Healing ain’t easy

No one ever said healing was easy.

Some days, it’s just a trickle of a tear rolling down your face in just the right light. A reflection you see in the mirror of someone who has replaced you but looks slightly older, a little more weathered from life.

Then there are the hailstorms that just you can’t run fast enough away from. They consume you and suffocate your every bit of existence. A mourning sob that throws you to your knees and you just let it unravel you entirely.

Because you need it.

Because it’s the only way to peel it all back. To throw in the towel and allow it to completely engulf you there on the floor.

There is no timeframe on healing. There is no getting over it. Every day is a reminder of all that was and how different you really are. It ebbs and flows.

Today it down poured.

We went to the sea today where we had been together on our last day as a family. She was just a tiny little heartbeat under that long white cotton dress. I haven’t been back to that place since he died, but today I needed him. Today, I needed for him to tell me that is was okay. Okay to cry, that he understands, a reassurance and a stillness that I can’t keep running. Running from the truth, running in circles, running from the uncomfortable parts of my anger and sadness. I sometimes just want the world to save me. Save me from this sadness. I want the protection from the vulnerable and the exposed. Sometimes, I am lost at sea.

During the last 3 years, some days I still feel like I’m living in the “in between”. Paralyzed by fear. Traumatized like war. I am angry. Today, so let it be.

A daily reminder of all things lost. When you lose that person, all material things lose meaning. All passion for life. Everyday, you just try to get through your day. Routines and schedules. I call it “groundhog day”. You just don’t quite fit into the circles. The singles and their lives and the parents with the their family units.

Socializing becomes a struggle. Isolated and ostracized. Like a big red patch stitched to my shirt. “The widow”.

Awkward.

Motherhood throws you out into the night naked, and yes, totally afraid.

It brings up all the things that you never had, all the things you wanted them to be, all the despair, the insecurity, the frustration and inadequcies you have ever felt and hands them over to you in a big old fucking picnic basket.

Eat up.

Motherhood hurts. Somehow you do it. You don’t do it perfect, but you just somehow do it. And there is a constant inner battle of needing to give back to YOU and all of YOUR passions, losing ALL of who you once were.

You feel stuck.

Is motherhood the most beautiful thing in the world?

Indeed.

Am I forever changed?

Absolutely.

You make the best parenting decisions based on the best you know how, but you will always have your critics. Living with family can have its ups and downs.Your struggle with your own independence and your turn to raise a child of your own. Sometimes it just builds until it erupts.

Today, was volcanic.

Today, it overflowed.

So, I ran to the sea to run from the heat because I needed to talk to him.

…I love her. I love her breath in the morning, her cherub face so sweet and still. I love her intellect. I love her humor. I love how she tells me she loves me “all the moon and the stars”. I love her laughter and her presence. The way I have grown with her love. Bringing back my own inner child. Of freedom and of openness.

So, we gathered feathers and shells from the shore. The feathers, they come at all times of the day. In the moments that I miss him. In books, in disguise, floating in the air, on special days, on trails, and beaches.

So fitting as he called me bird. He had a tiny bird engraved onto his left arm for me. I like to think he tells me when he’s here with feathers laid about on my path, a reminder that he approves, that he supports me, through the worlds.

Today, I had a fight and everything came crashing down. I ran. I needed the adrenaline. I needed to pull myself out of the dark cloud and feel like my heart was still beating. To know that I wasn’t just a shell, beaten ashore and hallowed out. I needed to feel something. Because something is better than nothing.

Being at th ocean reminds me to breathe. It was there in the sand that I felt the air. I actually felt something outside of the dull ache that rests so presently inside my left breast. I breathed in hard because sometimes you forget to. I felt the moment, through my water-filled, heavy, closed eyes. I felt the wind he spoke of in those letters, as the wind gently brushed my cheek.

The wind that you can count on that will “always bring you home”. He was there, while her and I made sand soup and ran fast into the sea and up the hill and back again. The thin line I walk between. The world we lived in, him and I, and the world her and I now share. The two most important people to me slipping into the silence through separate worlds at the same time.

