Karen Sutherland

  • commented on Passion from Pain 2016-04-10 16:36:19 -0700
    Sarah, what an incredible journey you have been on – and I am so delighted for you to have found a passion you are so eager to share and to help others. You are going to be FABULOUS !!! Please know I am here, cheering you on to make your dream come true – you have already come so far!

  • commented on Back to Start 2016-04-08 18:15:28 -0700
    Kelley, I am cradling you in my heart, sitting with you in your pain, protecting you from feeling like one huge, hurting nerve that is aching and giving rise to all the terrible feelings that are racking your mind, heart, body, and soul. It WILL be okay, it really, really will be okay. But for now, just know you are loved – feel the caress of caring, of empathy, of love, and know you are surrounded with a mighty posse of so many who understand and would give anything to take your fear and your pain from you.

  • commented on Good Widowing 2016-01-30 11:29:03 -0800
    Rebecca, this is wonderful! It inspires me to be much more aware of when self care is needed, and to realize that it puts so much of what we go through in our grieving into perspective; the result of being able to see how far we have come in the grief process. I am so happy for you! Keep going, Girl, you have so many of us cheering you on! Love, Karen xoxo

  • commented on ... And Still 2016-01-22 20:43:48 -0800
    Kelley, thank you for expressing the “and still…” of grief and loss and missing in such a beautiful, bittersweet way.

  • commented on Without You 2016-01-08 15:57:16 -0800
    Oh, Kelley – I am so sorry for all you, your Mom, and your family are going through. I think you know my history well enough for me to tell you that I know what you are experiencing. Sending massive amounts of warm hugs, huge hope, and a bright light of love to help you find your way through this most shitty development. XOXO, Karen

  • commented on At the End of the Day 2015-12-11 11:57:20 -0800
    Kelley, I simply do not know how our human hearts, minds, bodies, soul can endure that ache, that longing, that missing-ness, that emptiness when our person is not there when we get home. Going from such highs of happiness to the pain of knowing our Loves won’t be there to share it with feels so killingly painful. Sometimes it feels like some kind of punishment. Doesn’t matter who I am with, what ever special, even joyful time was had, when I come home all the fun, happiness, togetherness is wiped away. and no matter how hard I try to carry it over, to be grateful, to be mindful it’s always the same – that void, that huge hole of nothingness because Hugh is not there. I am so sorry , sorry for you, sorry for all of us who have to endure this god-awful aspect of grief. Just glad we have one another to share with and know we are heard and understood.

  • commented on Nobody Else Can Die 2015-12-04 16:08:50 -0800
    Kelley, what you have written is exactly how I feel. I know the trauma of sudden death will forever be for the rest of my life a constant worry – sometimes the reels that spin in my head are so debilitating. My only comfort is when I can write it all out. I hope that you having written with such candor, with no holds barred about those god-awful fears has helped even just a little bit. sending you waves and waves of big hope and calming thoughts to comfort you.

  • commented on Echo 2015-11-20 14:23:43 -0800
    To always feel that nothingness, that void is the worst hell on earth. I have not one single person outside my widow friends who can help me feel a sense of safety and security – and even then we can’t always be there, in person, to hold one another close and give reassurance. So the neediness, the anxiety, the panic attacks, the reels that spin in my head that are so hard to shut off – the neediness makes me feel ashamed. When I am scared and alone I often wish I could send out a mass e-mail and beg someone, anyone, to please send me a hug. “Always alone, talking to the echo…” ; me, too. I fucking hate that. Thank you for so eloquently sharing your feelings and re-posting your incredibly resonant poem, Kelley.

  • commented on Falling 2015-11-13 14:44:48 -0800
    Oh, Kelley, the frustration, the exhaustion, and trying to keep juggling so many balls in the air must be so totally OVERWHELMING. And even though you have so many loving, supportive, caring people in your corner, there is still all the missing of your Don. I wish I could say or do something to make it better for you. But I can only let you know that I am here on the sidelines, cheering you on, and sending you huge waves of encouragement, lots of warm hugs and my love. I so fucking want things to be easier for you.

  • commented on Backward is Forward 2015-10-30 19:37:13 -0700
    Kelley, this is one of the most insightful, helpful, and inspiring posts EVER. YOU. Yeah, that. You figured out some valuable truths, and YOU did the work of your grief – and YOU are amazing!!! Still…I am so sorry for all the pain…for all the missing of your Don, for feeling so terribly alone. Sending massive amounts of hugs to you. love, Karen

  • commented on The Things We Carry 2015-10-26 08:01:37 -0700
    Dear Tricia,

    This was such a beautifully written post, so full of love that flows through your heart and that you will always carry with you because you and your Stan created and lived that love. Your determination to also carry gratitude, his memory, his spirit, and hope is such an inspiration.

    I will miss you, I will miss your always honest and insightful and authentic words when you have written your experiences with grieving for your Beloved Stan. They have helped me so much to not feel so alone. I hope that all the things you will carry with you as you travel this continuing path of grieving will be a soothing balm to your beautiful soul, your body, and your mind.

