Two weeks ago, I lost my daddy. He had a heart attack and passed away in his sleep. When I got the call, my boyfriend and I immediately flew home to Pennsylvania to be with my mom. My brother and sisters also flew in and our extended family were all present to hold one another, grieve together, make decisions, and honor my dad’s legacy.
It was a super long 10-days, the flood of emotions, lack of sleep, and consistent tears totally wore us all out. When I got back to San Diego this week, I became painfully aware of the permanence of this loss of my daddy. This is the closest loss I’ve experienced in my life and this process taught me so much.
You know that my philosophy of pageantry is that it so closely parallels life, so in today’s episode, I want to talk about how to lose a pageant with grace using the lessons I learned from the loss of my dad. I know these two things seem not even remotely related, but by the end of this episode you’ll realize that losing a parent and losing a pageant really are not the end of the world. Plus, you’ll have some ways to deal – with both – more effectively.
No one knows what to say
Don’t judge their words, just accept their support.
Remember what you’ve learned
Life is a series of experiences through which you are intended to develop. When you cling to what you’ve learned from the life experience, you’ll realize the good far outweighs the bad.
Your support system is vital
Even though they may not know what to say, the people whom you have nurtured will be there to nurture you.
Though your world stops, everyone else’s keeps turning
Don’t blame them and don’t blame you.
Reflection is powerful
As a pageant coach, I schedule a follow-up call with my VIP clients after their pageant just for the opportunity to reflect. There’s much to learn and so much healing that takes place after an emotional experience.
Give yourself grace
After a loss, it’s really awful, all the ‘what-if’s’ that cloud your mind. And at the end of the day, you’ll drive yourself crazy with what-ifs. “What if I wore the other gown, what if I did a different talent, what if I hadn’t gotten that spray tan, what if I had practiced once more…” You need to give yourself some grace. You did the best you could with the information you had. Forgive yourself with grace.
Everyone handles it differently
Don’t judge other girls based on how they are managing their emotions. You can only be responsible for how you respond. And other’s may judge you.
Don’t fall into the drama pit
It’s one thing when your best friend asks how your experience was or you mom asks what you think of the winner, but it’s different when a random person tries to get the scoop. There’s a difference between curious and nosy. When you lose a pageant, you will have everyone and their brother coming to you for the scoop, trying to create some drama or at the very least be entertained by some. My answer in pageantry is the same, “I guess I wasn’t the girl for the job this time.” And that’s enough to stay drama-free and keep your emotions away from the dark ‘what-ifs’
Emotions aren’t an indicator of truth
Emotion is energy in motion, meaning it will eventually leave. That’s why you shouldn’t make decisions on little sleep or a hungry stomach. The same is true after a loss. After the loss of my dad, we were all thinking wacky. One of my dad’s friends who has experienced loss in the past advised my mom to make no major decisions for at least 2 years. In pageantry, 2 years may be excessive, but 2 weeks would be wise. Confused minds shouldn’t make important decisions.
Romans 8 Principle
Romans 8:28 promises, “all things work together for good to those who love God.” Even in this difficult time, I have to know that God is going to set this exact situation up for something spectacular for me (because I love Him) and for everyone in our family – because we all love God. God’s promises aren’t empty. My hope is in my future – I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us.
That, ladies, is how you lose a pageant.
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