Thursday, August 25, 2011

news, giveaway and ask me something.

Good aftermornevening, Hedgehogs. My loves. A post with some news bits, call for questions and a giveaway.

News bit number one:

MISS Foundation is planning a local walk in the Philadelphia area on October 15th. Location still undecided and plans are just being made, but I think it would be awesome to mobilize the babylost community in the greater Philly area for a Kindness Walk. More details to come, but we do need volunteers to put some time and energy into getting the word out about the Walk, to participate and to head committees. Please email me at uberangie(at)gmail(dot)com for more information.

News bit number two:

I am planning on having a babylost Open House. I will be displaying some artwork and the travel journal at my home and serving food, drinks and snacks all day. It is October 1st and a rolling time start (2p to whenever), so you can come and go as you please. Others in the area have offered to host people coming in from out of town, if you want to stay in the Philadelphia area. Children, husbands/wives and friends are invited and welcome. I am planning on some kid-friendly activities. I will be setting up both inside and outside and it is very casual and laid back. Please email me if you are thinking of coming. I am sending real invitations out this week to people in the area, but would love to include anyone even thinking of coming to Philadelphia for it. It is worth a weekend in Philly in October to meet me and others in this community. Again, email me at uberangie(at)gmail(dot)com. Or if you prefer the phone, email me. (Just a little joke.)

Pointless diversion number one:

SNEAKY HATE SPIRAL. (putting this up because I heard La Bumba this morning, and the dog killed a baby rabbit, and we had to bury it with a little stone that Beezus wrote "BUNY RIP" on and I could have easily slipped into a sneaky hate spiral.)

News bit number three:

I am going to be doing a reading with Janel Atlas, editor and contributor of They Were Still Born, and Jenell Williams Paris, another contributor, on October 11th in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania at the Elizabethtown Public Library. The event starts at 6:30p. I'd love to see you there and talk to you. There will be books for sale at the library and we will answer questions.

Speaking of questions, I am opening the floor to all of you to ask any questions for me to answer on my next post. They can range from anything about my blogs--still life with circles, still life 365 or still life everyday. Or grief and loss, or events coming up, or writing, or parenting, or right where I am or recovery and alcoholism or anything really. I love answering questions or having discussions on different topics. So, bring it on.

And that brings me to the next part, which your question in the comment section of this post or just post a comment here, and you enter to win a copy of the book They Were Still Born, which my essay "Mothering Grief" appears in. If you already have the book, you can choose to receive a book I happen to love called In the Midst of Winter, which is a collection of poetry and writing about grief. If you are not babylost or just not interested in any books about grief, then you can opt to receive...wait for it...GNOMES! The seminal work by Wil Huygen about our cone-hatted friends of the garden and wood.

Okay, I think that about covers it. Hope to see/meet each of you in person at one of these events at some point. And definitely psyched for some questions. I will post a winner and answers to questions on Monday. And don't forget that today, I am writing over at Glow in the Woods, so come over and join the conversation.


  1. Hi Angie,

    I so wished I lived even remotely near Philly so I could come to the open house. Alas, Winnipeg is just too far away.

    My question for you is this: Who has been the kindest to you in your life? Pre & post loss, b/c I imagine there is likely a difference.

    Peace. xo

  2. If I think of a better question, I will come back later, but for now I want to hear about what Beezus and Thor are up to lately. What are their favorite things? How do they do sharing a room?

  3. Oh Lord. I read the sneaky hate spiral comics, and maybe it was the 14 hours of sleep in the last day, the very bad experience at home depot, the phone calls in the middle of the night, but I howled with laughter.

    Thanks for that.

  4. My question, something that's been troubling me since my son was stillborn last year, is how will I explain this to any future children we're lucky enough to have?

    I know you have young kids, so I'm wondering how do you explain Lucy's death to them? Drew was our first, so I'm just wondering how I will explain this to any brothers and sisters he may have.

    I guess I'm just anticipating the worst in the sorts of things kids say. I worry that they're going to ask me why Drew didn't want to come live with us, or why God didn't let Drew come home with us... and I know that I can't get away with the "I don't know" "or just because" answer forever.

