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Moving On From The Death Of A Close Friend

Cat Corchado September 2023

Small Space Fitness: Cat Corchado

One of the drawbacks of getting older is losing those that we love – especially friends and family.

I recently lost my dearest friend Vanita from stage 4 colon cancer. We met when both of us had to move to Germany as fourteen-year-olds. I know, the horror! It was bad enough moving to another state and school but another country?

Anyway, I was drawn to her infectious smile and personality and we became fast friends. We did everything together and I mean everything. We were known as Peanut Butter and Jelly because we were always together and like PB&J we were good together! 

A Close Friend Since 1972:

Vanita set the bar on friendship so high that I haven’t had a close friend since 1972. She was the epitome of a perfect friend – we joked together, danced together, got into trouble together. I felt more at home with her family than I did my own. Her father always called me his “other daughter”. I could walk into their house without knocking, eat dinner like I was family, and spend the night without asking my parents. She was more than a friend – she was, and is today, my sister.

“Not once, did I think about death. Not for me or those that I love.”

As life does, it interferes with life “stuff” and even though we didn’t talk often, when we did call we just picked up the conversation right where we left off before. Most of my fondest memories are from that five-year span of time when everything seemed possible and we had no obligations or responsibilities.

When I found out about her condition, it made me think about all the different things we worry about in midlife – gray hair, sagging skin, wrinkles. Not once, did I think about death. Not for me or those that I love. Even when my dad died it didn’t affect me the same way. I did not have that kind of relationship with my dad that I had with my friend.

Moving On From The Death Of A Close Friend:

One thing I continue to do is move. At 66, now is not the time to stop moving either fitness-wise or in business. My health and fitness are everything. More so now than before Vanita passed. Know that movement is one of the best things you can do for your body and your mind. Your fitness doesn’t affect today as much as it does tomorrow, next week, next month, etc..

Moving on from the death of a close friend is a process that looks different for everyone. Try to focus on self-care and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As a fitness professional, I know the importance of exercise and its positive impact on mental health. I encourage you to do one thing…when someone is on your mind, that’s the universe telling you to reach out to them. Take care of you and then take time to remind your friends and family how much you love them.

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About the Author:

Cat is a proud US Air Force veteran who has made it her mission to help women veterans transition from the military. She is a leader and speaker within the active duty and veteran community and her advocacy has helped her develop the Sisters-in-Service podcast- a platform for anyone affiliated with the military.

Cat is also the founder of the Small Space Pilates community. Cat feels privileged to work with midlife women to help them increase body awareness, mobility, stability and strength in a safe and fun environment. With over 39 ears in the fitness arena, her specialties include Personal Training, Pilates, Activated Isolated Stretching (AIS) and most recently her certification with CETI to work with cancer. Follow Cat’s Sisters In Service  on Instagram for more information.