Stephanie Vendrell

Dead and Gone

My fingers know the letters. I can type as fast as most people can talk. But what to say…what to tell, this day in the middle of all the holiday madness.

I can’t write about this. I can’t write about that.

Too personal.


But my life is what it is.

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Stored Memories

When I was a kid, Christmases were pure joy and fun. It meant cousins, grandparents, decorations, special dinners, holiday treats, and sometimes, winter fun like snowmen and sledding. It meant no school, warm fires, music sing-a-longs and laughter.

Pretty soon I grew up. Christmases were still, for a few years, about family and love and gift giving. Then I met Mike, and being a wife, having a husband, brought new meaning. I was no longer the child but the grown-up, doing the cooking, shopping and wrapping presents. Taking joy in creating and presenting the spirit of the season in the faith we shared.

The last Christmas we spent together in 2012 might have been the best one because Mike was excited like he’d never been with me yet. He helped decorate our little tree, put up the lights, and choose presents to give. I remember sitting outside on our lanai gazing at the lights and ornaments with him. I remember his sense of peace, that year. I always wonder if he knew the end was near for him, because somehow, it felt different. I had no idea it would be our last. But looking back, I wonder if he did.


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  • commented on Runner Up 2017-01-16 18:13:13 -0800
    Good comment, Gayle – that was then, this is now…wish non-widowed could see that too. Our loves are gone but that shouldn’t mean we don’t get other loves. It will never be the same though, and maybe some people are just more sensitive to that. Michelle, I am so sorry he said that. I have been going through that with my boyfriend too. I’m not sure where to go with it yet to be honest. Hugs.

  • commented on Permanent Markers 2017-01-17 08:12:10 -0800
    Oh, Indie, it is just so hard to know what to do. I think keeping things until you find reason to, or feeling to, change that, is not only ok but perhaps what needs to be. My heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing.

  • commented on A Choiceless Event 2017-01-06 08:50:09 -0800
    Oh my gosh Marilyn, thank you for your comment. It made me cry. “My eyes are his eyes now” – that is exactly how I feel, and what a beautiful way to put it. I wonder sometimes whether what is going on with my life now will resonate here, so your reaction is precious to me. Many blessings to you, and hugs. We are in this together, hard as it all is.

  • commented on Ashes and Tears 2016-12-31 14:24:19 -0800
    I know Lisa, I shudder too. So here’s to peace, indeed.
    And I sure get that, Cathy – now we know what it means. Letting go can be so hard.
    Sharon, what a hard year for you, I am so sorry. I am glad you are doing better though…strange how we become “good” at grief somehow, maybe that’s not the right way to put it, experienced maybe. Sad, but probably true. I do think of our loved ones rocking out up there, I hope. Happy new year to you all, hope we can all find some peace. Hugs all around.

  • commented on The People Who Stay 2016-12-24 07:58:34 -0800
    Barbara, indeed they do, thank you and best to you.
    Cathy, I know, right? Like people don’t think sometimes. Sigh. Hugs for 2017.
    Kelly, Oh my dear I am so sorry for your loss. The initial shock and grief is the hardest, I will be holding you close to my heart. Glad you found us here.
    Sharon, glad you can be with mom this holiday, as I am, even with so little to celebrate. Sending love to you both too.

  • commented on Leaving 2016-12-17 19:52:22 -0800
    You are indeed blessed to have such a wonderful and supportive family. It means everything in these difficult times. I wish you safe journey. It seems widowhood brings many of us to this point of moving change. Bittersweet, yes.

  • commented on A Few Steps 2016-12-17 18:49:10 -0800
    Thanks Cathy. I appreciate the warm thoughts very much.

  • commented on Home Is Not a House 2016-12-09 01:47:30 -0800
    Lisa, thank you for sharing, it helps so much to know I am not alone in this ongoing process of finding peace in a sea of change. Hugs.

