Kelley Lynn

When I first lost my husband to sudden death, I knew absolutely nobody that was my age who was widowed. The word "widow" made me cringe, and I ran away from any possibility that it could or would ever apply to me. Then I discovered Soaring Spirits and Camp Widow. Here were these people - hundreds of them - all over the country and the world - who were just like me. They had lost their partners too, and they were hurting and feeling alone too. Except suddenly, none of us were alone anymore, because now we had each other. The widowed community that I have met through Soaring Spirits is a HUGE part of the reason why I am alive and WANTING to be alive today. No joke. My widowed friends save my life over and over and over again, and I love them in a way that is impossible to describe. Soaring Spirits connects widowed people, and when you lose the person you thought you'd spend the rest of your life with - connection to people who "get it" means everything. My friends in the widowed community are evidence that there is life - joyful life - after loss. They inspire me daily, and I will always pay it forward however I can to Soaring Spirits, for giving me back my life again.

Losing Pieces of You

When someone you love dies, you don't lose them all at once. 

You lose them little by little. 

Breathe by breathe. 

Fragment by fragment. 

You lose them hour by hour. Minute by minute. Month by month. Year by lengthy year. 

It doesn't happen all at once. 

It doesn't ever NOT happen. 

Pieces of that person, that life, fall away as time goes by. 

Sometimes you don't notice it all at once, 

and other times, 

it hits you through the skull like an ice-pick, 

chopping away at your heart. 

When someone you love dies,

they don't die in one moment. 

They die all the time,

over and over again, 

forever. 

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11 reactions Share

  • commented on A Toast to Drew 2016-03-29 19:00:47 -0700
    My God, Mike, this is absolutely beautiful. Again, you make me cry with your blog posts. DAMN YOU!!! lol. I looove that Shelby says hello to Drew when helicopters fly by, and I love that you realize the BEST way to honor Drew’s life and Megan’s , is for you and Sarah to live yours everyday to the fullest, always carrying them with you, together. And yes, being a good man and a good father and taking good care of Sarah and her you – that is absolutely what they would want, and what you would want too if the situations were reversed. Love is a beautiful thing.

  • commented on Free To Be Me 2016-03-21 07:13:24 -0700
    Penny, I am SO happy to hear that you will be coming to Toronto this fall. Please make sure to find me and say hello – you can never have too many amazing new widowed friends to help you through. I will tell you that the age range AND the number of years since loss, is VERY wide and varied at camp. There are definitely people there in your age range, and a year and a half is NOTHING as far as time. People come to camp after a decade or longer from their loss. Its a healing place, and a place where you can be YOU and feel like a human being again – I will be happy to see you there and Im so glad this blog helped you in making that choice.

  • commented on Perspectives from Camp Widow 2016-03-18 09:12:14 -0700
    I love this, Mike. I just wrote something along the same tone for my blog today / about why going to camp over and over again is always relevant and always different. And about what its like to be around other widowed people. Im so happy to know you and Sarah in this weird post-death life. Its such a hard road, made so much better when you find your people. Sunday was an awesome day.

  • commented on "It Isn't Just Me" 2016-03-06 14:02:29 -0800
    This HAS to be a sudden death thing. I feel this too. For sure. I find myself getting exhausted so much more easily than in my old life, because I have to DO so much more, alone, and have to work more and stay afloat , and write a stupid book about him dying – and then I get resentful of having to write a book, or of having to find the energy to help other people, even though I LOVE helping other people, but I am so tired and I need help too and nobody gets that. Then I get pissy and resentful at the new friendship/whatever this is thats going on with me and this person – because its all so complicated and HE is complicated emotionally and so I get pissy at the fact that he has his own demons and if Don wasnt DEAD I wouldnt have to deal with really liking someone new and not knowing how to move forward through their personal demons. So yeah, Im pretty grumpy about all that, and holy shit that felt good to get out LOL.

  • commented on On Being Cherished...and Kissed... 2016-03-02 10:19:47 -0800
    Well if the words themselves didnt make me sob, the pictures that followed did. This is soooo beautiful.

  • commented on Sharing Grief and Taking Steps 2016-03-02 10:12:33 -0800
    Beautiful Sarah. And you should be proud of yourself.

  • commented on Camp Widow Lite 2016-03-02 10:11:30 -0800
    I love this!!! And also, you love camp widow because you and Sarah MET there!!! Cant believe you didnt even MENTION that lol. … I love that Beth came to Sarahs art show and I love the bond between widowed friends …. great post.

