Stephanie Vendrell


When Mike died, that terrible first day, I remember asking a dear friend, in my stuttering confusion and desperation, to let me know how long that feeling was going to last. You know the one. The shock and horror of finding that your beloved husband had unexpectedly died during the night. 


Yeah. That feeling.


That feeling when the ground beneath you is wobbly and the sky is crumbling around you. Everything is altered, like some horrible gone-wrong LSD trip, the world unfamiliar, your skin prickly, your tongue unable to form words properly.


My friend, to her credit, did some research and found some interesting information about grief and mourning from a few different cultures. Not ours, of course. Not Western Selfishness. We have no culture of grief. Only self. So when Mike died, I was navigating uncharted waters. No one had ever explained grief to me, what to expect when a loved one does, how to treat people who have lost loved ones, or even how to fend off the insensitive comments a grieving person might hear.

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  • 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.

  • commented on His Heart and Mine 2017-06-23 03:19:01 -0700
    Sharon, someone told me once that if a person reaches 60 they are likely to reach 80, but that many people indeed die before that. I have met many widows whose husbands died at 59. I just find it a thought to ponder.
    I think Brian was much like Mike. Hated to face a life in which they couldn’t do all they wanted to do. It brings a deep, sad sigh. But you’re right. Doesn’t make us miss them less. Hugs.

  • commented on Post-traumatic Growth 2017-06-16 16:13:10 -0700
    Oh Liz, one week, what a horrible time, I am so deeply sorry for your loss. I am glad you found Soaring Spirits. I know I speak for everyone here when I send you love and hugs and support during this difficult time. It just sucks, and yes, right now it’s all about just survival.

  • commented on Soul Searching 2017-06-09 00:17:03 -0700
    Thank you, Sharon. It’s strange to think of all the happy families secured in a kind of peace and security while we still seek that, or perhaps better, seek it yet again, after our losses, in middle age. But as you said, we have our own paths, and must simply keep walking. Love to you too.

  • commented on Killer Lonliness 2017-06-01 23:25:58 -0700
    Marilyn, what an experience you have gone through. I am so sorry for your troubles. I think you are absolutely right about the driving force behind addiction. Loneliness is indeed a terrible thing and due to our widowed state, a very stark and devastating reality for many of us. Thank you for sharing and commenting and being part of the community.
    Donna, I get that. I feel that too many days, existing, not living. I’m glad you have your sons. And grateful you can come here and share and get support. Lots of love.
    Sharon, wow the Camino how awesome!! I always wanted to do that! I think that’s a great way to get out there and look for peace and purpose. Meanwhile, so sad about the date today for you. Those anniversaries are so, so hard. But as I said to Donna I am sure glad we have this place to come together. Bless you.

  • commented on The Public Face 2017-05-22 01:59:58 -0700
    Cathy, you are right, it is all so hard to make decisions now. And yes, not to show how hard it is…feeling it, sister. Hugs.
    Indie, yes, a charade indeed. I feel you too. Wish I could hug you too, I could use it too.
    Linda, so much to think about, yes….too many decisions, where is that magic decision fairy??? Thanks for your thoughts and prayers, sending them your way too. If I have to be in this terrible club, I am thankful for all the wonderful souls who accompany me. Xoxo

  • commented on Smiling Through the Tears 2017-05-19 03:29:58 -0700
    Indeed Marilyn there will always be that but…hugs to you.

  • commented on Shifts Happen 2017-05-02 15:02:11 -0700
    True words Cathy, the book ended…and Lisa, indeed, who are we?? Sigh.

  • commented on Talking to Mike 2017-04-21 11:58:12 -0700
    Thank you Bruce, that was a beautiful and thoughtful comment. I will indeed.

  • commented on Mean Dreams 2017-04-17 02:14:53 -0700
    Bruce, I believe that. Just wish I could really talk to him.

  • commented on Times Gone By 2017-04-08 21:55:39 -0700
    I will. Something heartening to know you are going through similar changes. Somehow, we survive. Hugs, Cathy.

  • commented on Grown Up Problems 2017-03-23 13:54:29 -0700
    Me too Lisa!

  • commented on Location, Location, Location 2017-02-24 13:45:29 -0800
    Wow Cathy – on top of everything else, the adoption thing being in common in our lives, thank you for sharing that. And I hope to continue moving forward, yes, so many decisions. I hope my adventures lend strength to some, and I appreciate the sharing as well in return, it brings me strength too.

  • commented on The Path Less Traveled 2017-02-08 14:32:23 -0800
    Thanks Cathy – good to have the shared experience, and advice – and the idea that it gets easier. I guess I will eventually perfect the introductory info in a way that is dealable for me. Xoxo

  • commented on Limbo Girl 2017-01-27 06:28:19 -0800
    Cathy, I so appreciate your sentiment of difficulty when people ask your plans. In this time of our lives, after our losses, we have learned that what we plan often doesn’t happen. But other people have yet to learn it. And yes I am amazed this is my life too. Thank you for your continued presence and support.xoxo

  • commented on Overload 2017-01-25 06:37:05 -0800
    Congratulations on everything you are doing Kelley, and thank you, because your words will reach a lot of people who will benefit greatly. For me, writing about grief has been often difficult, and always also comforting, and cathartic. And I share your love affair with words, as well as the occasional feeling of being overwhelmed, and at a loss. I know you have a lot of followers here and elsewhere and we look forward to reading and sharing with you.

  • commented on Life speed bumps 2017-01-25 06:30:06 -0800
    I remember crying at the DMV too…I also cried at the bank dealing with his name on accounts there. I remember the people looking at me with confusion as well, but, apparently there are quite a few of us who react like this. Hugs to you Michelle.

  • commented on Another Runner Up? 2017-01-21 22:45:21 -0800
    Me too, Sharon. Man. Me too. Thank you.

  • commented on Felt Like Goodbye 2017-01-16 18:18:50 -0800
    Oh God, Kelley. What a thing to happen…I am so glad you had found her, and had that chance to tell her what you did…so many of us never get that chance, and thank God she is alive. Such big changes for all of us, never-ending f-ing changes. I think about you in your move this year. Sending love and hugs.

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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