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Today I wanted to archive my thoughts, since it’s the first anniversary of Andy’s death. This last year has been an incredibly painful experience, and instead of just focusing on the pain I want to do some reflection.

After his passing, I thought a lot about relationships. Whether it’s romantic or plutonic, it’s all the same basics. There should be trust, honesty and respect and absolutely nothing short of that. He accepted me and loved me unconditionally. I felt safe. I felt respected. I felt like I mattered.

He made me feel like I mattered, even in the realm of his music. He’d ask me to pick his beats, he’d ask for me to listen to songs he recorded, or look at whatever he was working on and he’d ask me what I’d think. He’d tell me things like, “none of this would be possible without you. I need you. I can’t do this without you.” He made me feel like he really saw me as equal.

The space we shared was safe, loving and honest. He taught me to be better. He taught me to be more loving, even in times of conflict or fear. I always could always count on him, and he could always count on me. We both understood that we were stronger together.

He treated me with respect and honored me in all the ways that I needed. Of course, no person or partner is perfect. Our relationship was never perfect, but it was true. He only had good intentions, even when I was the most vulnerable. He loved me even when I was angry, depressed, overwhelmed, etc. He loved me and accepted me unconditionally without judgement.

I felt I could be 100% myself with him. He made me embrace my weirdness so much that he’d even match me on my level of weirdness. Spending time with him was so easy, talking to him was easy, being heard by him was easy, being seen by him was easy. He made good times feel effortless. This is one of the most bitter parts about losing him, the space we shared was one unlike any other I had experienced, and then it was gone. I’ll never be able to have that again and it’s been hard to accept that. But his passing has encouraged me to cultivate this space within myself, to actively create my very own safe space, to be self-nurturing and to accept myself unconditionally like he did.

There were always women who wanted his attention, his focus, his embrace, and he never cared for it. He would always respond to these women with kindness and respect, and I liked that about him. I was never jealous because he never gave me a reason to be. One of the things I loved most about him was that he had so many strong relationships with women, including his mother. He valued his mother more than anything else in this world, and I loved that about him. He always wanted to uplift the women around him however he could, whether it was through his lyrics, his friendships, his actions or his words of affirmation. After he passed several of his female friends shared with me things they had done because he had encouraged and pushed them. He continues to live through so many of us – men and women – our actions inspired by his encouragement.

My regrets were my arguing, my anger, and my toxic traits. It wasn’t until being in a long term relationship that I realized I was carrying a lot of rage inside. Andy was a healing and nurturing presence in my life, and since his passing I’ve ventured out onto an imperfect healing journey. To heal from his passing and everything surrounding it, but also to heal myself from old wounds and my own toxicity. I have not yet purged my toxicity and it will be a lifelong journey. This journey feels as messy as untying the knots of an inter-dimensionally tangled ball of twine (lol). Since Andy’s passing I’ve been trying to face my most important relationship, which is the one with myself.

Photo by Tiffany Janay

Something I would never have expected to learn from grieving is that I’m the big scary monster that’s been hiding in my closet that I’m too scared to look at. I’m the bad guy in some of my stories. I’m the little child that is crying in anger. I spend too much time in low and dark places. I’ve got a lot of work to do, FOR SURE.

This is an excerpt from something I wrote from a stream of conscious this summer while thinking about relationships, losing Andy and other painful things at the time. Feeling like I want to reconcile with myself and all the parts of myself that I hate so much:

“This makes me reflect deeply on what my intentions are.
This makes me reflect deeply on how I communicate.

It makes me want to approach problems more efficiently
It makes me want to approach things more devotedly


It makes me think of ways that I can approach things more fairly
It makes me think of ways that I can approach things more ethically
It makes me think of ways that I can approach things more lovingly

It makes me think of ways that I can be patient with myself and those around me.

From there…

It makes me take a second look at my own perspectives.
It makes me take a second look at my own biases.

There is a necessity to communicate compassionately.
There is a necessity to communicate willfully.
There is a necessity to communicate clearly.
There is a necessity to communicate lovingly.

It makes me want to be nourishing.
It makes we want to dig deeper.
It makes me want to expand farther.
It makes me want to cry harder.
It makes me want to love harder.
It makes me want to fight harder.

It makes me want to stop and appreciate the beautiful things in life more often.

It makes me think about the time it takes to really construct a healthy and nurturing relationship.
It makes me think about what it takes to actively evolve in a relationship.

It’s not a checklist, it’s a practice.
It’s an everyday practice that requires loyalty.

To have loyalty…
You need trust.

To have trust, you need honesty.
To have honesty, you need vulnerability.
To have vulnerability you need compassion.

It’s all connected, all needed, all at once.
Those intentions need to be activated, at all times.

In any relationship of any kind, there is no growth without positive intentions and active engagement.

Like a plant, it has to be continuously watered.

Continuously tended.
Continuously looked after.
Continuously cared for.
Continuously loved.
Continuously respected.
And continuously accounted for.

We need to practice this loyalty in all of our relationships, and most importantly in the relationship with ourselves.”

Photo by Tiffany Janay

The night I found out that he left, I felt the sharpest pressure on my stomach. Then after a few weeks the pain moved to my chest. Then after a few months it moved to a dullness over my whole body. I’ve swung from feeling the brilliance of fire in my heart and soul, to feeling dullness of my mind and body. From seeing the clarity in hope and radiant love, to trudging through the fog of fear and anger. From receiving downloads from above, and having so much dialogue, conversation, and creativity flowing through me, to wanting to hide under a rock. But I’m still here. I’m still going. For him, and most importantly, for myself. In the meantime, I’m still a big ol’ mess, a work in progress, but it’s okay. 🙂

I’m so blessed to have friends who truly showed up and showed love. I’m so grateful to everyone who’s been there for me and continue to show up and lend support. I’m lucky I have so many people that I can lean on, especially my parents. My parents give me a safe space to simply exist and I will forever be in debt to them for how they’ve shown up for me in my life.


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Karen Lovett

    You are so strong, so resilient, I admire you so much. Keep on with this journey, you deserve everything good in your life.

  2. Carol Heck

    I left a long comment but don’t know
    Where it went.

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