  • commented on Wish You Were Here 2016-02-21 09:22:08 -0800
    I so wish you could have your mom. I totally sobbed reading this. I know every single day how lucky I am to have my parents, and that NEVER goes unnoticed by me, especially since knowing you, and others who dont have their parents around anymore. Those triggers are going to be there and they are so hard, but I do truly believe that in the end, you and Shelby are helping each other to heal. Like our friend Tom says “when you heal, I heal. When I heal, you heal.” That phrase comes to mind when I think of you and Shelby and how beautiful it is that you have her and she has you. Love you sarah. Love, your REAL “mommy” Bahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • commented on I Will Never Move On 2016-02-23 13:23:01 -0800
    Thank you Loretta . I AM writing a book. You will hear all about it once its finished lol.

  • commented on All I Can Be, For Now 2016-01-25 11:58:19 -0800
    I think that is very healthy and makes total sense, and really, if she is a good friend, she will understand that. You HAVE to take care of you right now. There will be a time when you CAN be there more for her and her child, but right now, you are emotionally exhausted and spent because of the huge thing you already did , so now, its about you. Take all the time you need. sometimes we just need to back away for awhile so that we can one day be fully immersed again. One day at a time, friend xo.

  • commented on One More Phone Call 2016-01-25 11:52:40 -0800
    OH hell yes. Thank you for quoting me , and Im feeling a LOT of those same feelings you have described here. I want to call Don up all the time and tell him the cool thing that just happened, or share with him the great day I just had, and I still have that thing of feeling “NOBODY else would give a shit about this particular thing except HIM!!!! DAMMIT!!!!” I think it will always be that way, and that is hard. It will always be hard. But Im so glad for us both that we have reached the place where we have a life that we want so badly to tell them about, instead of just being in pain 24/7. I wish I could tell Don about you and your friendship. And yes, part of me believes that he knows, but like you said, its just not enough and its not the same as talking to him about it.

  • commented on ... And Still 2016-01-25 11:54:23 -0800
    thank you everyone. these are such simple thoughts, but we all feel them, I think. All the time.

  • commented on Home, Heart and Facing Fears 2016-01-03 19:54:44 -0800
    “I missed Ohio.” This post made me tear up so many times, because I know you so well, and because I have seen first hand these changes, and because I was the one who sat on the phone with you the morning after that traumatic event on New Years Eve where that guy who we wont mention did that terrible horrible thing … I heard you crying and I didn’t know what to do , and I could FEEL how traumatic that was through your voice, and It made me so incredibly sad . I felt so helpless . And now, to know that this year you came back to a Christmas tree and a guy and his lovely daughter and presents and songs and love …. its just such a beautiful thing. THank you Drew. Thank you Mike. Thank you life …. for always shocking the living crap out of us, and giving us another shot. Love you mommy xoxo

  • commented on Keep Them Alive at Christmas 2015-12-28 07:36:51 -0800
    ALEX thank you so much for sharing that. The first set of holidays is so hard because youre just trying to adjust and breathe and get used to this new reality. Im so sorry. Your wife sounds like such a beautiful person.

  • commented on Touching the Past 2015-12-24 20:09:02 -0800
    THis is something I think about constantly. You have put it into words so beautifully. Thank you. It is so complicated to rebuild your life out of death. THis continues to amaze me.

  • commented on You Find What Works 2015-12-18 19:29:44 -0800
    Thank you Don (my late hubbys name ). This picture is actually not me and Don – its of me and my friend Bobby at the tree 2 nights ago. I should have written that somewhere lol. Im so sorry about New Years Eve … that will be tough for sure. I think we are all just doing the best we can, and some days are just way harder than others. xoxo

  • commented on Metaphors for Grief in Nature 2015-12-13 09:37:51 -0800
    you are a beautiful person, and I love your “death bouquet” – at least thats what Im calling it lol.

  • commented on Surprised by the Loneliness 2015-12-05 10:19:06 -0800
    I was just talking with one of my widowed friends about this. No matter where we are, who we are with , how much fun we are having – its that “end of the day” winding down thing when everyone is going off with their families and partners, and you are again alone in your room, that is such an awful feeling.

  • commented on Making Meaning 2015-11-29 08:46:32 -0800
    I am so damn proud to know you.

  • commented on A Bit of Happiness for Me 2015-11-28 10:07:15 -0800
    Oh I love that you are doing this, AND I love that you are so generous to put your friends joy in front of your own pain, and not only be there for her, but HOST the damn thing. Youre a hero, woman! not sure I could have done the same. You rock.

Kelley is a comedian, writer, actor, and speaker living in NYC. She married her soul-mate and best friend Don, in October of 2006. She was 35, and he was 42. Just over four years later, he would die shockingly from a massive heart-attack. Kelley has turne
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