A Year of Firsts

I’m not gonna lie… the first weekend following Nora’s due date (Sept 20) was challenging.  We had a good friend of ours come to visit, which was awesome, but he stayed in our guest room… which we had just started converting into Nora’s room when we lost her.  I don’t think I realized I was having a hard time at first. The day our friend was arriving, I was short & snippy with my husband for no reason, feeling kind of glum, and then I got offended when he pointed out how I was acting.  After taking a step back, I saw my sadness in that we are able to host guests in that room still, when she is supposed to be here with us instead.  It was so good to have that friend for the weekend though, so that brought some joy.

Later that night I got to catch up with one of my best friends, who now lives across the country, over the phone for the first time since losing Nora, and it was a great, much needed conversation!  We have known each other for a long time, and we can completely be ourselves around each other (I hope you have friends like that, I have several, and it’s LIFE).  We’ve actually gone through death & grieving recently already when she lost her dad suddenly over a year ago.  He was an awesome man, and she definitely lost a piece of herself that day.  She’s always been one of the strongest, coolest, most adventurous, fun women I know, and to see her be able to be happy again is inspiring to me… because she went through A LOT of emotions over the last year.

My bestie was giving me a little hell for jumping into a regimented nutritional program so soon after it happened for me, but I assured her that I needed to put some road blocks in the path of self-descruction I was on sooner rather than later, and I wasn’t being hard on myself.  {Today I’m on Day 17 of 21 of my program, I’ve definitely been better, not perfect with it, but I’m SO glad I did this when I did for many reasons.}  Grief looks different for everyone, and I think just because of my position in life as a lifestyle coach, I WANT to be the more healthy & fit version of myself, so why waste time before working towards it again?  That doesn’t mean that handling it differently than I would is wrong.  I told her that I didn’t want to look up a year from now to find myself completely lost & so far from what made me ME.  Looking a certain way has very little to do with it, it’s the daily habits that I identify with, and I feel my best physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually when most of my habits are healthy ones.  Using food & drink as comfort can be a slippery slope for me, so I just want to be proactive in my grieving process, and I’m definitely giving myself time to not be like myself for awhile.  Following something structured has also been a nice distraction.

A YEAR.  That’s what she said she decided to give herself to feel all the feelings, eat & drink all the things, make all the mistakes, and do all the things after she lost her dad.  Obviously, the sadness extends well beyond the year, but then I realized why a year was so significant after she said “you’re about to have a year of firsts that are sad & hard & will suck”.  I think I gasped a little and said, “you’re so right”… that weekend we were going through one of those tough firsts.  It flashed in my head that earlier that day I was looking at holiday shirts and saw a baby onesie that said “My First Halloween”, and I had to click away from that page immediately while fighting back the tears.  There will be NO FIRST Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentines, Easter, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, 4th of July, or birthday.  NO first smiles, first steps, first time rolling over, first time sitting up, first foods, first words… the list goes on & on, but a lot of firsts usually happen for a baby that first year, on top of all the holidays & such.

So, yeah… I’m not gonna stop working my businesses, trying to be a good wife & mom, trying to be a better friend & family member, trying to be a healthier person… but I’m definitely gonna continue to cut myself some slack, especially during this year of firsts.

Thanks, Brittany xoxo

Jessica Sanford