Two years ago to the day, I sat in my doctor’s office crying my heart out.
She informed me that we had lost our baby. I was about 6 weeks pregnant and my heart could not have been more full of love for our teeny little baby! My heart was broken into a million pieces.
As I type this, my heart has mended a little, but there will always be a part that remains broken, that aches about our loss. Grief changes. It comes in waves, ebbing and flowing but it never goes away. I will always grieve this loss. Infertility & miscarriage have changed me, forever. I have experienced a darkness and sorrow like no other. When your dream of having a child is basically shattered time after time, it’s heartbreaking! It’s brutal watching your family and friends continue on with life, building a family…and you’re left behind, wishing it could just happen for you and wondering if it ever will.
I feel like with infertility & miscarriage, everything is a reminder of what I can’t seem to get a hold of.
Also of what I’ve lost. Just the sight of a cute little baby onesie in Chapters has been enough to break me. Not to mention scrolling through social media and seeing pregnancy announcements, baby bump photos, cute little videos of babbling babies, and then of course there’s always someone asking you if you have, or want children…it’s never ending. The reminders of what causes your heart to break the most are everywhere and it can be exhausting.
A few years ago, I was browsing Pinterest when I saw a quote. It looked like someone’s quick cursive writing in black, on a white background and it read,
“Courage, dear heart”.
I don’t know what it was, but those three words struck a chord with me and have meant so much to me ever since. I decided to google this quote one day and found out that it was from a book and I’d love to share the context with you because I found it to be very beautiful and powerful.
“Courage, dear heart” is from C.S Lewis’ book The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. This story is about a ship that is sailing on a journey to find 7 missing lords who have been exiled. Throughout this journey, they face many obstacles. In chapter 12, they are travelling through complete darkness and it is seeming as though they will never get out. Lucy whispers, “Aslan, Aslan, if you ever loved us at all, please send help now”. (Aslan is the main character, “The Great Lion” in all of the Chronicle of Narnia books).
Later on, they see a tiny speck of light, which turns out to be an albatross. It circles the ship three times and then proceeds to perch itself on the ship, speaking words that no one understood. The book reads, “But no one except Lucy knew that as it circled the mast it had whispered to her, “Courage, dear heart” and the voice, she felt sure, was Aslan, and with the voice a delicious smell breathed in her face. In a few moments the darkness turned into a greyness ahead, and then, almost before they dared to begin hoping, they had shot out into the sunlight and were in the warm, blue world again. And all at once everybody realized that there was nothing to be afraid of and never had been.”
This quote, and especially the context, gives me chills right down my spine. The last 5 years have been filled with pain, grief, uncertainty, fear, hopelessness and despair. I have felt like Lucy, stuck on ship on rocky waters and in complete darkness. Those words brought Lucy comfort and strength to continue and they have done the same for me. I can imagine someone who loves me immensely whispering these three simple words to me after a meltdown, a sleepless night, a pregnancy announcement, or a really hard day and the words are enough to keep me going, to face another day, to breathe, to smile, to laugh.
Courage, dear heart – these words are gentle and kind. The very opposite of infertility & loss.
This week, memories of our miscarriage are at the forefront of my thoughts. This quote is now in a large frame in our living room. Seeing it daily is a gentle reminder that I am okay, to keep my heart up and to keep on going.
My hope for you is that you can find something that gives you hope in despair and peace in your grief. You are not alone.