Things of Comfort

Thank you so so so so so much for all of your amazing comments, emails and IG messages after my mom’s passing. (Still doesn’t feel real typing that.)

(In a very strange turn of events, Instagram Stories has been SO therapeutic for me — I’ve gotten the BEST messages from people, and it makes me feel less alone in what can feel like a really isolating time. I’m @theodorable on there if you’re not following me yet.)

I’m sure I’ll write more about grief here, but for now I’d like to go back to some of the lighter stuff, or at least some of the vain creature comforts I’m enjoying right now.

Montauk Navy Beach

Before this happened, I said I wanted to get the hell away, and so I’m trying to book as much as I can (afford.)

First up on the Theodora’s Grief Tour 2K17: another weekend in the Hamptons in two weeks. I. cannot. wait. One of the next stops will likely be LA in August, since it seems that everyone I know lives there now, and I want to go somewhere near the ocean.

OK, and now I just want to be vain and talk about stuff, mmmk?

I have LIVED in these shorts all summer. I like to think that when I pair them with a sleeveless silky blouse and Jacks that I’m dressing them up for work, but who am I fooling? (Good thing I work for a startup.)

This is probably the most comfortable dress I’ve ever owned. All I wanted was a dress that felt like a lightweight blanket around me, and, done.

I’m obviously crying a lot right now and my skin feels like it’s a mess. I’ve put on this Beautycounter mask a few times a week, and it helps it feel as balanced as possible. I also have put on night cream during the day too. My solution to life right now is just to moisturize it, yes?

A friend who lost both of her parents suggested journaling, so obviously I had to go out and buy a pretty one. I’ve always discovered more about my feelings through writing. A lot of that has happened in this space, but some of this is far too raw to go here, at least yet.

This same friend also recommended Option B by Sheryl Sandberg. I began reading it while my mom was sick and finished it this week, but I think I may need to read it again. The overall message of “this isn’t what you expected and planned for, but this is what you have, so you have to make the best of it” really resonated with me and gave me something positive to hang on to.

I’ve had awful insomnia the past few months worrying about all of this, and the only non-phamaceutical thing that has helped has been lavender oil. I shake a few drops on my bed/pillows when I’m getting into bed and it does help relax me.

My latest Lilly is a particularly classy and neutral number.

Editing to add per a comment below and some IG comments: curling my hair has also brought me a weird amount of joy. Here’s the dry shampoo I start with and the wand I use.

SO MANY QUESTIONS

What STUFF brings you comfort? My friends, family, coworkers and mental health team and other coping skills all help…but sometimes stuff does too.

Keep up your awesome comments and emails with advice for navigating this process — especially stuff to read!

What place in the world brings you peace? (Not your backyard, somewhere I can go get on a plane or drive to. I mean, I guess I could probably do that to your backyard, but, you know, a destination.) 

19 comments on “Things of Comfort

  1. meredith @ cookie chrunicles

    im going to vote for walking to fire island. I just did it again this week and it’s so fun since everyone thinks you need a ferry! you can walk (it’s a little over 2 miles) from field 5 of Robert Moses to kismet fire island! do it for the exercise, summer scenery (surf’s out restaurants for the food), and beach vacation feel of fire island and then easily go home! if you have any questions about it just let me know. xoxox

    Reply
  2. Wendy

    cape cod is my personal happy place.How about getting a massage too? You are likely holding lots of stress in your body. I’ve always wanted to try one of those salt caves-we have one in CT but I haven’t been able to convice any of my friends to try it with me.

    Reply
  3. Colleen

    I just ordered that book myself. I lost my Mom in Apr 2014 at 74 after a long battle with copd and other issues, and then my beloved 19yo cat shortly after, not that I’m comparing the two at all, but still, it was just another blow. I’ve also lived with infertility issues that I just can’t seem to let go, even though its 11 years (!) since my repro told us our only option was donor eggs, which for us, was the end of the road. even writing that 11 years, it doesn’t seem like that many years. Approaching 50 next year, you think I could let it go and move on. some days I can, most days its on my mind for a good portion of the day. I’m interested to read the book and see if it can bring some peace. Yes, I realize I probably need therapy. My heart broke for you Theodora, and your father, until you have lived through it, you just can’t explain it. It’s just numbness and autopilot. You seem to be doing the best you can with your self-care. I appreciate you putting it out there, if it helps you. God bless.

    Reply
    1. Theodora Blanchfield Post author

      @Colleen: A very long story short, I also had to give up my dog during all of this (a story entirely too long to put anywhere on the internets — give up as in he’s alive, but still not with me), so I get that :/ Thank you for reaching out and my thoughts with you too <

      Reply
  4. Emily

    I just recently went to Mt. Washington, NH, and it was incredible and breath taking and there is so much hiking around there you can just take a moment to chill and reflect. Sending love your way and hoping you’re doing okay!

    Reply
  5. Annie

    Retail therapy and yoga…massages…hiking…cookies (Insomnia Cookie, if NYC has those)…coffee!

