Lexi discusses the impact of losing her brother Daniel to Ewing’s Sarcoma. Lexi discusses her own experience, as well as how Daniel’s diagnosis and eventual passing changed both her and the dynamics of her family.
Lexi Osborn self-describes as highly empathetic, extroverted creator who values the balance of rational analysis and intuition. She is someone who loves to wrestle with making abstract concepts applicable to our day-to-day life. Lexi channels these characteristics into a deep passion for supporting others in their path to finding fulfillment, improving their lives, and life-long learning. These passions and aptitudes currently manifest in her work as a Certified Professional Coach, a certification she received through the Institute for Professional Excellence In Coaching (IPEC), and her full-time role in training and development at a non-profit committed to defending individual rights across the country.
Although she hails from the Chicagoland area, she now is living her interior-decorating dreams at her house with her partner, Raúl, in Richmond, VA. If she’s not eating at one of the many amazing RVA restaurants and/or dancing around to music, you’ll most likely find her on a long walk with her head in the clouds or curled up on the porch with her nose in a book.
If you’re interested in reaching out to Lexi, you can find her on LinkedIn by clicking here.
Lexi Osborn 06:49
to get a therapist or a coach, honestly. Right, because because the the first thought I had was like, feel your feelings, it’s like the end, you know, and then a second thought was like, you probably will need like a professional support through that, but I think what, don’t be afraid of feeling it. Because that’s where also, like, the magic is in it. Like the like, like, it’s your grief, your depths of grief, grief is your depth of love for this person. And I kind of felt like I owed him that, you know, this was very, there’s a lot of like, duty bound kind of things in my relationship with my family that are very complicated. But I’m, that’s what I would was one of the things I would advise is like your, don’t be afraid of your feelings, like you’re gonna come out of this stronger and wiser and, and the feeling your feelings now will will help you be in a position to to make better choices as you as you move forward with your life. Because if you if you’re just suppressing lows, you’re like there’s no way you’re going to be able to have a level head with your, with your relationships that have changed shifting dynamics. There’s there plenty, a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms that result. And, and so one of the things that helped me do that was like I was saying, like, like, what, how to what do I do to honor this person’s life, and that has helped me continue to stay on the standard path that I’m proud of. And say, on a path that’s, that moves forward towards where, where I want it to be and, and the first step in that is, is letting you feel letting yourself feel everything, because it’s going to be impacted or like one way or the other might as well impacted in a way that’s enriching and is honoring that person that you love.
Stacie Crawford 09:22
I love that. That’s beautiful. It’s very beautiful. I wanted to make sure that if there’s anything that you actually like that you’ve really wanted to say that you have to say that yeah, absolutely.
Lexi Osborn 09:52
So one of the things because we did spend a good chunk of it was about my relationship with my mother. But one. The other thing the other major Relationship budget it was my relationship with myself. Yes. Was that a journey? I thought because I was like, I’m dealing with my shit, right? That was my whole that was my thing that was that I was like, this is the value that I’m bringing to this family’s I making sure nobody else has to deal with this. There’s nothing to deal with, you know,
Stacie Crawford 10:18
great because I’ve got it so put together and put together and you know, so under control, and so just lined up perfectly.
Lexi Osborn 10:28
Yeah, lol. Anybody who knew me in my early 20s would just burst out laughing thinking that, that that was my that I thought I was holding it together enough. But so I had a relationship to myself shift and shifted because I had to stop using Daniel as a reason for things or as an excuse for things or as like the lens. You know, because it was the most defining and most exciting things about who I was in my life. And so all of a sudden, it wasn’t anymore. And like, hopefully have, you know, decades more to live? Yes. And he’s like this is it? Like, I hadn’t thought really about what my like what life we’ve been wanting to mean to me, what was the purpose of it? If it wasn’t that like we are going through this? Right. And it had been since I was like, you know, an eighth grade freshman in high school. I had, we had
Stacie Crawford 11:30
you went into this at a point where remove the illness, okay, remove the illness from life. You were at that age where you would just be starting to explore really who you are what you are. So then to have that normal growing up process going on. But then you add in the dynamics of Daniel being ill family, you being I’m going to take control of this. Like it almost makes me question. If you had a chance during that time to even explore who you were, because it was just a time of like, I just need to like, make sure I’m fed. I’ve got my schoolwork done, I practice my music. I’m getting my emotional health taken care of somewhere where it’s okay, go for it. Like
Lexi Osborn 12:30
this. So any free time I have is pretty much dissociating into a fantasy novel.
