Happy Birthday to Michele, just one L ...

So today is Michele's birthday. Who is Michele? Well, if youre a reader of this blog, you probably already know the answer to that question. And if this amazing woman has affected your life in any of the incredible and many ways she has affected mine, than you are a very fortunate person. But, just in case you are living under a rock and have no idea who she is, I will tell you. She is the founder and Executive Director of Soaring Spirits International. She created a village of widowed people. Camp Widow, this blog, Widowed Village, all of it - started with her. This is a piece I wrote about Michele, with one L - about 2 years ago, when I was asked to give the intro speech for her Key Note Address in Toronto, Canada .....


by Kelley Lynn


She, who stood in the ruins and built hope
She, who looked at death, and made life 
She, who took her pain, and reached out,
providing cushions and nets and places to fall and land,
for the rest of us who hurt ... 

She who is Brave. Bright. Beaming. 
She who took the end, and with it, created beginnings
She who refused to accept or believe that love ever ends,
because it doesn't. It won't. It can't. She who tells us this and makes us believe it too, until we really, truly do .... 

She who picks us up, gives us tools, sits with us inside of wherever we are.
She who doesnt run from death OR life,
She who took ashes and made paper airplanes that fly.
She who stood on cement blocks made from tears and fear and loss,
she who inspires from the wreckage,
she who removed all shame from the word WIDOW,
she who radiates joy, love, and hope. 

She who is changing how we feel, think, live
in big ways and small ways, and all ways,
She who leaves a mark on every soul she touches. 
She, who I call Friend. 
Beautiful, wise, funny, delightful, lovely, wonderful friend. 
She who is named
Michele. Just one L.
She will reshape the world. 

Showing 5 reactions

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  • commented 2018-01-02 17:40:25 -0800
    Such beautiful words, Kelley. Thank you again, and again.
  • commented 2017-12-30 16:33:51 -0800
    Kim, Im so sorry. Try to breathe. Hang on. And I will for sure give you a big hug in March.

    Thank you Candace and Staci. I believe this too, that we all have this bit of magic in us.
  • commented 2017-12-30 13:33:11 -0800
    This is so powerful and beautiful Kelley. Thank you. “She who took ashes and made paper airplanes that fly”

    - I believe that there is a little of this hope, magic and determination in every single one of us who has out lived the person we love; we just have to find it. Let’s all learn to fly (again).
    Happy Birthday Michele.
    With gratitude and respect for you both, Staci
  • commented 2017-12-29 20:29:04 -0800
    Thank you Kelley! Truly grateful for you and your wonderful work, Michele!
  • commented 2017-12-29 12:33:15 -0800
    Very nice, Kelley! And a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHELE!

    Thank you for posting this again, Kelley. I’m reading it on one of my darkest days since my husband Scott passed away 34 days ago. I’m struggling to have a reason to hope, something to look forward to, my days are too dark right now.

    Thank you both – I am so grateful for Soaring Spirits and hope to see you at Camp Widow this March!