Kelley Lynn

When I first lost my husband to sudden death, I knew absolutely nobody that was my age who was widowed. The word "widow" made me cringe, and I ran away from any possibility that it could or would ever apply to me. Then I discovered Soaring Spirits and Camp Widow. Here were these people - hundreds of them - all over the country and the world - who were just like me. They had lost their partners too, and they were hurting and feeling alone too. Except suddenly, none of us were alone anymore, because now we had each other. The widowed community that I have met through Soaring Spirits is a HUGE part of the reason why I am alive and WANTING to be alive today. No joke. My widowed friends save my life over and over and over again, and I love them in a way that is impossible to describe. Soaring Spirits connects widowed people, and when you lose the person you thought you'd spend the rest of your life with - connection to people who "get it" means everything. My friends in the widowed community are evidence that there is life - joyful life - after loss. They inspire me daily, and I will always pay it forward however I can to Soaring Spirits, for giving me back my life again.

A bunch of curse words

So my entire post just disappeared.

Just like my life.

Just like my husband.

Im so incredibly annoyed right now.

I wrote a brilliant post.

It was off the top of my head.

It was called "Rebuild",

and it was this amazing metaphor all about having a house built 

and how if it took years to build a house and the builders kept making mistakes

and then had to tear it down,

and start over,

multiple times,

you would fire them. 

But in widowhood,

thats what we do, 


We rebuild and rebuild and rebuild,

and then tear down when its not working,

and start over.

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Grief and Insomnia

Grief is a bitch. As is insomnia. As am I, when I don't sleep.

Eh, that's not entirely true.

It just sounded catchy.

I hate when I can't shut my mind down though, and it fills with thoughts of death-grief-trauma related things.

Mostly; the thoughts always seem to come back to the simple heart aching fact that I will always miss Don , I hate that he doesn't get to live, and I wish like hell I had been a better wife and let him feel way more often, how much he meant to me. I also wish I had seen the ever so subtle warning signs that his heart was failing. The signs were very tiny, but now, years later - they slowly come into focus in pieces, to torture me.

Logically, I know its not my fault. I know that I couldnt control that he had a sudden hert attack. I know all of these things. But when Im laying here in the middle of the night and the insomnia comes and the thoughts invade, knowing all of that doesnt help. I just feel incredibly sad and I just wish like hell that I could have him here for 30 minutes or so, so I could let him know how much I love him and how he saved my life and made it better until the end of time. When I really stop and think about how short his life was, I just get so sad about it. I hate it. He was such an incredible person, and I miss knowing that he is out there in the world, making it better. 

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  • commented on What's hard for Two Widowed People in Love: Two Second Fiddles 2020-01-20 12:23:42 -0800
    I really love this piece, and ANY “he said/she said” type piece the two of you do on this subject. My relationship of 2.5 years is with a non-widowed person, and these type of issues come up often. I feel like you, Mike, in that I do NOT like to even think about “making a choice” between that life/this life, that person/this person, because its not a thing and it WILL NEVER HAPPEN, so please dont ever ask me to choose between the life I knew and the life I have built. I wont choose, even in theory. I get to keep both, and thats the end of that discussion for me. For my guy though, he does sometimes feel like I liked my old life better, and I hate that he feels that way. Its a rough thing to manage. It helps greatly knowing Im not the only one going through it.

  • commented on Wounds that Never Close 2020-01-13 05:39:05 -0800
    This is beautiful

  • commented on Orbiting Closer 2020-01-02 17:28:34 -0800
    I truly, truly love this. It totally is how I feel too. This feeling didnt come easy, and it took time for me to feel this way. There are days when I feel this way stronger than others, or when I am more sure of this than other days. But it is this forever, deep connection to Don that keeps me knowing for sure that he is still here, in some form. He has to be.

  • commented on A Christmas to Remember 2019-12-21 09:46:03 -0800
    “Santa-level gut” and "punch a wall " when you hear Mariah Carey made me choke on my hot cocoa laughing. You a funny dude, so you got that goin for ya lol. Merry Christmas, Mike! Sing it with me… “aaaallll I want for christmasssssss, isssss,,,, YOUOOUUUUUU!!!!!” (I hate Mariah too)

  • commented on Six Degrees of Don Shepherd 2020-01-02 17:24:08 -0800
    Thank you Janice. I hope you are right, and I wish I could believe it as strongly as you do.

