and hoping for the best.

  38. Aviva says:

    Stella’s will always be among the brightest stars in heaven. She will stay with me whenever I look up. She has blessed us all with her life. As have you. Hashem should grant you, Stella, the kids and your family strength and some peace at this very difficult time. Sending you hugs and a lot of love.

  39. שרה says:

    אני קוראת כבר זמן מה את מה שאתה כותב במייל של נוה דניאל
    זה נוגע ללב מלא אהבה והתמסרות
    ראיתי אתכם בערב לזכר אלישיב לוביץ ולבי יצא אליכם
    אלו המצבים שקשה למצוא להם את המילים הנכונות
    היו שלום

  40. Moshe Feldman says:


    I pray that Hashem gives you and your family the emotional strength to deal with the gut-wrenching difficulties you describe. May Hashem have mercy on Stella.


  41. toby says:

    We’re praying for all of you, may things only get better!

  42. Lior & Tzila Salomon says:

    For over two years we have followed this blog and you are both (yes, you too Yarden) truly an inspiration to us all. Your story has changed our outlook on life and will continue to change and enrich many peoples lives. We hope that Stella will feel no more pain and that you and the children will have the strength to carry on. We continue to pray for a miracle and thank you for everything you have given us.

  43. Susan Lilly says:

    Robert and I are thinking of you and your family. Be strong. Stella has been blessed to have your enormous love and support, as much as you have been blessed with her love and smile and humongous spirit.

  44. Avigail Stern says:

    Words cannot express the pain we are feeling with you. We really appreciate you writing at such hard times, as you are in our hearts and minds constantly..and always concered, wondering and hoping for maybe better news .. Was very hard to get through the writing .. You do continue to be role models for us all at the hardest of times- may Hashem give you all strength, peace and have mercy and show love to your entire dear family. We love you Stella, Yarden and dear Frankel children

  45. Write – Talk – Share – Express – This is one of the best parts of being Human – And your words, your pain shared – will help someone else going through their own pain regardless of the circumstance – just knowing “no one is alone” – “you are not alone” – “he or she is not alone” – we are each a part of this universal consciousness, connected through time and space – connected through pain and love – we are one in the same…To Stella, I remember so clearly meeting you for the first and only time when you and Yarden came to our house (in California) to speak to a small group of people about Honest Reporting and the good work that was being done – I remember feeling totally flabbergasted when I realized my inability to come up with something “truly Kosher,” except that which I had only found last minute at our local Trader Joes – Both you & Yarden graciously accepted some grapes and apples 😉 Stella, what stands out in my mind so clearly is the genuine beauty of your soul – hopefully, this does not sound corny! But, I truly felt as if you bore a genuine kindness that came from deep within, a deeply-rooted peace, a happy confidence that usually comes from truly knowing who you are, an acceptance of life and all of its boundless conditions. Your smile is beautiful and your heart is open – what a gift you are to others, a supreme example of “the best in humanity”… You have made an indelible (sp?) imprint on my heart and it looks like that of the same, you have touched the hearts of so many others… What a bright light you are – thank you for being YOU, a beautiful example of graciousness and love in this world! Stella, you are extremely special and I intend to follow your example and live my life with the graciousness of your soul as my guiding post…

  46. Sharon Freundel says:

    I will continue praying to Hashem to give you all strength to get through this most difficult of all times that anyone can imagine. Chizku v’imtzu.

  47. rina says:

    For the last few months I have wanted to reach out to you – but I never could find how to express myself. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of you both. Especially Stella. Not because she is sick, but because she has made such a positive impact on so many people – including me. I have always wanted to tell her that – that she has given so much to this world. Out of all the memories I have of Stella – the one I want to share with you – is one that I dont think anyone else would know. Years ago, Stella came to visit my high school students at Bnai Israel. She spoke to them about her Jewish journey – and it amazed me how each student sat riveted by her and her story. It gave them hope, strength, and most important pride. They found pride in being Jewish by meeting Stella. Like everyone else you have come in contact with – I see the bright, humble, special soul in you. With love, Rina

  48. R. & R Frankl says:

    We wish for you the strength to endure this pain (both physical and mental) that you are experiencing. You both are extremely courageous and going through unbearable pressure and there is unfortunately nothing that we can do except to tell you that we love you, pray for you and wish that there were more.
    Aunt Rhea and Uncle Bob

  49. R. & R Frankl says:

    It is difficult to read about the devastating pain that you are both enduring, both physically and mentally. The courage that you are demonstrating is amazing and we can only love you and pray for you and wish that we could do more.
    Aunt Rhea and Uncle Bob

  50. Ruth S. says:

    no words.. my heart is breaking for you and your family.

  51. Jill Shames says:

    Prayers , love and deep admiration. You are all walking this road the best way you can. Hang onto one another and קוה אל השם. What to pray for? A perfect healing, as usual… Leaving the exact interpretation up to the One Who Formed Us.

  52. Kiwi Noa says:

    Oh how hard for you both! I have been through some of what you are going through recently, and I can only share your pain and say you are doing everything you can, and more. You have left nothing unspoken, you have shared every step of the road with your beloved, and you have always said all the kind and loving things a husband is supposed to. You have fought a terrible battle with Stella, and she knows that. You will never have to chide yourself and think “I could have done more for her”. You have done everything humanly possible. I don’t know you personally, and even I have “seen” that. I am not trying to make you feel better, I’m just stating a few facts, with no personal bias. The future for both of you is in the arms of he who created you both. with prayers from the ends of the earth.