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How Mary Healed My Heart on the Feast of the Assumption

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I vividly remember not wanting to even go to Mass that Assumption morning. The anxiety and stress were eating me alive…yet that day something changed in my heart.


by Heidi Indahl


Since my stillbirth ten years ago, I have struggled with severe anxiety during pregnancy. This is so unsurprising to most people, that it hardly seems remarkable. Yet during a specific pregnancy with my daughter Lucie, it became so strong that I struggled to function at all by the time I reached my third trimester. I was simply living life waiting for her to die.

I knew this was not a healthy reaction, yet none of my normal coping techniques worked to get me back on track.

I vividly remember not wanting to even go to Mass that Assumption morning, towards the end of my third trimester. I awkwardly knelt for prayers and prepared to participate in Mass locked in a cloud of worry and hopelessness. I did my best to show everyone that I was OK…but I was very much not OK.

The anxiety and stress were eating me alive.

Yet that day something changed in my heart. Quiet tears and pleading, desperate prayers before Mass that day did far more healing than any coping technique. A very real, very physical burden was lifted from my heart. For those familiar with the chest-gripping pain of an anxiety attack, it was like someone snapped their fingers and the ropes tying my heart and lungs and chest together all snapped.

When I was working on the manuscript for Blessed Is the Fruit of Thy Womb: Rosary Reflections for Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss I stayed with the reflection for the Assumption quite some time.  I wanted to tell this story, but it didn’t seem to fit the mystery.  I ended up briefly referring to my Assumption conversion of the heart in the introduction and writing about another aspect for the actual reflection.

In fifteen years of living life after loss, the truth is there is more to most of the reflections included in the text. The book is written, but the stories are still untold. Not just mine, but yours.

This fall I am launching a new Facebook discussion group for moms based on the text, specifically dedicated to the spiritual side of healing following pregnancy and infant loss. The group will be focused on prayer, support, and spiritual encouragement. You may think of it as having friends help you write your own version of Blessed Is the Fruit of Thy Womb, based on your own experiences. While owning a copy of the book is encouraged, it is in no way required for participation.  

The group is in the early days of getting to know each other and we would love to have you join us! Starting in September. I will be sharing a weekly video with an in-depth, expanded look at one of the mysteries of the rosary. Throughout each week we will pray together, share our struggles, and encourage one another in continued growth. No matter if your loss was one week ago or thirty years, you are welcome!

Calling on Mary. Supporting Each Other. Growing Through Loss.

Follow Jerry Windley-Daoust:

Publisher, Gracewatch Media

Jerry Windley-Daoust is a writer, editor, and father of five. He writes essays and stories at Windhovering and is the show-runner for Gracewatch Media, a small Catholic publisher. You can follow his latest publishing projects at gracewatch.org.

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