Stacie Crawford 12:37 Lately, yes. Yeah.
Lexi Osborn 12:39
Twilight was my I read by like so often, my mom would often say the Twilight was what saved me. It would did. Because that came out right when I was a freshman, so it was gobbled it up. But yes, it was yes. My therapist said that it was like the late adolescence, which I was very offended by which I made sure she knew I find
Stacie Crawford 13:03
that you wouldn’t be very offended because Hello, I’ve just spent all these years taking care of myself delayed adolescence, my ass during this time.
Lexi Osborn 13:15
Exactly. Yeah, I was like, I was like, like, like, I don’t know if we can can we swear? Yeah. I was like, What are you talking about? You know, just like absolutely not. I’m like, I like I booked like, last death right in the face. And, and not and not blinked? You know, I was there. Like, one. One of the other like really awful times in my in my family’s life was when Daniel was accidentally paralyzed from the T 10 vertebrae down when it was 30 News. 30 just heard like two days after his 30th birthday is supposed to be an output outpatient procedure. But he ended up being paralyzed for the rest of his life was wheelchair bound. And this was also right when he was started thinking like, Hey, I don’t think I want it. I’m not sure if I wouldn’t beat this like, I don’t know. But like, I’m gonna start like, kind of living my life because he didn’t like working any chance he could. He had a job and he was working and and he was incredible. He put, you know, all the stuff into life insurance for himself and prefer for us. And yeah, and so that was one of the most those are the, that was one of the times where I was just like, you got it. I don’t think I ever think there’s anything more horrifying. And so, you know, like I said, there was so many traumatic moments within the system. You’re like, yeah, so when you say I think you have delayed adolescence, I was like, like, like, Fuck you, basically. But I realized she was right. Almost like she’s professional. She’s right it because it was it wasn’t, it was like I skipped a section and move over to another section. So it’s not that I didn’t have maturity in these other ways, it was just that there was a section with it adolescents that just didn’t get processed. And a lot of that was like, and that’s what that part was, was like your self esteem. And so part of why one of the reasons why the transition was so hard. And it was so emotional for me, it was because I basically had skipped building self esteem and have gone straight to keep in my, if I keep shit together, and I do the right thing. Or if I even if I don’t do the right thing that like I just don’t make sure it doesn’t blow up enough where my parents or my family have to deal with it. And, and then I like, and then like, the thing that I was doing all this force lecture round is no one just got what literally, is gone. And, and so, I mean, I’d never talked to my cousin a lot about like, you know, I would really, I was very used to relating to people through my trauma, I was an old such an overshare. Like, you can imagine, like, what like, what would a 14 year old kid who have gone through this? Like, probably an overshare? Or completely shut down? Like? Right, right? So, so a lot of a lot of my 20s Up until now, I mean, still working on it, but a lot of it is been about like, how do I have confidence with who I am as a person outside of all of this outside of, you know, there’s a while where I’m like, am I only do I only really bring my potential to the surface when something traumatic is going on? Do I need traumatic traumatic things in my life? Or are things right? And? And, you know, do I seek out environments like that, because stability is not something that, you know, that I’m used to so I don’t know, how to thrive in it. Like I’m used to, you know, I mean, like, there’s, so it was very, very complex. And, and, and so that’s something I want to share too. It’s just, it’s not even about so much of this transition is your transition with how do you relate to yourself. And it’s been, it’s been a mess, but it’s, it’s been, it’s been really important and the same thing I feel my feelings are I try to be self aware sometimes so that the faults, but, you know, have people around me that love me, you know, talk to professionals and just make choices. Again, it’s like I’m rediscovering things aren’t just for me, or about me and, and that’s been great. And but that’s and that’s not something like rediscovering relationships, yourself that not is doesn’t only just happen if you’re going through a transition that was related to your adolescence that happens is like you were dealing with something for a while, right? Or just someone really severe. Like, even so anything that’s super impactful. Even if it’s a good transition, like it usually will make you reevaluate like who am I
Stacie Crawford 18:26
speaking to somebody about, you know, it’s there, they’re pregnant with their first child and already, like, who am I? I’m like, not gonna find out for 18 year,
Lexi Osborn 18:37
right? Like, sorry, you gotta put a pin in that.
