For the first time in the two months since she lost the man she called “the love of her life,” Sandra Bullock decided to brave the public eye. She stepped out with daughter Laila and a bodyguard in Los Angeles on October 26, “looking somber but surprisingly good and put-together,” says a witness. “She was doting on Laila the whole time.”

Her priority has always been her family. “She’s struggling to stay strong, and picking up the pieces for her children,” a source says of the actress, whose partner, Bryan Randall, died of ALS at 57 in August, after a private three-year battle during which Sandra served as his primary caretaker. “The last few years have been incredibly stressful and heartbreaking for her — and Sandra hasn’t yet fully processed everything — but she’s slowly learning to manage her grief.”

Mourning Period

She and Bryan had been together for nearly eight years. “They were as good as married, and he was the only father her children have known,” the source says of Louis, 13, and Laila, 11. “They’re all in therapy, and Sandra encourages them to talk about Bryan often, to keep his memory alive.” Bryan, whom Sandra, 59, once described as “very Christian,” believed “he was going to a better place,” says the source, “and they all like to think he’s watching over them.” Or, as her sister, Gesine Bullock-Prado, lovingly noted at the time of his death: “I’m convinced that Bry has found the best fishing spot in heaven and is already casting his lure into rushing rivers teaming with salmon.”

That thought provides comfort, “as does the knowledge that Bryan knew that she loved him dearly and did everything she could for him,” adds the source, noting that the Oscar winner put her career on hold to care for him alongside a team of nurses. “She was completely devoted to him.”

Bryan Randall and Sandra Bullock
Jackson Lee/GC Images

But now that he’s gone, she’s found herself with a lot of time to think. “She’s been so busy worrying about everyone else that she’s not quite in self-care mode yet, and her heart is shattered,” says the source. “There have been a lot of private tears, but she’s trying to do what he always told her to do: Breathe and take it one day at a time.”

She’s also bracing herself for the first holiday season without him, “which will be especially painful,” says the source. “But she appreciates every single moment she has with her kids and knows that she has to move forward and live her own life to the fullest for their sake. That’s what Bryan would have wanted for all of them.”

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