How I wish I could tell her the stories of my tears behind these dark oversized glasses. How sorry I am that she was brought into the world this way. How I wish it were different, how I wish I could be everything she needs.That I could give her her daddy that she always talks about.

I know the reality and that she has everything she needs already… my love. But oh, how I wish. How he would love her. I often picture it.

We walked past the places where I could see his outline, his laugh through the wind, the memories of dusting off our sandy wet feet, while her and I spread our arms like wings and sored like birds back up the ramp again.

Sometimes the storms come on the sunniest of days.

Today I didn’t want to feel alone, I needed my person. My person to say “you are going to be okay.”

So I said it out loud. “I’m going to be okay.”

Namaste

Yoga has been such an important part of my life within the last 5 years. A place that I can come to without judgement, without explaination. A place to breathe, to cry, to let go, to surrender to what is, what can be, and what eventually will be for me. Through my willingness to trust. Trust the universe, God, source, whatever you want to call it. Trust, that I will be provided for, that my next step will come, blazing through the need to control. Because once you learn that no matter what you plan for, there is a bigger plan for you. I believe we sign up for this life long before we come Earth side. Call it Karma…we are here to tie up loose ends.

I know that Christian and I met for a reason, perhaps I will not know why, but I feel more serenity in my heart knowing that our time together was for the greater good.

Today, I graduate from my 200 hr Yoga teacher training, and it is truly bittersweet. The classmates I have are all so inspiring, beautiful inside and out, and their camaraderie and support will be forever acknowledged and dear to my heart. It will be sad not to come to class anymore, this space so held for you to unravel and empower.

My Yoga immersion the past 6 months have been highly transformational, shedding even more layers of “the self.” Calming, in that I have become more and more proactive and less reactive…in my parenting, as a daughter, as a friend, and as a healer. Unavoidable, Yoga called to me after a 10 year on and off relationship and I sank deep into its arms after the passing of my husband. It has guided me through a very disappointing time on my journey this past winter. It offered me clarity in what values I hold deep, self awareness- self respect- self love. Boundaries, on what edge and what new territory I am willing to step into or out of. It has offered me the ability to let go of a toxic- first relationship, post loss, a whirlwind of desire and sensuality, of hope. However, what I learned most from the experience was valuable and necessary: the ability and the knowing that I was able to love again, to feel again, to break open my inner beauty, sexuality, and more healing of my heart.

I believe in timing. I believe in the lessons that are brought to you by events and by souls on this Earth. The ones that bless your path with challenge you, allow you the “break throughs,” the ability to feel, really feel and allow, to eliminate the fear that holds you back, empowerment of the radiance and true beauty of your soul, and your purpose here: to love and be loved.

I look forward to starting my journey as a teacher for Yoga, incorporating my knowledge of holistic healing, energy work, natural beauty-care, and counseling. To help others through hard times or rough patches in life. I have journeyed through pain and found beauty in healing all parts of my self and there are always times we need more healing, more peeling, more guidance. I had the choice of straying in the opposite direction, but I chose life. I am here to live and tell about it. I am here to serve. I here in the name of Love and to offer my help and services to those who seek it.

{Namaste: The spirit in me salutes the spirit in you, we are one}

IMG_4769

~Emma

The roads we travel.

IMG_5142

 

Two years have passed, my darling girl is two years old and I am finishing up some last minute crafting for her birthday party (photos and a journal entry shall be posted ;)).

This little light of mine, my how she shines! They say to notice what people take pictures of, it’s usually what they are afraid of losing. I am so aware of this everyday. I take her in like it could be our last because honestly I am sacred shitless of loss. Could you blame me? I remember breathing in moments like this, like it were in slow motion when Christian and I were together. Little things that flash in my mind when I am doing things daily. I recall, every morning after our breakfast, he would put on his jacket, his helmet, and I would run to the door, hugging him, kissing his lips under his helmet. I wanted to make sure he know how much I loved him, every minute, of every day. He would shout out as he would slam the screen,” Text you in 20!” and I would hear the sound of his engine distance itself until I couldn’t hear it anymore. All day the messages would go on, until we embraced each other wrecklessly in each others arms. We would laugh of how lame we were. Like that twin flame that you hear about, barely able to rip ourselves away from one another. He felt like home.

