Heartache and Awe


Today…….today is always a hard day. It’s been 5 years since I had to make the choice to remove my mother from life support and 5 years since she left this realm. I miss her every day. I miss her in ways I could have never imagined. As I sit and let the tears stream down my face, they are unstoppable – and they fall for so many reasons – for the way my heart aches, for all the lessons I learned after her death, for the peace that came with forgiving my mother, and largely my tears fall for how big my heart has grown, and continues to grow. Amidst all the heartache and heartbreak, I have been blessed with an ever growing capacity for love, for life and for vulnerability. You see, today doesn’t just mark the anniversary of my mother’s death, but also the anniversary of a time when my entire life burned down around me; I had to pull her off life support, I left my husband, I lost friends, my father died a few short months later, I lost the remaining immediate biological family that I had – my siblings – just gone from my life – in a lot of ways it felt like I just lost everything. I learned what it was like to really be alone. I also learned who was really there for me and I am enterally grateful for those people. I learned who I am, who I want to be, and was reminded of how strong I am because of the softness of my heart – because of my willingness to let it break over and over again, because of my refusal to let it close up and become hard and cold. My heart is my greatest strength. So today, while I let the tears fall it’s with a mixture of sadness, but also awe – I am in awe of this exceptionally beautiful life. I am grateful to have found that the depths of my grief are directly linked to my immense capacity to know joy and to have a heart that is brave enough to know and hold it all. So yes, my heart aches so much, but oh how it rises every time it falls with the same force of nature, echoing the waves in their ability to be both soft and powerful all at once. So I give thanks for a heart like the ocean – deep, vast, soft and strong. So as I move through the day I will let my heart ache, but I will also be open to receiving joy however it may come. These complex feelings I hold hurt so much, but they also remind me just how alive I am. I miss you Mommy, I love you. I am so grateful for your gift of this precious life. ❤
P.S…..for once I didn’t really proofread, I just posted because sometimes I get all hemmed up on perfection and I’m working on easing up on that a bit.

Cartography of the Heart


Tracing my finger along your knee, like a map of unknown territory, wondering what lays beyond the flesh and the bones, to the outer reaches of your soul. A simple touch, the genesis of discovery for the depths and shadows and light, the all of it – waiting to be learned, to be met, to be known…slowly, slowly, slowly…

Savoring the sweetness of each new understanding, just starting to graze the surface, each new moment a brief mingling of Spirit.

A little more ground is covered in the stroking of my hair or your hand resting gently over mine. Not knowing where this adventure leads or what it will bring, but content in that uncertainty. Comfortable knowing there will be rocky terrain and winding paths – curious to see how they will be traveled.

And perhaps some of these roads we won’t travel together; some trails are only meant to take us down the corridors of our own hearts, so that we might find our own way home. Even in those times and travels there will be the pull of the true north; the quiet whisper felt in sacred spaces, the aching for something so real it’s always going to be uncharted territory. Bound for exploration by only the bravest hearts.

Despite the maps, the blueprints, the desired travels, the heart has its own topography that can’t be planned out. Rather it’s simply felt, propelled by that unspoken, timeless memory. A place that has no use for words, that place the heart simply knows is home.

What a beautiful time – right here, right now – not knowing what may come, (or what may not), not concerned about the
destination because the sweet simplicity contained in these first moments, tracing my finger along your knee, is enough.

Cartography of the Heart © Andrea Sugar 2019

Cartography of the Heart

Heart Adventurer


My heart is my dearest responsibility and truly it is mine alone, but, oh, how it sometimes aches for you even when I tend to it with my best loving care. 

Aching for the sweetness and the tenderness already shared, 

aching for the possibilities of what might be, 

aching to simply trust your offerings. 

Doing my best to quiet my mind as it roars its cautions of betrayal, as it whispers its hardened truths of honeyed words turned rancid.

I hear it piercing and clear, but my brave heart thunders louder. It shouts its glory from deep within reminding me of its intrepid capacity for vulnerability, its courageous ability for blind exploration amidst the known risks.

