Judy Kaan

Soaring Spirits has given me the tools to know that I am not alone in this journey and has connected me with friends who are my family.  I know I can do anything where before I did not want to go on without my husband physically here.   I have hope and can move forward and live life.   I do not know what I would of done with Soaring Spirits and without Michele Neff Hernandez to hold each of us up with love, compassion and hope.

  • @judynhawaii tweeted link to #givingtuesday. 2018-11-27 18:21:07 -0800
    Just made a donation to Soaring Spirits International in honor of my dad https://www.soaringspirits.org/memory-tile?recruiter_id=72

    Loved, Missed and Remembered

    TileFix.jpgFor #givingtuesday Soaring Spirits is honoring every donation made in support of our research-based, hopeful programs by creating a custom memory tile as a thank you for every #givingtuesday donation!

    How it works:

    1. Make a donation for #givingtuesday by using the link below.

    2. Forward your donation confirmation to michele@soaringspirits.org and attach a jpeg or png photo file of the person you’d like to remember. Copy and paste the following information into your email:

      Your name:
      The name of the person you’d like to remember:
      Your relationship to the remembered person:
      Text describing the memory you’d like to include with your photo:

    3. Check any Soaring Spirits social media feed to collect your tile!

      Facebook: facebook.com/soaringspiritsinternational
      Instagram: @soaringspiritsint
      Twitter: @soaringspirits

    4. Share your photo and tag anyone with whom you’d like to share your memory or any person you’d love to create a memory tile with their own memories either or your loved one or someone else they’d like to honor!

    Soaring Spirits programs have experienced a 30% growth this year and we think this is just the beginning of serving an increasing number of widowed people every year. Your donation of any amount will help us reach our goal of raising $30,000 this year in support of our 30% growth. Every dollar counts and every donation will be honored with a shared memory! What a beautiful way to make a difference as we also honor the endless nature of love.


  • commented on Their Best Selves in Us 2018-10-28 10:20:36 -0700
    I need to also do this. Justin had such a great sense of humor – and I need to laugh at things more instead of taking things so seriously. I do laugh – but like you Sarah things are short lived. Thanks so much for sharing about Drew. Love your writing so much.

  • commented on The Numbers~ 2018-03-31 19:08:18 -0700
    So perfectly said. The 5 years is oh so hard. Thinking of you. You rock. You show love.

  • commented on This One isn't for You, if You're Offended by the F Word~ 2018-01-31 19:45:26 -0800
    Oy does this hit home!

  • commented on This Love, this Love, this Love~ 2017-01-26 20:03:11 -0800
    Oh Alison – this is such a wonderful idea and gesture of you – all about love and love stories. I so love your love story. Even though Justin and I didn’t have as many years together as some couples, we always said I Love You – so many times during the day. When I would leave for work in the morning, I would through him a kiss and he would catch it. Always would tell me I’m not going anywhere – I’m right here. I’d give him kisses of course before I left – but the throwing of the kiss and him catching with his hand – I always will cherish. I will write more and email you for this. Oh I love this so much!!!!! Valentines Day is such a hard day for me!

  • commented on Felt Like Goodbye 2017-01-13 17:43:49 -0800
    Tears down my face reading this. Hoping that Caitlin will be ok. But as you said it would of been alot worse. Yes, saying I love you – I say it often – maybe too often.
    I love you Kelley – for sharing this and just for being you.

  • commented on Hangover 2016-11-25 11:17:00 -0800
    Yes yet again – you write just how I’m feeling – even from your first sentence – Uncle Bill. My Uncle Bill died in the beginning of October (my moms brother – her best friend). So not only was I dealing with my grief, but my mom’s grief. It was a very quiet Thanksgiving for me. Just me and my parents. Yes I am very grateful for them. But it is still so hard. Early in the day I was fine – since I was helping my mom prepare. But when the turkey was cooked – I missed Justin trying to get an early piece of the turkey and help with the carving etc.

    The Grief Hangover is right there – no one to talk to, no one to share leftovers or joke with about what someone said.

    Thank you again Kelley for writing this piece, letting me know that I am not alone in dealing with this for 5 years.

    ""Cost of Great Love"


  • commented on What Matters In The End 2016-10-29 09:57:57 -0700
    Stephanie – my heart goes out to you – my dad has Parkinsons and can barely walk. Since he was a veteran – we have Aids and Attendance – which helps immensely. I really understand what you are going through – although my husband was in the hospital for 2 months and did go through so much and he was supposed to be released. Definitely check into Veterans Association. Here is the link to it – it might help your family out – http://www.benefits.va.gov/pension/aid_attendance_housebound.asp

  • commented on Its My Anniversary, and My Husband Is Dead 2016-10-29 09:45:55 -0700
    This really gets to my heart and deep into my soul. Friday will be my 10th Wedding Anniversary and even the days leading up to it – you say it so true. Wish I was working so I could try focus on something else. Thank you again for writing this and hope the pain lessens – hold on, hold on, hold on. Sending love to you.

  • commented on Even Without Me 2016-09-18 09:57:42 -0700
    I sometimes will think about this – Justin had so much life left in him – and he is missing out on so much. Yes – would give it up in a heartbeat so he could walk on this earth here.