She was a gift. A gift I unwrap and inhale every day. You wonder about past lives when you ride between the world of life and death. For a long time it felt like silence. It felt like the world was still spinning and I was floating around unable to breathe or motion myself in any direction. As the days move on, you just try to create a sense of normalcy, I guess it gets to be where you have to, because you cannot stay there forever, but you can take as much time as you need. You wonder what path, destination, and lesson one’s soul needs on this planet at any given time. Why did he choose me? What purpose was it for him to go? Why did I become a young widow? All questions built out of the ego, of wanting to understand the meaning of life. The meaning of how the world really works. You ask, but will we ever truly know? I feel like he offered his life for hers. He gave her to me, to allow me be ok here, to send my love and focus to, perhaps a sense of purpose, a calling, toward teaching and parenting, or of healing… I would offer her my pulse, I would give her my breath. I thought I knew how to love with him, but  I never knew THIS type of love, not quite like this. She consumes me, my patience, my compassion, my real, raw, bleeding heart type of love. She makes me laugh daily, she is so compassionate and loving especially when I am down and in need of some tears and sadness, she’ll offer me hugs and kisses and says “Don’t cry momma, it’ okay.” I melt.

DSC_0031

I had a home birth with Poppy and on the day of her birth, after about 20 hours of my birthing time, I was in the birthing tub and seemed to be stuck at about 8 cm (needed to get to 10.) I was tired, I had puked, I was pruned from being in the water, I was uncomfortable. My midwife sat down beside me, she told me she was a medium (I had not known, but totally open to), and she said that she saw Christian holding Poppy. She said that he didn’t want to let her go. She said when you are ready, perhaps you want to tell him that it’s ok to let go, that it’s time for you to hold your baby, that she will see him in her dreams. So I went deep, closed my eyes, and cried, a deep soulful cry, a primal cry, a cry that I knew I needed to honor my love for him, to honor this baby, this soul coming in, to release all my fear, my sadness, a cry that I had expected to come but hadn’t yet. I was listening to Sigor Ros, and if you ever have listened to that band, their music is beautiful, soulful, and highly emotional. I was unaware at the time but  heard that there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. My beautiful, supportive birth team, ready for me at every moment. I cried and I asked him. And when I was ready, I opened up.

“Peace”, “Down and out” were my birth mantras. I was afraid I ruined the hope for many of the women in the room after 24 hours of birth, but they still seemed okay and actually excited about birth. Holy shit it was hard, primal, transforming, and magical, one of the best days of my life! Happy bEarth day to my little munchkin! I am so happy you chose me!

DSC_0143

She moved me…

When I first found out we were pregnant, I was scared beyond any fear I had ever felt. That Saturday morning, June 9th, my sister’s birthday, as I was coming home from work, I felt different, my breasts were sore, I was a week late on my period. Something guttural told me to drive into that  drug store parking lot. Scanning the multiple rows of colored lined boxes before me, I looked for the cheapest pregnancy test. 

When I got home, I set down my purse and headed straight for the bathroom, in anticipation, wiggling all the way there. For a moment, I thought “Neah, there is no way that I could be, we were safe.” However, we had just come back from our trip to Panama, where we eloped. Ten days of connecting, learning, arguing, and loving on one another. City, beaches, fresh seafood, and bungalows. A secluded resort, a wedding ceremony of 5, a dress, a cake, and rings promising all of our tomorrow’s.
Coming back from dreamland, as I waited for the lines to show themselves, I tracked back, counting on my fingers the date, the days, my last cycle, and I flashed back to our wedding night. As I looked down, two lines clear as day showed their faces. I reached for my phone in panic and called Christian. At the time was at his old apartment packing up his belonging to move into a storage unit while he stayed with me, saving for a deposit on our place. He had his youngest daughter with him.  

” Hi babe, I’m pregnant!”  I quickly announced. “F!@$ we are pregnant.”

He chuckled, and said “Relax, I will be right over.” 

