layers

cherub1.jpg
garden cherub, Canon 300D

It seems that there are layers to this healing process. The surface layer seems to be healed. When people ask how I am, I can say truthfully, “Good. Tender, but good.” But there are still layers below the surface that haven’t healed yet. I find that I still get irritated easily, cry easily, get moved easily. Pregnant women are hard to look at. I am prone to feeling jealous and afraid.

I think about what Matt and I went through and it brings tears to my eyes. There is still so much sadness there. I think about days when I was so happy to be pregnant I would grin my way down the street, (my blessed secret), feeling so buoyant as I moved through the world. It seems like a cruel joke that on those same days I didn’t know how little life there actually was inside.

I am sad that there is no justice in all of this. I am sad that good people, good parents, experience losses far greater than this. I am sad that families who desperately want kids can’t always have them and that other parents abuse theirs.

During college, I broke my leg and had to wear a cast that went clear up to my hip. I worked in a coffee house in an old church in Santa Barbara at the time and so I hung out there a lot in the afternoons. I remember sitting outside with a tea one day and one of the regular customers picked up my foot and began massaging my toes. He said sweetly, “So what’s the gift in this for you?” (as if to say, “So why did you choose this?”) and I had to think long and hard because I saw absolutely no gift in it at all.

Nevertheless, the question swirled in my mind for months. I could see later that it was the first time in my life that I allowed myself to receive, without keeping score, without feeling like I owed anyone or that I wasn’t worthy. For 6 months I couldn’t walk, grocery shop, drive, etc.. I missed a lot of classes because they were simply too far away and I was too exhausted to make my way across campus.

People helped me all day long and I had to graciously accept. They toted my books, did my dishes, and quite literally, carried me places. Everyone had to help me ALL the time. After a while there were too many people to owe! and I had to finally surrender and simply practice saying, thank you, thank you, thank you.

*

There have been many gifts in this. In the past month we have felt every kindness as it came, we have felt the depth of our friendships and the inherent generosity of human beings. We have felt empathy for others who have lost something they loved, and have felt the deep, indelible bond of partnership and love.

It has made Matt and I stronger, brought us closer, and allowed us to choose having a family in an even more conscious way. It has made us more compassionate, and hopefully made us a wiser and stronger foundation for parenthood. All of this right alongside the sadness.

I still pray.

But where I used to pray for like this, and right now, and pretty please, I pray for divine perfection and surrender and letting go.

I pray for the strength and wisdom to be patient. I pray for the enjoyment and love of this time, however it unfolds.

I pray for the wisdom and knowing that there is nothing missing here, even with all of our fierce, love-filled hopes and desires.

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.

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21 Comments

  1. amy b.

    wow. wise beyond words, but still learning. isn’t it a good feeling to accept the gifts that come, in whatever form they may be? i’ve had a back, back and forth experience with this myself. accepting, expecting, then finding the mystery of the world and life as we move through it is may not be our intention, but our way. fortune is a relative thing. and how one perceives fortune also varies. i’ve always disliked that saying “God has a plan for us” I say bullshit God! I don’t like your plan, it’s not my intention. but through the hard times we are made stronger blah blah blah. tis true, if we can survive it. but when we do, (the human spirit’s resiliency never ceases to amaze me), we continue, and we are fortunate. I believe. I believe we are all fortunate, to tap into this is hard to do sometimes. and I pray too. I pray to know my fortune and to be guided in understanding this. much love you dear sweet lovely cool ass woman you. xo.

  2. cpr

    My feeling is that that the little one’s soul is floating around out there under God’s watch. They are not lost. One is not made up just of their human form, it’s the soul. I think the soul is always alive and maybe the thought of knowing they’re always somewhere out there can be a comfort to you.

  3. jill

    I feel that when I read your words, your wisdom, your memories… it is a gift to me! I am so thankful for finding your site. So much insight, so much beauty. Thank you so much for sharing of yourself and your life.

  4. Giselle

    I am going through some tough times myself, and it is so easy to question and to feel jealous and bitter but we must remember that the sorrow makes future experiences so much sweeter, so much richer. I loved your last parragraph…as I am trying to hold on to my marriage, my prayers are the same as yours. And I fill myself with faith that whatever the outcome it will be the best for me and my family.
    May God send you and your husband a million blessings.

  5. JC

    I like the paradigm shift in your prayers. Thanks for sharing.

  6. J'Ha

    Thank you for your candor and your willingness to risk so much and share. It’s such a gift and a blessing to know there are people like you in the world. I send you peace, light, and a centered knowing.

  7. chlamygirl

    you are a good person, good things will come to you and matt.

  8. Marilyn

    Beautiful post, Andrea. There are times when I’m shifting from praying for specific outcomes to praying to just let go and let it all unfold as it’s meant to when even that can feel a tad overwhelming. In those moments, I start with the most basic step: willingness. I pray that I might be willing to let it go. May you find your own place of solace and peace as you make your way through this particular leg of your journey. Blessings.

  9. Jennifer

    I agree with you that it is just so incredibly unfair that there are people out there – loving, beautiful people who would make wonderful parents – that for some reason Can’t be parents (at least have their own biological children), and then there are idiots – just absolute
    I-D-I-O-T-S – that can’t or won’t take care of the children they have. It’s so bloody unfair.
    I went to a funeral a few years ago, and the preacher kept saying over and over again that it was “God’s will”. I know that doesn’t make the situation any easier to understand. But in some small way, please know that God sent people to you that care for you, love you and want to take care of you in your time of need. Don’t deny yourself that – you know you’d do that for the people you love, just as much as they want to do it for you.