    Like I said, I currently do not have any other children, but we hope to and this is something that troubles me.

    I'd love to hear how you discuss Lucy and her death with your living children.

    Thank you for your fime and for all you do.

  5. OK. Since you asked. I'm still struggling with the concepts of karma and past actions creating future consequences (all because of what that psycho beast told my hubby...) and wondering if you can give a little mini lecture on the concepts of karma and how babies dying has NOTHING TO DO with our karma???

    And on a lighter note, do you know anything about pickling? I've always been nervous about CANNING since I fear the botulism...but does pickling carry the same threat? (Don't worry if you have no idea, please don't do any additional research; I'm merely asking because you seem crafty in the way that you'd know a thing or two about pickling.)


  6. I agree with all the questions. I'd love to know answers to each of them. Kate, I was wondering this too but in a different way. Holden's Daddy has two little ones and we never got the chance to explain it to them before they were taken so... I just wonder that too. How do you explain it to such little people? And Sarah, I agree wholeheartedly. I just discovered my guy's ex just said the same thing. She "really feels like karma had something to do with it." Know what else I found out today? That her brother's wife miscarried. If the gods kill babies for karma's sake...? Know what I'm getting at? It's ludicrous and cruel to suggest that.
    My question is this. I vaguely remember a post in glow shortly after I contacted you. Did you date a boy named Holden in high school? And if so did you mention his name just for me? I felt like you did. Just because we love to see and hear our babies names so much.

  7. i love your writing. i love your artwork. i love the pictures you share of your children.

    my question is do you ever deal with feelings that you just can't take care of your living children because you are trying to take care of your dead child? i am really struggling with this right now as i am the only one who seems to remember xavier. i feel like i have to mother xavier because he is dead and there are others that can 'mother' my living children for me and it breaks my heart that i struggle with this.

  8. I was contemplating my first real, long road trip with the kids to come to the open house, though I thought it was really a crazy idea. I just found out I have a family event on the 2nd. But I love that you are having it and wish I could come.

  9. OH I have another question. Do you ever feel like a babyloss/grief guru? Not like you are an expert or you are totally enlightened about it all. More like, people (like me) come to you and seek your advice, even though it's not necessarily advice that you give so you are like a guru... Do you know what I mean? Are you ever overwhelmed at how many people share their stories with you and come to you in such a desperate time in their lives?

  10. To Sarah's question about pickling, if you read all the official rules about canning it will freak you out. It kept me away from canning for a long time. I started with jam, moved to pickles, and have done salsa two years running.

    If you are careful and sterilize your jars and stuff and bring things to a proper boil and process the right length of time you should be fine. I think pickles tend to be safer than some canned things because all of the vinegar keeps the acidity high.

  11. For my third comment of the evening, my question:
    You do a lot of creative stuff. How/when do you get it done with two little kids around?

  12. Pondering how to word my question just right so I'll get a mile long post with all life's answers on how to survive pregnancy-after-stillbirth without dissolving into the schizophrenic bag lady on The Simpson's who throws live cats at people.

    So here it goes, how did you do it? At what point did you and Sam finally realize Thor was Thor and not Lucy? (Kevin and I are constantly calling Little Kevie Aiden). What additional testing/medical attention/medical intervention did you receive as a result of having a prior stillbirth?

    Lastly, when the hell are you coming out west? Love you to itty bitty pieces.

  13. Oh yeah, what books, websites, meditations, internet life coach can you recommend to help ease my anxiety and nerves??

  14. I have to repeat a question already asked multiple times.
    How do you explain Lucy's death to Beezus and Thor? My husband has 3 kids with his exwife. Parker was our first. Benjamin was born 49 weeks after his big brother was born/died. Benjamin knows about his brother, even though he's only 1 y/o. How do we explain it to him as he gets older and starts asking questions, and to their older brother and sisters when they see Parker's pictures and start asking?

    Thank you for all that you do!