So I stand openhearted, raw, exposed – SHINING BRIGHT – knowing my own deep roots and strength are enough to sustain whatever may come; grateful for the opportunity to undulate in joy, expand in heartache, or maybe grow in both.  

A small, quiet smile crosses my lips…..that dear heart of mine trembling a little (it’s ok to be scared), rumbling with all its gentle power, knowing its worth and wide-open wonder. 

Clear that not many can rise to meet its depths, hopeful for that rare, soft strength to be reflected back, but content in both the darkness and the light, this darling heart adventurer.

Heart Adventurer © Andrea Sugar 2019

Time out of Mind


You have been gone four years today. This year I am not as out of my mind with grief, but honestly it hurts more.

Perhaps it’s because now I suppose you could say I am in my mind with grief, but no that’s not quite it, I am just more with the sorrow.

I’m not in shock so much anymore; the heaviness of the reality of it all is starting to settle even though sometimes I am still stunned in utter disbelief. I can’t believe my mother is dead. I can’t believe I had to choose to remove my mother from life support. 

It hurts. I miss her. I miss my dad.

I can’t always wrap my mind around the fact that I lost both my parents only 4 months apart, so instead I try to wrap my heart around it.

I try to hold my heart tenderly as it aches, allowing the pain to wash over me. It’s taken me most of these four years to be able to acknowledge the grief – to greet it, to know it.

I still cry most days, sometimes just for a second – it often washes over me without warning – although now I don’t try to fight it, I just talk to her and allow the tears to fall. I speak my sadness to the skies and know the winds carry my words. 

I miss you, Mommy. I love you. 

I keep thinking my heart is shattered, that it’s in pieces, but….it’s not. My heart is whole, but broken.

And I think that’s where I have been getting stuck.

Yes, my heart is whole, I am whole, but my heart also hurts so much that I get caught up in that idea of it being damaged beyond repair  – it’s not.

My heart is broken, but not broken in pieces…..it’s broken open. And there is a difference between the two.

Yes, it fucking hurts. A lot.

It hurts in ways that often surprise me. But, in that hurt, in the aching….there is a softening. My understanding and practice of gratitude has deepened, evolved, grown. My gratitude practice is what saved me when I was drowning in the unimaginable grief of losing both my parents and is what continues to sustain me when it feels like I am barely holding on. 

Oh Mommy, I wish I could tell you the things I know now, only after you are gone. I still speak them out loud to you; I think there’s a better chance of you hearing them now anyway.

I love you, I forgive you. I miss you. 

Time out of Mind © Andrea Sugar 2019


Ancestral Alchemy 


And one by one we danced and as we danced we changed our stories, and our sister’s stories, our mother’s stories, and our grandmother’s stories, and the tale as old as time took on new threads and stitches; the song taking on a different tune as we whirled and twirled, weaving new directions and devotions with every step. 

What were once agonizing howls transformed into guttural screams of joy; our ancestor’s overgrown, abandoned garden of sorrows becoming the rich soil our hearts are firmly rooted in, and from where our voices grow – strong, clear and renewed. No longer silenced, but loud and uninhibited. No longer choking on unspoken, stifled suffering. Now a vibrant channel of unrestricted freedom unhindered by fear to be seen and heard. 

Peeking at the past between notes, but not anchoring there, the flow of the dance moving us toward changing tides and unknown horizons. Tender glances at old familiar wounds, now glimpsed with new light as each rotation of the dance opens our hearts to newness, to joy, to possibility. The forgotten, long-buried and scarred over traumas of our sisters, mothers, grandmothers becoming healed and metamorphosed through the alchemy of the dance, of our courage, our voices, of our sweet surrender. 

Those lost pieces brought home and are seen, loved and cared for – we are whole – rooted in our own power. The rusted, heavy chains of the past become glimmering, proudly displayed jewelry of the present. The heartbreaks of our ancestors integrated and transformed; old knowledge shines with new light. 

The threads of the tapestry woven anew. 

Ancestral Alchemy © Andrea Sugar 2018


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