He used to come to me in the early days after he died. Only at acupuncture. I would lie on the bed, needles in my skin trying to get the blood and then life force going again. It was spring and the light would dance across the ceiling and the wall I stared at through my unending, unstoppable tears. And I knew he was there. In the beginning, that spring and summer, he would show me his presence in dancing light. And then he would come. Not the spirit of a little baby but the energy of my grown son. I could feel him there as if I was an old lady and he an adult, sitting together quietly. He had a strong, overwhelming energy. And overwhelmed I would become and I would send him away. I would send off the spite of my son because I couldn’t bear to be that close and not touch him, hold him, see his aged face. But not before I would feel our relationship shift. Not before I would feel him morph from my son into my ally, into my guide, into my spiritual partner in this life. I couldn’t bear it, so I would tell him to leave and he would. He would go and I would weep, drenching the pillow underneath my head and gasp for air between sobs. I wasn’t ready for this man, this grown full spirit in all of his fullness. I still was bargaining with God to get my baby back. I still wanted my baby precious little child in my arms. I still wanted him as he had been when he was here. Small and adorable and perfectly formed.

During his birth, I did something I had never done before. I called in my angels. I was laying in bed, waiting for my labor to become active and I called in my angels. And for the first time, they came. Hordes of them surrounded me in golden light. Forming a circle around me. Those in the inner most ring, people in knew in this life: my grandfathers, my grandmother, my uncle and my aunt, Robyn and Theresa. I could feel each of them uniquely like I had when they were here. As the rings rippled out, the Angels became strangers to me but their presence, like an army of silent strength, was felt as strongly as those I had known and loved. I asked for their protection. I asked for their love. I knew they would get me, get us through this, this labor, this birth, and the first early hours. It was like nothing I had ever seen or felt before but it was clear as day and I knew we were safe.

Of course, we weren’t. Not in the way I thought we were. Not safe here in Earth together. As the newest most intense chapter of my life was about to begin, I called them for the first time and they came, at the ready, waiting to guide me through. I have been living in the surface these days. Feeling the physical and emotional anxiety squashing and numbing what I am really feeling, what I am in need of processing, what needs to move through. With this impending surgery which is fraught with everything that has brought me to this point: the growth of my babies, the death of one inside me and the dying of another. The loss of my son. The infertility. The revealing of our shadows and the end of my marriage. It’s all deep in there. Deep in the wounded uterus, deep in the ovaries that continue their duties unthwarted by their uselessness, deep in my tubes which will be gone in two days times. I haven’t been able to touch it, to feel it. I know there is enormity in there. I know inside my belly I carry the enormity and intensity of all of it ,for all of us, but it didn’t speak until I lay there today.

And I called them in again, at the end of the physicality of this journey, at the closing of this chapter: of my son, of my ability to bear another child, of the end of my love. And they came. All the same. Golden and surrounding and they held the space for me to fall apart. To feel it all inside of me and to let it out, let it leave, if only just a little. To let what’s left begin to integrate and form my new insides. I told them, “this is so hard this being human, down here in this body. It is so hard.” Being back there with them, I shared with them my disappointment, my question “why didn’t you protect us?” And they stood their guard and held me there in their light and let it all be okay.

The tears slowed to a stop and I closed my eyes to take deep breaths into my belly. And then I called to Harvey. Come to me now, my son. Sit with me here and now. I am ready now. And he came. And I felt him there and smiled through my tears to be with him again, to be able to be with him this time. And I learned that he is a stabilizing presence. That he is the strong foundation I have searched for my whole life. That the son is holding the mother.

As this second round of tears slowed, I asked him what I need to know and a weight came into the center of my chest, into my heart. It felt reminiscent of how my grief was, sitting so solidly on top of me for 13 months and yet it wasn’t fraught, it wasn’t tortured. It was just pressure. “Open my heart? “I said inside myself, I asked the spirit of my son. And with that question, I realized I have been doing this all wrong. I learned at my miracle healing what having a whole, open heart felt like and I walked around with it, high as a kite, for two weeks. And then Danny moved out and the reality of what all this meant came crashing down on me and I haven’t been the same since. I have shut my heart to him, and not without good, human reason. I have been riddled with anxiety. Flummoxed that one day the person you love the most turns on a dime and becomes someone you wish to never have to see again. It’s crushing. And that’s what I have been doing wrong. I’ve been letting the lies be true. I have been hurt, I have been nearly mortally wounded on several occasions this past 20 months and the lesson in surviving is to love bigger. The challenge in that is to keep my heart open. The relationship I must cultivate is with forgiveness.

I have a lot of forgiving to do. Layers and layers of it and I start today. And I’m taking on the two hardest people to forgive first: myself and my the father of my children. I begin by believing in these two people who have shown me that they are not worthy of belief. I begin by building trust back in both of us, the two of us who have proven to be quite untrustworthy. I begin by falling back in love with the two people who have torn me down to my bare bones. I don’t have the slightest idea what this looks like but I feel it in my heart. It doesn’t look a thing like it did before. For either of us. I don’t even like either of us anymore so there’s a lot to do.

And yet, I feel it now at the center of my chest where my son pushed down on me to reveal to me what I need to do. That it’s hard being this human because I’m doing it wrong. Being here is about opening, not shutting down. It’s about staying open when the only option is shutting down,when it seems like the stupidest, most risky thing to do. It’s about being strong and clear and loving, no matter what.

I often think of the card Danny gave me for Mother’s Day a few weeks after Harvey died. It was about us getting through the hard times but what sticks out is the last line he wrote: “Come what may.” Come what may. Yes, my love, come what may, even if it’s fractured and irretrievably over and riddled with lies and too often silent. Some part of us set out on this journey together. Some part of us wed each other for life by bringing our children in, a stronger bond than any other, an unbreakable bond, stronger than our vows, now meaningless, stronger than our love that broke apart, that stopped. This has all felt so awful because I’ve been doing it wrong.

As I step into this next part of my life, the one after this surgery, the one that feels like a new chapter, I become a radical. I radically forgive. I radically love. I radically keep my heart open.

Thank you, my son, my ally, my guide, my partner. Thank you.

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