  15. OK, this is a random one: I love your Lucia tattoo and have been contemplating getting one myself (well, a Calla one, obvs!). ANYWAY, how much did it hurt to get it in that particular spot? I have no other tattoos, andI like that spot, but I think it's going to really be painful.

  16. I'd love to come to your open house, but I fear air fares would prove prohibitive!

    So, where are you at spiritually? I have always admired your willingness to engage with issues of faith faith/spirituality/religion and baby death. I have deliberately avoided raising it on my blog as I'm too confused and scared by it all. Interested to hear your perspective.

  17. Hi Angie,

    I think I'd like to springboard off the previous comment. Did the loss of Lucy alter your spiritual beliefs at all? I think, in my instance, people almost expect me to now have some greater spiritual understanding and to have all the answers to everything when I'm still questioning and seeking and not really much different than I was before C. entered our lives. My reflections on spritual aspects on C.s blog are an indication of that--all over the place really, possibilities with no concrete answers.

  18. Do you ever wonder how your life would be different or your grieving would be different if you did not have your little boy? How do you think your pregnancy or more so your birth and alive baby after your loss help you heal or do you think it did help you heal if even in a small way? Do you ever feel like you want another baby because there will always be one missing?
    *Thank you for being JUST AMAZING*

  19. How do you find the time and motivation to keep up with all you do, especially online. You maintain a handful of blogs, all very well, and you post very frequently. And when you are posting, you're often talking about all the things you're doing when you're not online - crafting, cooking etc etc! Just wonder how on earth you fit it all in, and do you ever get any time just for you? How does Angie unwind and rejuvenate herself?

    ps: if I win, I'd chose They Were Stillborn and donate it to my local maternity hospital. A lot there could do with reading it.

  20. Hi Angie,
    I think a discussion I would love to have with you and hear your thoughts on is the idea of "Belief". I have been struggling with this word, notion and idea for some time and it becomes more difficult as the days go on. I feel resentful toward Belief. I bristle against it's sound. I feel inadequate in it's presents. Foolish for having believed in the past yet unable to forgive myself for doing so. It is an emotionally charged word. The word has become black and white in it's meaning, leaving no room for elasticity or fluidity in definition. Somehow I've cornered this word into being the purest of pure of tight lines to walk. I struggle to soften it's edges and redefine what Belief means to me. And this is not just about Belief in some God or Goddess, this is Belief as a whole. I'm stuck on this so your perspective will be interesting for me to hear.

    Thanks so much!

  21. When are you coming to Australia to visit?

    Loving your wise words always.

  22. Do you have any pictures of Lucy that you display openly in your home?

  23. I'm late to the party, but better late than never, right? ; )

    I'm curious: did you ever study art at school, or is it simply something you do?

  24. How do you keep Lucy's memory alive for Bea and Thor? What did you do on the first anniversary of Lucy's death?

  25. Oh crap, Angie, I missed all this.

    Ok, start again:

    Hi Angie, what a wonderful idea! I have a question for you, even though I'm hopelessly late and possibly you will not want to hear another question until the next millenium... here my question for you:

    What's it like to be on the other side of the fence - of babyloss and sub-pregnancy and parenting after loss or through loss dealing - one side and the other side - with women who suffered loss of motherhood alltogether with their loss who have wanted a child or children and can't or don't get to? Do you feel the divide? Have you lost "friends" who "unfriended" or un-followed you? How do you feel about that? Would there be anything you want these women to know or would there be something you would do differently in retrospect?
    How do you feel about the question? Have I forfeit my chance to win -the gnome book? :-P I loved that book when I was a child and miss it like crazy just seeing the front page on the link you posted.

    Ok, but now back to the series of posts i just read my way through, I really enjoyed reading (working my way backwards though your blog posts via the previous post buttons in right hand bottom corner...), I don't understand how anyone could dislike you, honest, funny, intelligent, loving being that you are, so, IMHO there is absolutely no reason for self-loathing (a comment you made about yourself somewhere), I certainly can't see one. I wish I was closer and could meet you for real, and call you friend in the traditional meaning.

    Love to you
    my friend



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