About ten minutes later he came through the door, sat his daughter down in the living room, and made his way to the bedroom where I was panically putting my clothes away. (I know when I’m nervous, I actually start organizing, something you hardly see, especially clothes, usually a mound of clean laundry tossed back and forth from bed to chair,chair to bed.)
He came into the walk -in closet where I was shaking my head, fearfully. He stood and held me.

 “It’s ok babe.” he said.

Pacing frantically, I exclaimed, ” We just got married, we are moving, we are starting both of our  businesses, we are planning a big wedding in Palm Springs. All in one year! We can’t have a baby! Not now!”

He took a seat in the middle of my bed. “Babe, the decision is yours, I love you. I will stand by you, whatever you decide. I am your husband, I am not going anywhere, besides, we did it in the right order right?” He chuckled, flashing his big toothy grin form ear to ear, the lines around his eyes made his eyes seem to disappear. 

His reply was not what I was expecting, I wanted him to say ” You are right, we can’t have a baby.” I said, “My choice? It’s in my court? Well this isn’t fair at all!”

I collapsed into his arms on my bed, I couldn’t cry. I was in shock. He cuddled up to my ear and told me, “Give it a few weeks, sit with it, and come back to a decision. There is no rush.” And then the words, that pulled me, ” Babe, I know you feel this way now, but I think you would regret NOT having my baby.”

I punched him in the arm, and smiled.  I knew I needed some advice. I rushed to get ready for my sister’s birthday dinner out in Palm Springs, I needed to be with my mom. Perhaps a different outlook, perhaps some insight, advice. Because sometimes, you just need your mom. 

A week later I had Theda healing done by my good friend Tina at work. We worked on my fear, I pictured my birth, and my decision on becoming a parent suddenly became clear. 
Later that night, we went to Christian’s friend’s surprise  birthday dinner at a sushi restaurant. We waited outside as we saw her walk in with her fiancé. We walked over to a bench, as he sat down, I threw my arms around his neck.

 ” We are having a baby.” I whispered as  I kissed his nose. He smiled, and kissed me back. Suddenly, a new chapter of our lives. We walked into the party, hand in hand. This was the first time I chose not to order wine and raw seafood. 

The following day, I went to my mom’s house and gave her the news, she hugged me so tight and wept. “I am so happy!” she cried out. “I cannot wait to be a grandmother! I have been waiting so long, I thought this day would never come!” Her tears made me get choked up and I started to cry.  We hugged and cried. ” I was hoping you would say this, I am so happy for you guys. ”

Moments like these, moments that shift your entire being, moments and knowingness that you are right where you needed to be. I was so fearful of not being a good parent, so worried I would screw my child up, so worried that I was too selfish to change up my life. 

But I needed her when I needed the most help in my life, when I was fearful that I couldn’t go on without him, she was there, growing and moving. She was there to guide me when I wanted to crumble to fall apart, to run my car off that cliff, or numb myself with drugs. I was present, I had to be, for me , for her, for our future together. I wanted to run away, far from the pain and sadness of my heart. Heartache really does feel achy, a dull throbbing in your chest, like it has broken. It broke open in a way that I had no idea I was about feel. The pleasure and the pain of birthing my child, her looking into my eyes and reaching her little hand up, waiting for that moment of clarity, our new chapter together. 

This Saturday marks 2nd Poppy’s Earth day. It feels like yesterday that I started to feel my early birthing time. The beautiful women in my life around me, holding their love and space for me in a  very primal, emotional, and transformative time. I have so much to be grateful for. For meeting Christian at that New Years party at Ben’s house with Jamie, saying yes to our first date, following my heart and my beliefs on love, taking that plunge and accepting his marriage proposal, booking that flight to Panama, accepting the beautiful experience of parenthood. Even all of the emotional pain involved with his death, the family drama, the miscommunication and dramatics of people who didn’t quite understand the process, all of the support and space that was held for me, the opportunity to voice my story on public television to the beautiful birth activist Ricki Lake and all of the beautiful gifts for Poppy’s arrival, the compassion and gift of my midwife and her caring community of women at South Coast midwifery who helped to celebrate my journey with open arms, my parents who gave me the space and the love I needed physically and emotionally along with the roof over our head, the friends who no matter when I talk to them I know I can always reach out and they are there holding me up, my amazing office at Cohn Health Institute who honored my grieving and gifted me care to help get through through therapy and whatever I needed with scheduling. I am so honored for this path.

