Balancing Life, Work, & Loss: Personal Struggles and Life Behind the Business

It’s really weird… some of the things you never think about when you chase your dreams…. like what happens when you go through grief and loss in your personal life? How do you keep your day to day business running when life behind the scenes feels a lot like the photo below: all a blur – a mix of colors, shapes, and movement?




Yesterday I got a phone call from my dad, telling me that my grandma (his mom) had passed away. She was my last living grandparent. I shouldn’t have been surprised, since she was over 90 years old. But I was. She was still so independent, lived on her own in Florida, volunteered at the local library, and could talk sports, politics, and anything else with you all day. Even though I knew this could be coming at anytime, I figured for some reason that I’d have some warning. I thought that she’d get sick, or somehow we would know it was looming around the corner. Instead, she went peacefully while sipping brandy in her pajamas, and reading her nighttime prayers in the chair next to her bed. Just another normal night for my grandma, like she would have wanted it.

No matter how long someone’s life was, or how peaceful their passing, it is never easy to say goodbye. Immediately after getting off the phone with my dad – my regrets and “I wish I would haves…” came to the forefront of my brain. Sad that I hadn’t prioritized visiting her in Florida, like I meant to. Sad I didn’t call her more often, or write her more letters. James told me not to let my guilt get the best of me (like it usually does), and told me that my grandma loved us and appreciated all we did for her. I know he’s right, but still I can’t help but wish I had tried harder when she was here. Why do we all do that? I do my best to spend time and love on those around me while they’re here, and yet I always want more… wish for more time, more moments, less regrets. I guess those feelings are inevitable in some respect. Because whenever we love someone we want them to stay here with us forever, but it just isn’t possible.

And so here I sit… trying to figure out how to continue running this business in the coming weeks; meeting the day to day demands, running meetings, shooting sessions and weddings… when something isn’t whole behind the scenes. It is a strange dichotomy that I never really thought about when starting this business: how to not fall terribly behind and disappoint your clients, when you are struggling and hurting behind the scenes from things in your personal life. How to go about bringing life back into focus when things are suddenly knocked off kilter.

One thing I do know is that my grandma was oh so proud of James and I for making this dream work, and she always encouraged us to keep working hard… and so I have some peace knowing she would be smiling down on us while we keep attempting to move things forward… as we navigate these next days, weeks, and months with a renewed awareness of life and loss.




**Clients & friends – I will be doing my best to keep things functioning as normal on the business side of things, although we will most likely have to rearrange/reschedule some upcoming meetings & sessions as we iron out dates for her services & travel to/from accordingly. Weddings will not be affected, other than editing and blogging turnaround times may be slightly delayed from the norm due to extra time out of the office. I will be in contact via email as soon as I have more information for those clients whose sessions or meetings may be affected. Thank you in advance for your understanding. xoxo

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Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!