  10. - h -

    yet another ‘net-hug and best wishes. good to know your on your way through the healing process. xxXxx
    p.s. have you received my snail mail yet, andrea?

  11. jenn

    a,
    i can’t tell you how much this post helps me.
    i am a lesbian who desperatly wants to start having children with my partner whom i love and cherish will all my heat. i hate that i have to bring a third party into our lives in order to have children. i found that i was getting crazy jealous when seeing pregnant women.
    i think i realize now that i am too focused on this issue of not being able to create a baby with my partner. i know that my prayers need to be not about asking for the perfect situation to take place to help me decide how this is going to happen. Just that the way it is meant to happen will unfold itself to me. that i need to wait for the right situation, not just any situation.
    thank you again for sharing with all of us. Though our situations are not the same, you help a lot.
    jenn

  12. Dawne

    You are such a beautiful soul Andrea. Blessings to you and your husband.

  13. stef

    You are so open and beautiful for sharing with us your insides. You inspire me with your writing and your photography.

  14. jaimie

    Hello Andrea,
    Reading your post was a serendipitous moment for me this morning. I had just come across a quotation seconds before:
    “Sorrow stretches out places in our hearts – for joy.” (Edwin Markham)
    When I lost my mother just over a year ago, I could not see how this quote could ever apply to me. And I felt EXACTLY the way you did with your broken leg – people were so generous to me, doing so many kind things, and I was too tired and broken to do more than thank them verbally. When we had to sell my mother’s house, my boyfriend’s parents came and loaded up plants from her garden to transport to their garden so that I might see them blooming again. And now, some of those flowers might be part of my wedding bouquet when we get married there next summer. How do you thank someone for a gift like this? With a banana bread?
    There was always a fear that I was doing too much ‘taking.’ It was so difficult for me to understand other people’s capacity for giving.
    Your difficult and painful experience with grief will stretch out places in you for more compassion, gratitude and more joy, despite (or because of) those jealous, ugly moments . I promise.

  15. Ryan Zyskowski

    Thank you, as always, for continuing to share. Your open-ness continues to inspire me.

  16. Katherine

    and amen for you, sweet sister:)

  17. Julia

    Like water flowing over stones and wearing them smooth, the passage of time is what’s needed to heal fully. While you will never totally forget this pain, or your loss…you will rise from the ashes of your pain, and be more ready, more wise, and stronger ever before. And someday you will celebrate such a wonderful “new” life….This is my wish for you. (And Matt) Blessings to you both.

  18. Donavan

    Dear tender one,
    Stay tender.
    Stay brave.
    Stay open.
    Stay you.
    Stay with whatever comes.
    Meet it with the cooling waters of loving-kindness.
    Love is letting go of fear.
    Love is letting go.
    Love is all.
    Let go.
    Let God.
    So hard.
    Keep praying.
    Keep the faith.
    Walk in the light.
    Wrap your heart in the blanket of love.
    All of mine to you and Matt,
    –Donavan

  19. Mishy

    I haven’t checked your site for a month and was so sad to have learned about your loss. I visit your site very often because your photos and postings remind me that life, love and beauty still exist in this world. I’ve been in a dark, murky place because my 22 year old sister Shannon died tragically last July from a tonsillectomy and your life experiences make me smile on the days I think I’ll never smile again. Please know that my heart is with you and when a day gets really tough, it is absolutely imperative to be gentle to your body, mind and soul.

  20. cooljazz

    Take comfort in knowing that God will be with you throughout your sorrows just as He is with you in your joys. Beauty finds itself in many forms and when we come to a realization that God is with us in all things at all times we find beauty.
    A child is a true gift. Sometimes it is God’s will for someone to not have a child born and at other times it is just something that happens. We humans are a complex system and sometimes things just don’t go as expected.
    The main thing is to hold on to your faith that Christ will hold you up and not give you anything you can not handle. I know that sometimes it seems that it is more then you can bear, but look… you’re still here. Each day brings you closer to coping with your loss. Each day brings you closer to understanding God’s comfort and tenderness. What you are praying for now compared to what you used to pray for is evidence of that in itself.
    Lift up your eyes to the Lord and praise Him for giving you the gift of child bearing for as you said there are others out there that will never know that joy.
    I pray that you and Matt will keep trying and I know that in time a little superhero will be in your future.

  21. kariann

    Your words…”It has made Matt and I stronger, brought us closer, and allowed us to choose having a family in an even more conscious way. It has made us more compassionate, and hopefully made us a wiser and stronger foundation for parenthood…”
    This may be your gift in this and it is an amazing gift.
    Without the details, Just so you know I truly understand, I went through a similar experience with my husband. What you spoke of, above, is exactly what I found to be our gift in our situation. It strengthened our relationship and made our decision a much more conscious one. We are grateful and would never change a thing. Our family ultimately happened with an open mind, an open heart, a little technology and a generous anonymous person. I wouldn’t want to relive those painful, seemingly hollow days of confusion, anger and sadness but I promise, We are deeply grateful for every little thing, happy and painful.
    It is kind of like that tired by true analogy, Each ingredient in a recipe for delicious cookies, alone is not much, but the magic happens when each ingredient works together, meaning of course, that the ultimate outcome is yet to be seen.
    Everything is going to be ok.

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