Richelle Perkins absolutely understands the importance of healing through music, as a singer/songwriter she has used it as her own therapy to work through the many struggles she has encountered.
In 2005, Richelle lost both a son and daughter (twins). Andrew and Hannah were born premature and only lived a total of three hours. “I say they died in my arms, but they really were too small...they died in my hands.”
Richelle and her husband had gone through extensive and expensive procedures to grow their family, and were absolutely devastated. While trying to cope with this horrible loss Richelle’s life began to spiral out of control and the losses continued.
Richelle became overwhelmed with physical pain throughout her body that doctors kept telling her was in her head or was a result of depression. Outrageous medical findings continued to land her in the hospital such as a blood clot, a mini stroke, seizures, burning sensation in her legs, the list goes on. But doctors dismissed Richelle’s concerns and excruciating chronic pain over and over again. Rumors began to spread at her job.
By the time Richelle was finally diagnosed with lupus (www.lupus.org for more information), she had been hospitalized 12 times in two years, had seen 34 medical practitioners of which 17 were medical doctors and Richelle was days away, possibly hours away from dying. Her marriage had already ended. She was in financial ruin. She lost custody of her older children because she could no longer take care of them. She lost her house. Co-workers, family and friends were nowhere to be found. She was destitute and devastated and her new boyfriend of two years finally abandoned her after she became depressed and finally suicidal. A disability panel awarded her social security disability on the first application without an attorney and no need to appeal on the basis of lupus. Richelle finally found a doctor who treated her aggressively with chemotherapy, immuno-suppressants and steroids and she found someone to manage her pain.
By the end of 2009, Richelle sat in an apartment with nothing and no one, totally devastated after barely surviving this horrendous storm. The shock and emotional pain were much too devastating to even describe and her coping mechanisms or lack thereof, scared people away. All she had was her piano.
Slowly she gained confidence and she began writing songs about her experiences, which helped her tremendously. Finally, she asked herself “what do I have to lose? Everything and everyone is gone.” So she purchased what equipment she could to record and to perform, starting with open mics. Richelle quickly progressed in her music, in both writing and recording. She was even selected to record on a compilation album for lupus awareness.
"Jealous of the Angels touched my heart so much. Everyone used to tell me my twins were angels in heaven now. They would have started kindergarten this year... Thank you for touching the hearts of those experiencing loss. It helps them to know they are not alone."
Richelle’s story is a struggle. She has been through so much. She and her husband wanted a baby so badly that they went through IVF. I’m sure when they found out she had become pregnant they were overwhelmed with joy! After months of planning and becoming excited to meet them, their time here on earth was so short.
“At their funeral, which we had to have because they were born alive....and for several months and years later...people kept telling me oh they are little angels watching over you. And I remember thinking...doesn't God have enough angels? I want them with me.”
Although Richelle faced so many additional challenges after losing the twins, she turned it around and found peace through music and writing songs. (www.richelleperkins.com). There are countless women out there who have gone through similar loss, and Richelle is using her voice to reach them and help them know that they aren’t alone. Richelle’s story also reminds us that it is never to late to channel painful energy into something incredible
Richelle and I are two of the songwriters on a song called “Bring Her Home,” written for Holly Bobo, a girl who was kidnapped in Decatur County, TN. Although we never sat in the same room writing together, and don't know Holly personally, it has been amazing to work on a song that is in support of a family in search of their little girl. As Richelle said, "I really feel for Holly Bobo's parents. And I couldn't imagine knowing my child was out there somewhere. Mine have gone home." They are in both our prayers.
If "Jealous of the Angels" has touched your heart and/or you have a story that you'd like to share please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.