Stacie Crawford 18:42
To that when you have time right now, just get as much sleep and food as you can. You’re really happy. You have that, you know, right foundation. Right? You’re right. It’s, you know, each transition that we go through, it really is an opportunity to rediscover who we are. And but I think that I like the way you phrased it to you talk about, you know, your relationship with yourself. Like, so to me when you say that I’m thinking like, how you view yourself how you decide you want to present yourself in the world, the stories that you tell yourself about who you are. And you know, like, was this a conscious like, I need to go on a mission of self discovery, or was it like just this kind of one day you realize that oh, I noticed this about myself, or something completely different.
Lexi Osborn 19:43
Well, I I. So the first thing I did when I moved to DC was right, which was almost immediately after college, I was in Denver responsive to DC after I graduated, and I like immediately got a therapist, because I knew I was like you You have an impending date, don’t know what it is, but my brother’s gonna die. So probably should have somebody who I have a relationship with when I go through that. And so we ended up working, so I didn’t like building up, you know, self awareness through that. And for for a few years. And so, by the time like a lot of this hit, I I couldn’t always understand all the pieces, but I was pretty I was like, Man, I, I’m, I don’t know what to do. I don’t. So it was, it became really clear when I would just have you know, have all of these, you know, yeah, the story of who, what I tell myself. It just it’s like the narrative the narrative was gone. Narrative had giant blank spaces in it. And I kept working for I think I, he does, he died in October. And then the following August, I quit my job that fall in August, I was just not in a good place. And I knew I needed to take some time. So I actually literally was like, I’m taking I jokingly call it my sabbatical now. Like, I was like, so I had a sabbatical, it was about a year, I took almost it took a year off of like, kind of office work. But I took six months off of total work, which I was extremely lucky that I could afford to do and then and then worked at a coffee shop for a year. And then like halfway halfway into that year, I would started working at another office. So I was doing part time. But I literally was like I’m about I’m going to crumble, I have no self esteem laughs I don’t have any faith in myself, like things that things at work were going downhill. And I like I remember, that was what something that my parents really did, were really there for me for and supporting me and making that decision. And my brother, because he’s an he’s an incredible person, you know, was able to be me some resources where I could afford to do that. So the so I was able was an incredible gift to just have a few months to just make sure. I basically I would get I went to the gym, I went to I went to yoga, I watched a lot of movies, about spirituality.
You know, a lot of time peddling the dog. Like I was like, I don’t really do anything. I think eventually, eventually, I did a musical. But um, it was mostly just like, I was I was hit hit a breaking point where I was about to, I was about to crumble. And so I knew I needed to focus on it. So ever since then, it’s been like a journey of self discovery. Like, let’s do it. Almost like so there’s so much going on that like you. It’s impossible not to do this, like, okay, things are going on, like maybe I should be taking care of myself. Right. Right.
Stacie Crawford 23:11
And you know, it very exciting that you were able to, frankly, financially afford to be able to do it. And I know you said you can think Daniel for some of that.
And you had gotten to a point where you had the support of your parents, which at that age, you know, right, very shortly after college, we need to have people, you know, standing behind us so that we do have more confidence. And and you had none. You had not yet. Yeah, for real. You skipped like most.
You skipped it. You went straight to I’m just gonna take care of this situation, and everything will be fine. And, you know, so it makes total sense to me that there would come this time where it had like, it just comes to a head. Yeah, no. Yeah. Oh, yeah, it did. And I, you know, it was I was I was so like I said, so lucky that I was able to take that time off, but I was at, I was at a breaking point.