    With much Love and Gratitude,


  • commented on With Apologies~ 2015-10-14 10:33:59 -0700
    Dear Alison, I am so sorry that you are so sick. And going through a spate of illness without Chuck to lend his special TLC adds another layer of misery. I’m so glad you are with your daughter. Hoping for a speedy recovery and sending lots of love and warm hugs to you. xox Karen

  • commented on To Choose Pain 2015-10-11 15:23:36 -0700
    Oh Sarah, with this beautifully written piece you have spoken exactly what I grapple with – that life promises us nothing. And that is why, if we are wise, we choose to live in the now, and that also choosing hope is the only buffer we have to help us keep moving forward. No matter what, when I grieve for Hugh, when my heart feels like it’s been pulled out of my body and lays in bloody shreds on the floor, I still say, and I will always believe that our life together and the miraculous love we created was all worth it. But is isn’t easy, is it. When fear creeps in it can be so paralyzing, and being a widow, suffering so much trauma and loss, and the horrible aftermath of the sudden death of the one we loved most in this world, it takes courage and strength and the firm realization that while we are in the land of the living we have to believe the truth that you have so eloquently affirmed, “Love is…the worthiest of reasons to hurt.” Much love to you and to Mike as you step even further into forging a life together, and may love and hope always triumph over fear. XOX

  • commented on The Waves of Grief 2015-10-10 12:05:02 -0700
    Oh, Rebecca, I am so sorry…those questions never to be answered, so painful. I hope it helps, even if just a little bit, to write it out and share the times when that god-awful tsunami of grief washes over you. Sending you lots and lots of warm hugs to comfort you.

  • commented on The Road to Forgiveness 2015-10-09 10:45:30 -0700
    i am so happy for you Kelley, to have been able to find the secret to forgiveness through the concept of something having to first die so one can grieve, let go, and move forward. Brene Brown is amazing! And I am so grateful that you have shared your own personal experiences with such joyful results. Your Don has definitely had your back on this! I realize I have a lot of work to do with forgiveness, too – especially with myself. So thank you for this beautiful and insightful post. (((((((hugs)))))))

  • commented on Many Families, One Tree 2015-10-04 12:19:21 -0700
    What a beautiful post! The way you described that wonderful collage and how it resonated with such love and joy, and how much it inspired you to think of it being all one family is written so lyrically. I bet you will never forget that day! It will be a touchstone to one day when you create you own collage.

  • commented on To Wait or Make a Move 2015-10-03 12:52:37 -0700
    Dear Rebecca,
    This must be so very hard for you, and I am so sorry for how it is so sadly and deeply intertwined with the loss of your dear Dan. You are a very astute, wise, and capable person, faced with a major dilemma, and i can only imagine how difficult it is with all the “what ifs”. I hope that you can find peace and the belief in yourself that at some point you WILL be able to come to a decision and know that decision is exactly the right one for you. Though i have never been where you are, i have had situations, reels that spun constantly in my head about many “what to dos?”, and the only thing that worked for me was to completely put them out of my head and trust that over time i would find the answers when the time was right. Easy to say, but so hard to do, i know! Sending you lots of warm hugs and wishing you peace and Love.

  • commented on Over It 2015-10-02 11:27:16 -0700
    Kelley, your fears are well founded with the pervasiveness of school shootings in this country. As widows/widowers the degree of vulnerability we feel without our beloveds is already an awful, terrifying given in so many situations. But for you and your students that vulnerability is surely raised to stratospheric heights. When I heard about the latest, horrible incident i wished so much that Hugh was here to hold me, just hold me, so that we could talk about it and so i could tell him about how scary it is to worry about something like that happening to our school age grandchildren. I am so grateful that you shared your feelings, your fears, and the huge, additional layer of feeling so alone and being without the person we love most in the Universe to comfort us. I wish i could be there with you, right this minute so we could give each other a long, warm hug, and hold each other up from being so alone and feeling this clusterfuck of helplessness. But maybe even if it’s only virtual, that hug will help just a little.

  • commented on The Girl With the Crooked Smile 2015-10-01 08:34:19 -0700
    Oh, Stephanie, this was an incredible post! I am so sorry you had to suffer such a scary, painful thing like Bell’s Palsy. But talk about silver linings – wow! you found them, and in spades. And I get it – how much it made you mIss Mike so deeply. I am so glad you are doing so much better, and that you found out just how much you have to smile about. And I bet the Musician was right when he pointed out that you look HOT with that crooked smile!

  • commented on Still Learning about Him 2015-09-26 09:01:41 -0700
    Rebecca, it’s so lovely that your dear friend shared about marking the 3rd anniversary of her husband’s death, and was able to find some joy and comfort amongst her friends that gathered to be with her. Gives you hope, doesn’t it. And your being able to discover more about Dan through the long-lived friendship and adventures they had together, as well as all the stories his family tells about him is a wonderful gift. I am so glad that all who knew Dan are so willing and lovingly generous, helping you to discover more about him. That must be such a comfort. Sending you lots of warm hugs. Karen