In a famously big family, Jill Duggar Dillard is well-known for being close to her sisters. But while TV viewers tune in to “Counting On” to see Jill and younger sister Jessa Duggar Seewald, there’s another Duggar sister whom Jill wants people to remember.
Tragically, Jubilee Shalom Duggar was stillborn. Her heart had stopped beating three days before her birth.
Despite her too-short life, Jubilee is still remembered by her family. On what would have been Jubilee’s fifth birthday, Jill shared a tribute to her youngest sister via Instagram:
“5 years ago today my mom gave birth to my youngest little sister, Jubilee Shalom Duggar and Jesus welcomed her home to Heaven!”
Images of Jubilee’s tiny feet and hand accompanied the post as Jill remembered how beautiful her baby sister had been:
“She is a testimony to every life being beautiful; at 18 weeks gestation, she was a beautiful baby with little blue eyes, 10 fingers & 10 toes! She weighed 4 oz. and was 6 inches long.”
Most touching of all was when Jill wrote that she can’t wait for the day when she will meet Jubilee again. She says:
“We miss you Jubilee and look forward to meeting you one day in Heaven!”
Despite the emotional nature of Jill’s message, a few commenters criticized her for posting photos of her stillborn sister.
However, the critics were outnumbered by those who remembered Jubilee and sympathized with the Duggars’ pain. One commenter wrote:
“I remember crying for her. The way the family honored her was such a beautiful testimony to how precious life is.”
Jill and her family might take some comfort in knowing Jubilee’s story has helped others. Many wrote about their own experiences with loss:
“Watching your mom and the rest of your family deal with the loss of sweet Jubilee, helped me just a few months later, when I lost my baby at 10 weeks. I always remembered how your mom cried, ‘The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away,’ and it blessed me so much. … But I wouldn’t bring my baby back if I could, as I’m sure she wouldn’t hers either…they are in the most beautiful, safe place!”
In fact, Jill’s message struck a chord. There were many commenters who understood exactly how it feels to have an “angel child”:
“Jubilee is up in heaven with my angel baby Jimmy who was stillborn at 39wks a few months ago. I admire your Mom’s strength going through something so tragic and so publicly while also keeping her other children’s hearts in mind.”
“5 years already. Wow. This will be year 8 for us. No matter how many children there are, the gap is still there even if the joy is full.”
More grieving moms chimed in to remember a child that they can’t wait to meet in heaven:
“I doubt you all read every comment but I’m sorry for your loss. … I’m thankful for my 6 babies on earth but my heart is always longing to meet my other babies in heaven.”
“I lost my sweet baby girl at 20 weeks 1 day. It’s been a little over a month and this is exactly what I needed to see. I can’t wait to meet her in heaven one day and I know she’s there waiting for me!”
One commenter summed up with heart-wrenching simplicity exactly what was behind Jill’s wish— and the wish of so many others:
“It’s the only hope that we have, see them in heaven. Thank you for sharing.”