Lexi Osborn 24:21
It’s interesting, because it didn’t happen for months until after Daniel’s, like, was this thing that just built? And, you know, you think about how long you were? And I’m going to use these words because I think most people will understand them. I don’t think that they really work for like, the training that we’ve been through.
Stacie Crawford 24:41
You know, you’ve spent years maintaining control. Yeah. And when the time came that you knew was going to come. It was horrible. You felt it, but you felt it still with control. Cuz that’s what you knew. And maybe it just took that long for that wall of control to just slowly come down and, and kind of allow you to be like, Wow, what the hell am I gonna do with myself now?
Lexi Osborn 25:19 You know,
Stacie Crawford 25:19
I’m sure it was really obvious that it was like, Okay, well, Daniels not here. So the reason I was doing all this stuff is not existent. What do I do? I’m sure that was really obvious when everything was going on. But at the same time, obvious to our sight and obvious to the way that our brain processes stuff like that stuff takes time to set in. And I think it takes time to set an even when you’ve had nine years of leading up to it, because no matter how much you try to prepare for this situation, we don’t know what it is until we’re in it,
Lexi Osborn 26:00
right? Yep. Yep. You just don’t and, and then you’re like, Wow, I did not prepare adequately or, or like, Man, I couldn’t have prepared adequate for this, right? I think was what was the big takeaway was, just don’t know, your shutdown, somebody’s gonna hit you and affect you, and you know, what the circumstances are gonna be in the world around you, let alone your own situation. So, um, so, you know, it’s, it’s, it took a long time to put a long time to process I was I, for about, like, a year and a half or two years after Daniel that that was like, just when I was in like, like, big, like, waves of grief. And, and processing, like, what I wanted my life to be if I didn’t know, somebody who’s like, Oh, I’m such a self aware person. Especially like, even then that’s how I thought of myself. And I, how did I not realize like, oh, maybe you’re gonna have an existential slash identity crisis, when like, the thing you’ve built. And the thing that you’ve built a lot of who you’re proud of who you are, like around. Yeah, is not is not a situation you’re facing anymore.
Stacie Crawford 27:17
Yeah. Which then goes back to what you said, Okay, now, do I need to be involved in traumatic situations in order to show up as my best self, like, you know, like, I trained myself to have I trained myself that this is the way that you know, I need to be in these situations or around these situations to, to show up as my best self. So I will cut this part out if you don’t want it to be in the podcast. But I’m curious. Did any of this have any effect on your decision to become a coach?
Lexi Osborn 27:53
Totally not, Stacy. I can’t see how this is related at all. Absolutely. Absolutely. I was. I mean, I had thought about like, like, did I want to do advocacy work? Did I want to be a therapist? Did I want to? Like I thought about being a lawyer? I was like, How do I like be there for people like I wanted to I wanted to show up, you know, right, like the beat bear witness and be there for people in a way that most people just, that’s not how they, they’re not used to that. Or they just they won’t, or they say like, everything’s gonna be okay. It’s like, we all looking at this. Like, we know this is not going to be fine.
Stacie Crawford 28:39
Right, right. Having a place where it is, this is a funny word, because people react to it funny, but having acceptance of the fact that it’s not going to be okay. Yeah, it’s not gonna be this is not going to feel good. And we’re going to literally get through each moment by moment. And hopefully some time, it’ll be good. Acceptance like this. This is what it is.