We all have tragedies in our lives, but it is up to us to change the “because of this, I became…” In the negative, the things that hold us back from living our highest potential, our biggest capacity. Shifting the “because of’s” into “in spite of this, I became…” We always want the opportunity to tell someone that they are wrong and we are right. The horrible cycle of blame. I have forced myself to unravel and communicate over the years. I was tired of the blame game, I was tired of holding back and not speaking my truth. Allowing people to tell me who I was or creating a boundry of what they thought my potential to be. I was tired of limiting myself from the potential that I knew I could become. I was tired of old friends who walked over me, or relationship patterns that allowed me to clarify my sad self worth. 

When I felt I had done so much work on my inner self, I was knocked back even harder, forcing me to dig deeper and reveal so many more layers of who I am. Just when I thought I couldn’t be any more spiritual, this event knocked me on my ass and forced me to look even deeper, to pursue more love for myself and compassion for all of those around me. 

In spite of what has happened, I became a loving and compassionate mother, I let go out of my fear, I learned to truly love myself, to honor my body as my temple, to finally grow from a grounded root. I am a student of yoga now and every event  that happens, gives me the chance to let go, to live a life of purpose, to not always want to be right, but just be, to eat living food, to be more compassionate, to heal my heart and my emotions, to stretch to new heights and find more flexibility in my body and my thoughts. It hasn’t always been an easy transition and I still work daily on the anger, the fear, the self worth. But the awareness helps me. 

~from my heart to yours~

Emma

Stories.

Father's day 2012 when we found out we were pregnant.

We all have them. I never would have imagined mine to be the story that it is. But we live with what we are given, hopefully molding and shaping into something of magic, because it’s the magic in the tragedy that moves you, that allows you to press forward, allows you to feel that you are alive, allows you to feel that your heart is beating. Sometimes we need this story to become deeply alive, gracious in our encounters, we need them to shed our outer layers, our ego, and dig up all the fears and daggers that pierce us, to live a life of beauty, a full life with purpose.

There are things that happen in your life, some tragic, some joyous. Shadow and light. Yin and Yang. Black and white. Right and wrong. I know the true meaning of both, all wrapped up in the same time frame.

My love, my husband, dying in a crash and a beautiful new life growing inside of me. I’d have to say my 30th year was a breaking point for all that I knew, that I once, was, and all that I anticipated myself to become. The mystery of what you are about to embark upon. Scary, beautiful, isolated, and freeing. We often hear of stories about “they lived happily ever after”. An overused statement in fairytales that  can be so far from the truth. Happily ever after? Well there are some beautifully joyous moments, such as when I see the spark of this light in her golden brown chocolatey eyes. That almond shape and the way her lashes sometimes get stuck on her upper eyelid when they get wet in the tub. I see into her soul, like the first moment her and I met. Sometimes I imagine it were his, looking back at me whispering ” I am here”. Sometimes she will flash me a look and laugh and it’s him a thousand times.

The sadness rolls in when I see joyous moments of the “Dynamic families” around me. What I wouldn’t give to have him here in all of these moments. When I hear in conversations “my husband”, it’s like someone just ripped out my soul, it’s less than it once was, but there is always a reminder that we are different. Or, when she talks about a mommy and daddy, I wish I could give that to her. I wish I could take him out of that frame and give her all his love, kisses, and hugs that he once gave me.

Two years later and as I write these words, tears stream down my face, allowing the release, allowing the sadness to come up, because sometimes it needs it’s space, sometimes I just need a good cry, I need to miss him, I need to talk about him. Because he was here. Because he mattered. Because I still love him. And love like that needs recognition.

In this journal are my deepest feelings, finally allowing themselves a space to become vulnerable, to be viewed, to help guide others from one transition to the next.

This is my life, my love, my journey.

{Sat nam}

Emma