Stephanie Vendrell

A New Lease

Another sleepless night. Eyes wide open, I finally get up.


I pace through the house, small as it is, investigating this or that I think I will or will not take to the new place, for the millionth time. Thinking about all the things I have already taken to the new place, for the millionth time. Our new place, my boyfriend’s and mine. 


February will mark five years without Mike. I can hardly believe that. And here I am, the loss of the house finally imminent, the auction date a few weeks away, a new lease already signed. 


This is it. There is no pretending Mike might still walk in the door any minute. After 16 years in this house, I’m leaving. We’re leaving, my dogs and me, and this guy who has been here for me for about four of these last five years. This guy who has made it possible for me to stay with my dogs, who has found a role in a season of my life I never saw coming…and yet has no real role in my grief.


Who loves me and supports me and yet may never truly understand what it is I have gone through; that strange and horrific grief path I continue to tread.


No one can. Our grief journeys are solo gigs. And he gets that, as a musician, I think.


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  • commented on Inward and Outward 2017-11-30 14:57:39 -0800
    Scott, thank you for that encouragement. Like many others, I do have a book in the works, but life is so full of the daily bits, it might be awhile before it’s finished. But I will remember your words. Thank you.

  • commented on Itching and Aching 2017-11-26 13:11:39 -0800
    Oh Candace, I am so sorry. The first year without them is an absolute horror. Though I wish it could say it gets easier, that empty space will always be just that: empty. Big hug.
    Sarah, thank you for sharing this. There are so many fears wrapped up in this move. You’re right- I definitely need to leave room to grief throughout this move, and beyond. Thank you for sharing your journey as I believe we get strength from each other. Xoxo

  • commented on Going With It 2017-11-17 15:35:01 -0800
    Thanks Cathy… I can already tell, driving by will be hard and I will probably avoid it too for a long time. But once again it seems to be a thing some of us share. :((

  • commented on Decisions, Decisions 2017-10-28 17:16:09 -0700
    Thank you Carolyn. It seems to be a shared journey, and the support here is important.
    Yes Lisa- getting used to limbo, somehow- it does seem like it will never end. Thank you for your support, xoxo

  • commented on Breaking Home 2017-10-16 21:44:36 -0700
    Lisa- funny how widowhood relates to boot camp…or not so much, maybe. Unfortunately it’s not an eight week program, but just keeps happening and happening. I love the encouraging quote though and will surely use it myself!!
    Cathy- Cathy, your experience nails it too: never ending boot camp. And leaving a space you have had for so long is heart-wrenching. I try to think of the new and good, but sometimes, it is really just so hard.

  • commented on Always Surprise Yourself 2017-09-11 04:40:35 -0700
    And it brings back the reminder, life is like a rollercoaster. In all its ups and downs, the reluctance to even get on, the thrill of it…and the fears and horrors. Sarah I thank you for your frankness and willingness to share these deep parts of yourself which we share in our own ways. We are all, us widowed people, rediscovering ourselves every day, and take courage in your adventures. Hugs.

  • commented on Another Day 2017-09-07 14:48:44 -0700
    Oh Tracy I am so, so sorry. What a terrible tragedy. And such a horrific time for you. Glad you found us. Contact Soaring Spirits, Michele will send you some support. And we all out here send you ours. Lots of hugs.

  • commented on This Terrible Club 2017-09-02 23:01:56 -0700
    Indeed, Lisa.

  • commented on Sorry Too Late 2017-08-24 15:05:45 -0700
    Thank you Don, Margaret and Liz…hard feelings to share.

  • commented on Missing You Always 2017-08-18 16:03:32 -0700
    Thank you Gayle. The missing them never stops. Hugs.

  • commented on Here I Stand 2017-08-18 16:08:21 -0700
    Thank you Sharon. Interesting that you didn’t make 14 years either. I will be thinking of you on August 26. That is my parents’ anniversary, they will be 56 years, hard to believe, both living, though dad not doing well. Seems the fates deal us each such different hands. Hugs and blessings to you.

  • commented on That Moment 2017-08-03 23:23:59 -0700
    Joseph, that is a really nice thought, thank you, that it is a sign of him looking over me. I will try to remember that next time. Lisa, hug.

  • commented on The Tree of Grief 2017-07-28 14:41:39 -0700
    Diane, I am so touched that you were inspired to reach out. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. As Joseph said, loss of a child must absolutely be the worst, and I am grateful that you have found Soaring Spirits to be of some solace to you, and have experienced some rebirth of life after your terrible loss. Sending a big hug.

    Joseph, your partner sounds like she was an absolutely wonderful person. What a hole in our lives after losing our rocks, to be sure. Thank you again for your great support, and hugs to you too.

  • commented on Rattled 2017-07-29 16:18:57 -0700
    Indie, it really seems like it doesn’t get any easier, I’m also four and a half years along. Wish I had a magic answer. Community is the only way I feel I have been able to survive, so I’m glad you have found your way to Soaring Spirits. Hug.

  • commented on Meet Wendy and Ben 2017-07-13 19:06:32 -0700
    Welcome, Wendy, though I wish you had not reason to join this terrible club. My deepest condolences on your loss. Yes, we want them to be remembered…and so we write, indeed. Blessings to you and your family.

  • commented on The Meaning of Teeth 2017-07-15 23:22:33 -0700
    Indie, you nailed it….being loved brought great meaning, and without it…busy is just not able to cut it, though we do try. I am glad you are here at Soaring Spirits, community and support is so important, so many caring and loving people here. Big hug.

  • commented on Say Goodbye to the Fridge 2017-07-10 01:54:59 -0700
    Carol, I am deeply sorry for your loss. It’s early for you and the days are so hard, every single one. I too believe I will see my love again but that doesn’t make the days here without him seem easier…well, maybe, but, since I have nothing to compare it too…still hard. I am glad you are seeing a counselor, she helped me so much.
    Susan…holidays are so hard, every single one. It does all seem anticlimactic, good way to put it. As does every other day. Hugs to you. Thank you for sharing.

  • commented on My Final Blog 2017-07-06 16:14:51 -0700
    Hi Michelle, can’t believe it’s been a year already. We are blessed and grateful to have had you here at Soaring Spirits sharing your life and your grief. I wish you peace on your journey.

  • commented on Just Another Week 2017-06-30 02:31:53 -0700
    Yes, Lisa, so uncertain now, without them. Sigh indeed. Sharon, yes, another week in a widow’s life…a terrible club but glad not to be alone in it all. Hugs to you both.

Writer, widow, lover of life. Join me on my journey of personal transformation. Blogger for hire. #RodanAndFields consultant - clinical anti-aging skin care.
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