  • commented on A Moonlit Dance~ 2016-08-06 06:56:53 -0700
    I love this – “spirit dance” so beautifully put.

  • commented on Your Death Is a Pain In the Ass 2016-08-06 06:55:52 -0700
    Kelley – thank you for writing this blog “Your death is a pain in the ass.” Besides the dating, what you posted goes true for me. I’ve been looking for a job for the past 2 months and have over 15 years of administrative assistant experience. But they do discriminate with age. Besides that and I applied for unemployment and 2 months later nothing. finally got through when my checking account was $4;25; They sent me my back pay unemployment which was $900 – which might to some people sound like alot – but for me – I don’t know when I’ll get a job and its not for the lack of trying. I too get those reject letters every day. I even get a weekly one for the same job – it must be a computer glitch. Justin was very handy in the house. Also my cheerleader if anything was going wrong – his family has many contacts – but of course they have nothing to do with me.
    It got so bad that I was having vitamins and water for my breakfast -(before I got the unemployment) and soup with what ever I could find in my cabinets from my hurricane supply here in Florida. I totally understand what you are going through – and next month Justin will be gone 5 years. My last thing was that I went to this Career Placement and there are no chairs – so I was standing to just take one line out of my resume. What did I do? I deleted it. I don’t have alot of patience these days – so I left to go home (this was a 40 minute drive from home). I called my mom – and my dad she said wasn’t right and she was going to try and get him to the dr. I rushed to her house – and needless to say – he ended up in ER. Justin would be right there by the house. I hope both of us jobs and stable income coming in very soon. This is such a very hard hard struggle. We would of had 2 new cars and a different place to live if he was here. The list as you know goes on. Sending my love to you and again what you write helps me so much. I realize I’m not alone in this struggle and DEATH IS A PAIN IN THE ASS. Love you Kelley

  • commented on No Reason to Fear 2016-07-31 08:48:17 -0700
    Sarah – you write so beautifully, from your huge heart. I really wish I could of taken your course – but financially – I have that burden until I nail a job. Yes, I still have that fear t�hat I could become homeless. It is a huge fear. I was afraid I will near work again – but trying to look that fear in the face – and be able to find something soon.

    Yes those risks – from when Justin first died – and those baby steps – like when our place had mold in it and I had to move. I had no choice – or I would of become very sick. I faced the fact that I had to sell many things of Justin’s and some things he loved doing;. But I had fear I wouldn’t be able to sell it – but I faced it and I did it.

    I love you Sarah!

  • commented on Me...Sighing~ 2016-07-31 08:42:14 -0700
    Allison – th�ank you for writing this what I feel deep inside of me. The deep missing of Justin – waking up in the morning and turning over (yes sometimes I’m thinking he is beside me but know in reality he is not). Maybe I was dreaming and didn’t remember the dream – but then you wake up to that reality. I know that Justin is spiritually by my side and watching over me. But missing his physical presence so much lately. Maybe because in 7 weeks it will be 5 years that he left this earth. You are an incredible writer – and really touch my heart.

  • commented on That Other Life 2016-07-31 08:39:11 -0700
    I still will never forget September 2008 – when Justin and I walked hand in hand to vote for Obama. We had recently moved from New Jersey to Florida – th�inking starting our lives in paradise. Watching Hillary and the Democratic convention – like you brought on so many triggers. Thank you for validating this. Tears would not stop rolling down my face. I’m trying to Move Forward – but the missing him and coming on to 5 year post loss – plus other obstacles that are coming in my way. It is incredibly hard. Talking about it helps – thank you thank you for this! Sending you much love and wish we could talk in person about this. What a great blog!

  • commented on My Goodbye Post 2016-07-31 08:33:44 -0700
    I really enjoyed reading your blogs – but haven’t really responded to any. You will be missed her on the Widowed Voice but wish you much happiness in your journey and happy that you are in love again.

  • commented on The Agony of Defeat 2016-07-23 19:48:03 -0700
    I totally get this. Dealing with struggling to find a job and trying every angle in which to do that – with my 5 year post loss creeping up on me. Tired – extremely tired and trying not to give up hope. You express so much how I feel. You have not been defeated. I know one day you will make it – your book will sell well when the time is right for it to be finished. Thank you for writing this – it makes me feel that I am not alone in this.

  • commented on The Tsunami of July 2016-07-02 12:07:19 -0700
    My heart is with you this month and what is leading up to that day. My month is September – but the end of July he went in the hospital never to come home again. This 5 year are Tsunami’s. Sending huge hugs and again you write what so many of us feel.

  • commented on I Am Not What I Feel 2016-06-29 21:31:23 -0700
    Even though I didn’t make it to Camp in San Diego – what you have said really hits home. I feel scared myself – wondering will I really ever work again and get a job I like even? I don’t have Justin to encourage me that we will be ok. Every blog that you write – gets better and so to my heart. Thank you for sharing your heart here. Know that you are not alone in this.

  • commented on As Life Continues~ 2016-06-29 21:26:36 -0700
    You really wrote this so real how I feel. We are never prepared for widowhood – even if you think you could of been. It just goes on and we try our best.

I was widowed at the age of 57 - 8 weeks later I found Widowed Village - life connections made.
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