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The First Birthday

I wrote a post this morning with a short recap of my Thursday, a story of comparison and running that came up for me after my last post, some recent eats and a shout out about my friend Teri’s blog. It’s been sitting in drafts ever since. I wrote the post and then I was like, “What is this? How can I publish this? While this may be what life looks like right now, it’s far from what if feels like.

Today is my brother’s birthday. He would have been 28. My dad also had a heart procedure this morning and is in the hospital overnight for monitoring. Both on the same day has been…a lot. When they called to schedule my dad’s procedure and said the date was October 21, my mom and I couldn’t believe it. (My mom called a couple of hours ago to let me know he was out of surgery and in recovery. The procedure went as well as it could have and we’ll know more soon.)


I’m going through the motions but feeling like I’m on the outside looking in and there’s a huge wall between what I’m doing and how I’m feeling. I wish I could be with my family today.

When was teaching yoga this morning I said “downward facing dog” instead of “forward fold” (these two postures are not quite the same thing) just a few minutes into the warm up. I caught myself and realized that my mind was in another place. I told my students what was on my mind and then we kept doing yoga and we got through class. I was grateful for their strength and support. Teaching is still pushing me to my edges. One one hand, motivating and inspiring others when you feel empty doesn’t feel all that great. On the other, I am able to connect with one of the main reasons why I teach…and that is to help others feel strong, empowered and connected with their bodies, hearts and minds. I’m able to see teaching as a way that I can give back more of what I wish for the world during this difficult time.


That said, I just subbed out my afternoon class. The anxiety I felt over having to walk into that room to teach was too much.

Instead I’m going to take my girls for a long walk while I think, process, breathe the fresh air and feel the sunshine and wish him a happy birthday somewhere that I pray he his happier and healthier.

I don’t know what else to say. I’ll copy and paste today’s post into a new post and schedule it for tomorrow. This is a very difficult balance to figure out and I’m doing the best I can.

I hope you’ve had a good Friday and enjoy the fall weekend that’s ahead of us.



{ 40 comments… add one }
  • Rebecca Strength and Sunshine October 21, 2016, 3:56 pm

    No words, Jen, xoxoxo <3

    • Jen DeCurtins October 26, 2016, 3:22 pm


  • Michelle October 21, 2016, 4:08 pm

    My heart breaks for you, Jen. Hugs to you.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 26, 2016, 3:22 pm

      Thank you Michelle. ❤️

  • Janice October 21, 2016, 4:38 pm

    I have no words or great quote to help but I read your post and my heart aches for you. Virtual hugs.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 26, 2016, 3:22 pm

      Thank you Janice.

  • Hallie October 21, 2016, 6:18 pm

    I continue to be so sorry for this tremendous loss. Your honesty is so inspiring and I hope you continue to find safe spaces to grieve. <3

    • Jen DeCurtins October 26, 2016, 3:22 pm

      Thank you Hallie. I feel like I have to be honest and open right now or else I just feel so terrible I can’t take it.

  • Sabrina October 21, 2016, 6:27 pm

    My heart aches for you too. Praying for much love, peace and many blessings to you and your Ohana.
    Aloha from Hawaii…

    • Jen DeCurtins October 26, 2016, 3:21 pm

      Oh Sabrina. Thank you so much for the prayers. ❤️

  • Christina October 21, 2016, 7:52 pm

    Aww Jen…..no words. Be where you are right now. Sending so much love and support your way. And your precious nieces are in my heart ❤️

    • Jen DeCurtins October 26, 2016, 3:21 pm

      Thank you so much Christina. Be where you are right now is such a powerful statement and I’m trying to practice it and not to apologize for where I am right now.

  • Ally October 21, 2016, 8:13 pm

    You are very brave. These dark days are so hard and going forward is so hard. Someday it gets more bearable; wishes for healing and peace to you. Thank you for sharing.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 26, 2016, 3:20 pm

      Thank you Ally. It’s such a roller coaster.

  • Cameron October 21, 2016, 9:41 pm

    Thinking of you Jen! Xoxo

  • Megan Annen October 22, 2016, 2:15 am

    I just wanted you to know that way over in Oregon… I’ve been thinking about you. Grateful for your honesty. I wish you eventual peace, while still in a place of sadness….

    • Jen DeCurtins October 26, 2016, 3:20 pm

      Thank you so much Megan. It means so much to me that you commented with such kind words.

  • maya October 22, 2016, 6:37 am

    You are doing really well Jen. I don’t know you in person, but I feel so proud of you, and how you are handling such hard times. It truly is an inspiration to us all. Sending you virtual hugs and best wishes to your dad and your brother. Every bit of him, his energy, is still here. xx

    • Jen DeCurtins October 26, 2016, 3:19 pm

      Thank you so much for the kind and encouraging words Maya. It means a lot to me. ❤️

  • Alicia October 22, 2016, 7:40 am

    I’m so sorry. There’s no time limit for grief.