Lexi Osborn 29:09
This is this is like, this is awful news. Right? Like, because the only thing you’re doing when you’re like, at least I found is what people like if, you know, if you’re telling someone you’re going to be totally okay, usually, okay, that person is going to feel more alone. Because they’re like, this person doesn’t understand what’s happening, or I have to pretend so they feel like it’s gonna be okay. Yeah, so just sit just bearing witness. So I went through a different a couple different ideas of what it could be like what I could, what kind of thing I could do, and I just felt like really restricted by a lot of the options like I didn’t I didn’t want to do law school. I taken the LSAT, like, a few years before I just, no, I don’t I don’t think it’s quite right. Other kinds of advocacy and in the way that our or like systems or structures in the United States, the advocacy world, in the way that at least I was thinking about it is a lot of social workers and a lot of lawyers. And those are just not I just knew that I wouldn’t be happy going on with either of those directions. And so I was like, maybe I could, like do coaching. Because coaching also is like, a little, you know, it’s, there’s more, there’s more you can do with it, I think then sometimes with their therapy, therapy, just I’d like to the freedom that came with coaching, and I, and that, that just that kind of energy behind what a coach can help you do. And so I talked about it for a few years. And then my friend was like, Hey, I actually found a coaching, like, because I’ve been looking like during the beginning of COVID. I was like, this is perfect time. But so overwhelming. And so I I did AIPAC, because my friend Phil was like, You should do this. Because I’m doing this, you can be my guest. And I was like, Cool. Yeah, the rest is history. But there’s absolutely like, because I was just like, how do I be there for people who don’t show up for people so that they can, like, find this is my line I applied was like it was I want to be a support for someone so that they can find the strength and freedom within themselves. So like, no matter what’s going on around you, no matter what’s happening in your life, like your your internal like world is safe. It’s a safe and empowering place. And so yeah, that’s how I that’s how I got ended up being
Stacie Crawford 31:55
a coach. Yeah, well, I having been coached by you, I can say that you are an excellent coach, you very insightful questions. And you absolutely. Witness what what is brought to the table and your general desire to empower the people around you can be felt whenever you’re in a coaching session with you. So it it seems like it’s all come full circle. Yeah. You know, you talked about finding different pieces of, you know, gratitude throughout the, the process of losing Daniel through, you know, throughout the grief process itself. And it’s just so amazing. The people that I speak with that are able to find the blessings within not not necessarily silver linings, I used to, I used to really like that phrase, and I’ve kind of gotten away from it, because it almost feels nowadays that silver linings is like, kind of like a little blanket that we cover up whatever we need. Yeah, up with as opposed to like being like, no, like, really, what are the blessings that are here? Because they’re here. And once you start looking for them, I think that it, it’s kind of that sign that like, Oh, you’re on a healing process here. Like you’re moving in the right direction, you know, and I loved hearing all of the little bits and pieces that you’ve talked about. Okay, so I’m gonna try this one more time.
Lexi Osborn 33:54 No, I got it all I got
Stacie Crawford 33:56
good. I’m really glad because that was something that I had written down too. And I was like, Oh, if we don’t get to it, I’m gonna tell her Can we can we record another time? Because I knew that was a really big deal. So yeah, this is fantastic. Thank you so so much, I so appreciate you sharing your story, being vulnerable, telling people about your own experience. And, you know, my hope for this is that people will be able to recognize parts of themselves and the story that they hear and they’ll have hope. And they will understand that they’re not alone. Because when you feel alone, all of this is just so much harder to go through. And so, so thank you so much. I appreciate you. And I’m probably going to set you back because I have some ideas for more more.
Lexi Osborn 34:51
I love I love this kind of stuff. So you know I’m used to I’m used to talking about growth and yeah Being a human being and next time so so yeah, absolutely anything. Yeah, I’m I’m down for whatever so just to keep me in the loop thank you so much for, for giving me the opportunity because you know, this is also one of the ways I we know do something meaningful and do something Arctic with all the process all the stuff that I’ve gone through and so it’s it’s kind of can be like grounding and centering to be like Oh yes, I have gone through all of this and this is, you know, because I’m I’m processing as I’m speaking so it’s it’s also very useful and meaningful to me. So thank you for thank you for asking me or give me the opportunity.
Stacie Crawford 35:55
Absolutely. What an amazing conversation with Lexi, I am so honored to have been able to provide the space for her to share her story. And I hope that you were able to recognize pieces of your own story. Even if you haven’t lost someone, I’m sure that you have experienced grief and major changes in your life. So I hope that this has given you some hope that there is space to grow and you’re going to be okay through whatever changes you’re going through. I’m really looking forward to having more conversations with Lexi she and I could talk for hours and hours. So thank you so much to Lexi for joining me and thank you for listening