    Continuing with the light-hearted nature of this post, your hair has been ON POINT in your Insta stories…great beach waves. <3

    Reply
  6. Angie

    If price is no limit, Maui! The beaches are amazing, and there are also good hiking spots, fun places to ride a bike and great restaurants.

    Otherwise, any beach where I can relax without too many people around and just read a good book.

    Thinking of you.

    Reply
  7. Shawna

    comfort: an early morning run. reading outside. the ocean. a lake. stillness in nature. my best friend. faith. writing. the right song.
    praying for you during this tough time. <3

    Reply
  8. Angela

    My comfort is heading to Cherry Grove beach in upstate SC. It is very peaceful! I love to get lost in a good book and I look to various bloggers for a great book ideas. I have been living in these shorts in pink and blue all summer. These are the most comfortable shorts, I sized up just for comfort! I hope you find some sort of comfort and peace in your new normal. Your new normal will never be the old normal, but hopefully it will get better every day.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0106O1U9E/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1&th=1

    Reply
  9. Erica

    Dearest Theodora, be gentle on yourself. To even blog is an amazing leap.

    My sister’s husband passed away last year. They had been together since they were 16 and are in their 50’s. (I’m 12 years younger.) She was his care giver for many years. I’ve sat back and watched her immerse herself in taking on others issues and now more than a year later, she’s starting to work on herself. I applaud you for looking for comfort. Her therapist recommend her find one thing that truly makes her happy and do that once a day. Riding bike, taking a dance class and go from there. Also, I try to remind my sister when she’s had to make decisions (new appliance purchase, new furniture purchase, ect) on her own that are difficult, to remember he would want her to make decisions on her own and would be proud of her and happy for her. I only know you virtually, but I know your Mom would be so happy knowing you are trying to find comfort and happiness and would smile thinking of the trips you are planning, the peace it will bring you and the memories you will make. She would want you to have fun and enjoy your life. Remind yourself of that when you feel down.

    My soul healing places are St. John (Gibney/Oppenheimer/Hawksnest beach with a day trip over to The Baths) and Echo Lake in Readfield, Maine. To me, the lake is stepping back in time as if I’m staying at a summer camp for adults. Swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, reading and lobster rolls!

    Reply
  10. Courtney

    “Life’s tough, but I’m tougher”

    I’ve never commented but just wanted to express how very sorry I am that you lost your mother. Your relationship was clearly very special, and I can not imagine what you are going through.

    I travelled across Europe in my 20s and of all the well known, flashy places I went, the small town of Gimmelwald, Switzerland was the most amazing place. It’s nestled in the Swiss Alps and was the most beautiful, peaceful location I visited. I still think of it ten years later.

    Wishing you all the best as you navigate this time in your life. ❤️

    Reply
  11. Christie

    Have you ever tried GABA for anxiety and restlessness? I discovered it several years ago when I was having major panic attacks at work and now use it on occasion when I have trouble sleeping. It’s all natural and it just helps me relax and not worry so much. I fall sleep fine then get up in the middle of the night and worry. 15-20 minutes after I take a GABA, my brain quiets and I can fall back to sleep. I get mine on Amazon but GNC sells it too. It’s always worked for me so I thought I’d share. My prayers are with you as you work through this very difficult transition in your life.

    Reply
  12. Emily

    Near(ish):
    Bucks County, PA
    The Berkshires, MA (Clark Art Institute, Mass MoCA, Mt. Greylock)
    Portland, ME
    Asheville, NC
    Blue Ridge Parkway (NC & VA)
    The Amtrak train to Montreal (or even just the MetroNorth Hudson Valley line 🙂
    Hudson, NY

    Farther:
    Vancouver and Victoria Island, BC
    Olympic Peninsula, WA
    Grand Canyon, AZ
    Grand Teton/Jackson Hole, WY
    Point Reyes, CA
    Yosemite, CA
    Iceland
    London
    Scottish Highlands

    Reply
  13. Aubrie

    Ugh, I am so, sorry for your loss. I hope you get lots of fantastic suggestions and that you’ve got wonderful family and friends around you during this difficult time.

    If you’re looking for something really bold, my friend Bri leads trips with a company that does all women’s treks up Mt. Kilimanjaro and she RAVES about the experience: http://www.yogawithbri.com/workshops.

    For a short trip, Copenhagen is a really lovely place to be alone, and you can totally do it in a long weekend.

    <3

    Reply
  14. Ellen

    I have not been following the blog as much as in the past, but I was completely shocked to read of your mom’s passing. I got that pit feeling in my stomach and cried for you (with you!). I am so very sorry for your loss.

    Reply
  15. หนังจีน

    Yes, I realize I probably need therapy. My heart broke for you Theodora, and your father, until you have lived through it, you just can’t explain it. It’s just numbness and autopilot. You seem to be doing the best you can with your self-care.

    Reply

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