According to Emily Dickenson,
Hope is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
(Click here for the full poem.)
I think the thought of this is lovely. So lovely that I lettered it recently and originally posted it on my other blog.
But as I lettered it, I wondered… what happens if it does stop singing? What then?
After my ecoptic pregnancy, my “thing with feathers” stopped singing… or at the very least it sang so quietly that I couldn’t hear it anymore in the midst of all of my pain. It was a dark time. But I knew I needed to remain hopeful. I knew I needed hope to keep singing in my soul. As my mom has reminded me several times this since June, “hope is vital to our will to survive.” She’s right… But knowing I need it is different than actually harnessing the hope, so in an attempt to build back some hope, I have been collecting things to visually remind me to be hopeful. And to me being hopeful isn’t just having hope that I’ll get pregnant and have a baby — please read my survival post or my introduction to see my thoughts on that — more importantly, I am hopeful that regardless of what happens to us, Matt and I will survive this and be happy.
The first thing I found for my collection of hope was at a gift shop shortly after I was treated for my ectopic pregnancy. At that time I wasn’t even looking for hope. I like to think it found me. There it was, an unusual and beautiful necklace with matching earrings hanging on a jewelry display. Waiting. It spoke to me, and I responded by purchasing it. I have worn my hope necklace many, many, many times since. I’ve worn it to nearly every doctor’s appointment since. I wear it to work, and on the weekends. I even wear it with my comfy clothes. It’s comforting to me. And I think it may be comforting to other people too — many people have commented on it when I’m out and about… maybe it’s reminding them to be hopeful in their lives too.
Ever since I found my hope necklace I have been collecting reminders of hope, and it has been a positive experience for me. The things I have found have helped me to think about hope in different ways and what hope means to me. The searching process has also been almost like an alternative form of affirmation practice for me — while I look in stores and online for reminders that speak to me, I’m thinking of hope over and over while I search. (How’s that for an excuse to go shopping or scroll down, down, down on pinterest?!)
One of the early digital reminders I found that really resonated with me was the saying “Hold On Pain Ends”. It has been a good reminder that regardless of what happens, I know I won’t be in the middle of my infertility forever. At some point it will be resolved in some way. I will never be the same again, but the wound won’t be open and raw for ever. At some point I can start to make some peace with what has happened and some of the pain will subside.
I found some quotes that spoke to me and I lettered a few:
I saved some more quotes on pinterest that I haven’t lettered. Here are a few of them:
And recently my mom sent me a charm for my Origami Owl locket. I had been looking for one for weeks, and as soon as I told her what I was looking for she took it upon herself to find the perfect one and surprised me with a card in the mail. Thanks, Mom.
I won’t say that these reminders have completely cured me of my hopelessness, but I will say that they have helped. Sometimes the hopelessness still hits — infertility and loss are absolutely overwhelming at times. But when the time is right and some of the grief has let up, wearing my reminders of hope and looking at my reminders on pinterest help to keep me trusting that our future is going to be ok. And if it takes a visual reminder on a piece of jewelry to keep me hopeful, to keep my soul singing, so be it — at least I’ll look cute in the meantime.