    It will feel better though. It just will.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 26, 2016, 3:19 pm

      I know. Thank you. ❤️

  • Heidi October 22, 2016, 10:01 am

    Heartbreaking Jen. Thinking of you xoxoxo

    • Jen DeCurtins October 26, 2016, 3:18 pm

      Thank you Heidi.

  • April Izer October 22, 2016, 1:57 pm

    You are a strong, brave, beautiful, inspiring woman

    • Jen DeCurtins October 26, 2016, 3:17 pm

      Thank you April. Your comment means so much to me.

  • Lacy October 22, 2016, 8:26 pm

    Thinking of you and sending some warmth from my heart!

    • Jen DeCurtins October 26, 2016, 3:08 pm

      Thank you so much Lacy!

  • Teri October 22, 2016, 11:10 pm

    Oh friend. My heart is hurting for you. Sending so so so many hugs. 💗

    • Jen DeCurtins October 26, 2016, 3:04 pm

      Thank you, this has not been easy.

  • Bibi October 23, 2016, 6:50 am

    Thank you for sharing Jen, and being so real and honest. I’m so sorry everything is so hard now. Love. xxx

    • Jen DeCurtins October 26, 2016, 3:03 pm

      Thank you for the kindness and support. <3

  • Brittany October 23, 2016, 10:13 am

    Jen- thank you for being willing to share the grieving process with your readers… It is hard, it is messy, it is terrifying, but it will make you stronger. I lost my 9 year old niece almost 2 years ago to a terrible disease called Aplastic Anemia… I still cycle through the stages of grief, sometimes on a daily basis. I know how hard it can be to put one foot in front of the other with the “fake it till you make it” mentality.

    You are brave, you are inspiring, and you are not alone.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 26, 2016, 3:01 pm

      Hi Brittany –

      I am so sorry that you lost your niece at such a young age. That is so terrible.

      Faking it is exhausting. I know I’m not alone and I’ve been so appreciative of the support I have received here.

  • Joy October 23, 2016, 2:25 pm

    Jen, please know that I’m thinking of you. Grief is so, so hard and what I love is that you’re dealing with all of the feelings that you’re feeling (if that makes sense–I think it’s important to acknowledge that you’re sad when you’re feeling sad, or mad when you’re feeling mad–instead of pushing feelings to the side. Acknowledging feelings as they come up has just always felt right to me).

    Birthdays and anniversaries are tough when it comes to a lost loved one. My mother’s birthday was on Christmas so ever since her death Christmas has taken on a different tone for me. I still love celebrating Christmas with family, but it’s always with that sense of loss.

    I do hope you’re giving yourself a lot of grace during this time. Saying the wrong thing during yoga teaching is completely normal. Your brain is processing something that is huge and overwhelming. When I lost my mom, my job didn’t make any sense at all anymore. Previously I had loved what I did, but her loss made me feel like I was just “pushing papers” and life just felt so out of sorts–for quite a while. I was lucky to have a friend at the time who was able to make me feel less alone because she had previously lost a parent and her job as a writer for a prominent newspaper didn’t make sense anymore. Please don’t be hard on yourself just because your mind might not be “100% in” to your job. It’s totally normal.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 26, 2016, 2:59 pm

      Hi Joy –

      Thank you so much for the comment. I am trying so hard to acknowledge them but I’m also trying to stay in my day-to-day and keep functioning. I think I’m fine and then out of nowhere, I’m just not. The days are getting easier but there are moments of intense pain, anxiety, sadness, anger…you name it.

      I can’t even imagine what you must feel on Christmas now with that being your mother’s birthday. That is tough. What you say about losing your mom and your job not making sense anymore really resonates with me. Thank you for sharing that. I’m definitely struggling with that feeling a lot in regards to some of my work.


  • Hillary October 23, 2016, 11:10 pm

    Sending warm, healing vibes your way. You are STRONG, girl, you are so strong. xoxoxo

    • Jen DeCurtins October 26, 2016, 2:54 pm

      Thank you. <3

  • Tara October 24, 2016, 12:45 pm

    echoing what others are saying and sending you many hugs and prayers. it will get better. dealing with grief is exhausting because you do feel odd that the world goes on as if nothing happened. yoga is a blessing and a curse when you are in pain. it can bring it so close to the surface when all you are trying to do is push it down a bit. i am thinking of you.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 26, 2016, 2:50 pm

      Thank you Tara. It is so completely exhausting but I know it’s a journey I have to take.

  • Christi October 12, 2017, 11:29 pm

    You wrote this just shy of a year ago, yet I needed it today. Thank you for sharing such raw emotions, I feel less alone and more “normal” (whatever that is anymore.) My mom passed suddenly from a heart attack Feb 2016 and in June cancer that my (older & only) sister had beat returned and took her from me in a matter of weeks. We were born 9 1/2 months apart and closer than close. Today is her birthday, she would have been 46. I am so stuck in this greif.

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