Stephanie Vendrell

To Know Grief is to Know Love

I can’t tell you how I manage to pull off a post every week, or how I have done so for the past three and a half years here. I get asked that a lot. Some weeks I know exactly what I want to write. Other weeks I feel dry…uninspired, lackluster and done. Then suddenly something will move me. Feeling overcome with emotion in a moment, a vision of something in our world, something a friend says, a memory I have. Sometimes it’s just a phrase that comes to me.


Sometimes I start writing and never title it. It remains in my files, which Apple titles for me, Blank 22 or Blank 24. Sometimes I go back and read what I’d started, and I find I can finish.


Other times I just know the title, but nothing more. This is one of those times. I think maybe a friend said that to me, or I read it somewhere, this phrase.


Read more
3 reactions Share

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.


Read more
Add your reaction Share

  • commented on A Path Built on Love 2016-09-09 14:14:16 -0700
    Wow. I share the excitement, terror and sorrow with these transitional changes Kelley. You are incredibly blessed to have such a supportive family. And I know a LOT of people out here support you too, including me. We’ve not met yet but I hope we will someday. Lots of hugs.

  • commented on Whodathunkit? 2016-09-09 14:08:24 -0700
    Thanks Cathy. Some days it feels easier than others. But yes I’m definitely off on a new adventure. I appreciate your support, it means a lot knowing you are out there.

  • commented on Sharing Grief 2016-09-02 13:17:42 -0700
    Lisa, yes I believe you are right…that path we search for often feels obscured but it did lead me to Mike, didn’t it. Thank you. Cathy – you are definitely right too, we don’t know where that path is leading, but we keep going, even with the grief in the passenger seat the whole time. Thank you ladies.

  • commented on My Davy Jones Moment 2016-09-02 13:15:28 -0700
    Oh my gosh Kelley – that was SO a gift from Don. What an incredible thing to happen – I’d never wash that cheek again either!!

  • commented on Here's to Grief 2016-08-28 12:56:40 -0700
    Although I would not wish it on anyone, I too have experienced this common thread of grief resulting in new friendships. And I am so deeply glad for it, because these are the people that get it. They are the ones I can talk to about it all, and without them I would be swimming in very deep water indeed. Thank you for sharing this.

  • commented on Happiness List 2016-08-27 13:17:32 -0700
    I so love this, Kaiti. I’m in the throes of trying to grow stronger…it’s so hard with the grief tagging alone. But I so agree with this list, thank you for sharing this.

  • commented on Stepping Stones 2016-08-26 15:00:40 -0700
    Hi Marybeth, change is so hard, isn’t it. I’m so sorry for your loss, and thank you for your comment. Our mutual support is so crucial. Hugs.

  • commented on That Door 2016-08-21 20:45:48 -0700
    Thank you…thank you thank you thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings here. I never cease to be amazed and comforted by the parallels and knowing you all are out there, surviving in your own ways.

  • commented on Survival Preparedness 2016-08-21 20:43:04 -0700
    Oh my goodness, thank you so much for your support, ladies. It feels huge, what I’m doing now, and coming back and seeing your comments just made my day. It means a lot to know none of us are alone in this.

  • commented on Thanks Death, Now I Have To... 2016-08-21 11:53:33 -0700
    Oh man I SO GET THIS Sarah. I feel forced into this Plan B I didn’t want life, with all these horrible life changing decisions ahead of me…but tons of guilt because some of them I’m looking forward to…and lots of tears as I pack away my life with Mike. This is a huge change for you – but that feeling of “right” in your gut is the bottom line…I’m learning to follow that myself. It doesn’t make it easy, but at least it’s a guide. Blessings and hugs.

  • commented on Home Without Him 2016-08-20 11:43:19 -0700
    Kaiti, what a hard thing to do…I am looking towards the reality of moving and being somewhere new where he never was hurts so much. But it sounds like a good move for you, despite the heartache. Sending hugs.

  • commented on Leaving Stuff Behind 2016-07-29 11:53:33 -0700
    Wow everyone, thank you for the support and relatable experiences…it means a lot to know we have many of the same issues and feelings, hard as they all are. Quick note to let people know the hearing went fine, it was pretty basic, do you want to keep your house, yes, ok here is the mediation schedule be sure to file all paperwork by the deadlines. It will all be done by the end of September, one way or another. Thank you so deeply for all the supportive thoughts and wishes.

  • commented on The Agony of Defeat 2016-07-25 11:20:21 -0700
    Kelley you’ve described so many of my own thoughts so well here. Daunting, to have to make these decisions and possible life changes alone. Feeling defeated because we’re not “making it” the way we thought we could, or would, if our husbands were still here to support and encourage. To know the grief thing is permanent. And how to move forward with all of it. Sending hugs. Wish we were not in this slog.

  • commented on Plan B 2016-07-25 11:15:48 -0700
    Patricia – yes Plan B involves a ton of groping in the dark that is for sure. And I totally agree the scary part is being somewhere where you don’t know people yet. I have been thinking that a lot. I hope you can find a place…I hope we all find a place. Karin – wow great you are on here now! I know you read all the writers here and the mutual support is so important…well I’m not going anywhere yet we will have plenty of fun evenings ahead of us I hope…meanwhile so happy to have you in my life as we both search for the independent people we once were. Dori – thank you for sharing your thoughts here. Yes, rootless is a good word for this. So much changes when we don’t have our husbands as partner and person to share life. I hope you find a place too. Lisa – yes it feels scary instead of exciting right? which sucks. Is this just how it’s going to be forever now? I have yet to move so it’s good to hear about people who have, even if the feeling of being settled again still seems distant. Thank you for sharing. And Sharon – glad this resonated…and so glad we have each other to share these feelings. Yes one step at a time. Hugs.

  • commented on A Dance In The Dark 2016-07-25 11:05:54 -0700
    Sharon, thank you, the paths ahead of us can be hard to see and hard to travel, that’s for sure. And Lisa indeed it is all so very strange and not what I feel like I signed up for. But like you said, our loves will be traveling with us in our hearts…as terrible as that is as a second best kind of thing, it is just what we have for now.

  • commented on Sharing With Myself 2016-07-01 14:48:37 -0700
    Thank you Don…Teresa I will when it is completed, it’s very special…

  • commented on Terrawimba 2016-06-25 15:47:47 -0700
    Thank you Lisa…so many of us widowed folk I see feeling in limbo. Like you I’m trying not to go blindly…and trying to see my path. It’s SO not easy. I wish you peace and joy as well.

  • commented on Never Far 2016-06-11 14:53:05 -0700
    Hi Sharon…sad but true, I guess this will always be part of us now…

  • commented on Welcome Our New Writer Michelle Midgett 2016-06-06 14:52:20 -0700
    Aloha Michelle, thank you deeply for sharing your story, and my sincere sympathy at your terrible loss. You’ve been through just so much. I am glad you will be part of our support here at Soaring Spirits, though devastated to learn of another member of our terrible club. My heart and blessings to you.

  • commented on A Light In the Dark - My Tribute to Soaring Spirits International 2016-06-01 23:43:53 -0700
    So perfectly written, and powerfully stated. I relate to this so deeply. Thank you, Kelley.

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