  • commented on I have to go home 2016-11-25 14:58:42 -0800
    Thank you everyone. I receive all the hugs and support. xoxo

  • commented on A Slice of Hope 2016-11-12 19:28:50 -0800
    Love this. Thank you for sharing.

  • commented on A Quiet Moment 2016-11-11 16:29:09 -0800
    Lisa, thank you for your advice and support, from the bottom of my heart.
    Patricia, you are right…our medical system has a lot of changes to make, I hope, in the future, to evolve towards what we as humans really need and deserve. It’s certainly not this for-profit dismissive system the way it is now. Thank you for your thoughts and support.
    Cathy, yes, I am so glad I can be here now. I think often how, if I could still have it that way, I would be with Mike, helping him, but, he is not here, and so, I can be here. Weird how things work out. I hope you’re right, that we will find the best answer. But it is hard digging. Aloha to you all.

  • commented on D-Day 2016-11-06 03:43:39 -0800
    Oh Sharon, thank you so, so so much. I read, consider and feel every comment, every commonality, ever sentiment and it all matters. I’m going to try and stay as long as feels right, and then, yes, it’s a date, though I imagine it will probably be wine…or martinis lol…

  • commented on What Matters In The End 2016-11-01 06:50:51 -0700
    Hi Lisa, one of the best, and worst things of sharing here is realizing so many of us have suffered many of the same difficulties this life can bring. Thanks for being here.
    Janice, a private duty case manager sounds like a great idea. Thank you. We have a lot of calls to make for sure.
    Shelley, thank you for the vets suggestion…unfortunately he did not serve during a time of war. I have sure been learning a lot about all the systems out there, and I will keep treading water, thank you and hugs.
    Judy, thank you, as I told Shelley he is not eligible for vet support, but we have been making all kinds of calls and learning a lot so fingers crossed we will find some answers.
    To everyone who reads and supports my heart goes out to you all and am deeply grateful for all the support and prayers.

  • commented on Transition 2016-10-22 14:32:04 -0700
    Hi Cathy…yes certainly a lot on my plate right now. One day at a time. I’m going to try to continue here as long as I can. Thank you so much.

  • commented on Rapid Fire 2016-10-14 11:43:47 -0700
    Lisa, yes, trying to breathe and enjoy the small, good moments and prepare myself for what’s ahead as well…and Cathy, going with the flow, whatever it is, seems like a lesson hard learned but well fought for. Thank you ladies.

  • commented on All Is Not Lost 2016-10-08 14:20:27 -0700
    Oh Ladies, thank you so much for your beautiful support and comments. It’s such a stressful time right now, and knowing you are all out there makes a huge difference. And please know…I am here holding space for you all too. We are all just walking through the fires.

  • commented on Walking Collages 2016-10-03 13:16:44 -0700
    Oh Jennifer, I am so deeply sorry for your loss. I was also 44 when my husband died, just before my 45th birthday, and he was also 59. We had just short of 14 years together. He had two daughters, not twins, but they are my dear lifelines and treasure them very much. We’ve all had a very hard time. The first few months are like walking through a dark abyss. Over three and a half years later all I can say is, it’s taken this long, and maybe it will be an ongoing process, to learn to live with the grief. My life has taken on a lot of changes but he remains in my heart. Hugs and blessings to you. Glad you found Soaring Spirits. It’s truly a wonderful organization.

  • commented on Noticing Saturdays 2016-09-24 14:27:34 -0700
    Thanks Karin, I appreciate your support so much! And Lisa, yes, taking steps, and so grateful to have you along for the ride, wild as it is.

  • commented on Dew Drops and Sunshine 2016-09-17 14:00:44 -0700
    So inspirational, Kaiti. Thank you.

  • commented on Collective Grief 2016-09-15 16:19:06 -0700
    Thank you for commenting Karin…wow those are a lot of hard memories around that date. Something none of us will ever forget, for so many reasons…xoxo

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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