  • commented on Illusions of Control 2019-11-24 20:28:00 -0800
    Hell yes. Messy spontaneity creates the very best memories.

  • commented on Not What you Think~ 2019-11-24 20:24:11 -0800
    Totally agree with all of this. Plus, my husband had a sick sense of humor, so I feel closer to him somehow while laughing at the absurdity of it all. Great post.

  • commented on Getting More than You Give 2019-11-17 17:10:04 -0800
    Yes!!!!! This community is incredible.

  • commented on Window to Grieve 2019-11-17 17:05:36 -0800
    It was that damn "and I would walk 500 miles " song wasn’t it??? I noticed your mood shift and you got quiet and I figured it was better to just let you be. 5 years is a rough one. I recall it well. Hugs and all that jazz.

  • commented on Conversations with the Widowed 2019-11-01 11:41:56 -0700
    WOW! I am just now finally getting back here to read all these great replies. It is SO awesome for me to talk back and forth with all of you , hear some of your stories, and get to know you all a bit more. I really am so happy you decided to answer these questions, and Ill try and do more like this in the future. VALERIA I love the word resilient. It is so perfect for what we have all been through and continue to live with. ANNIE I am so happy that these questions sparked you to join the blog and take part in the conversation. I also think you are way stronger than you realize, and not giving in to those darker thoughts AND being courageous enough to tell your story here is a big deal. You rock! RON Im so glad this blog has helped you and I love your responses. That trip to London sounds incredible and good for you for doing that! KIM I remember also being overwhelmed and shocked by the feeling of not wanting to live, and how all comsuming it was for such a long time. I think the fact that any of us get up each day and keep trying is just amazing and every one of you is amazing!!!!

  • commented on Phases of Widow 2019-10-11 15:35:03 -0700
    Amen to that, Don. I was really the one who was uncomfortable with it for a long time. Took awhile to comprehend that this is my reality, but Im proud of all the people I have come to know in the widowed community. We all have each others backs and we are a great crew!

  • commented on Engagement from Two Sides 2019-09-15 17:59:01 -0700
    I LOVE this post. I think Im going to love this “he said/she said” version of your Widows voice blogs lol. Its fantastic, really. I have a question that I think would be interesting, or a topic that would be interesting to hear both of your perspectives on. I am widowed. Nick, my boyfriend, is not. There are challenges with this. With me being sensitive to him not being widowed and making sure he never feels second fiddle etc, and with him understanding I will always love Don etc etc. I feel like mostly, its understood that when a non widowed person and a widowed person are in love, its going to be challenging. But with two widowed people being in love – I think most people assume that is “easier”, because youre both widowed so you understand hte whole widowed thing and its never an issue. Id love to hear about some of the challenges of two widowed people being in love. If you guys feel like writing about that …… thanks!!!

  • commented on The Grief Summit 2019-09-15 17:45:59 -0700
    Bryan, I write here each Friday, and I just wanted to say I love your writing style and honesty. I will keep reading for sure. I relate to so much of what you say. I do presentations at camp widow and have often felt this way .. the guilt, the sadness, the feeling like you have to be one way in public but inside you are struggling to keep it together… I totally get it… and Im so sorry.

  • commented on A Shared Grieving 2019-09-15 17:42:10 -0700
    Wow I would love to see that field of flowers. What a beautifully meaning tribute , all that love, growing, literally, because of death.

  • commented on Your Touch 2019-09-15 17:39:22 -0700
    Staci, Im the Friday writer here, just wanted to say this post is beautifully heartbreaking. I really relate and love it.

  • commented on The Fear of Taking New Risks 2019-07-16 03:47:14 -0700
    It’s a “widow-bago”

  • commented on Fearing More Death 2019-07-16 03:44:03 -0700
    Love you. And I totally get this.

  • commented on Summer Has a Feel ... 2019-06-22 13:52:23 -0700
    Im so sorry Bonnie, for all you are going through. My husband died at work. They found him collapsed on the floor at his volenteer job an hour after he got there. I woke up to a ringing phone from the hospital telling me to get there right away, that they had my husband. They wouldnt tell me anything else. I took that cab alone and when I got to the ER, they told me that he was rushed from work to them and he didnt make it. Im so sorry for what we all go through… the guilt, the horrible images, the missing… alll of it. Its so hard. Please take care of yourself and thank you for sharing some of your story with me.

  • commented on Random Widower Thoughts 2019-06-14 07:05:45 -0700
    I loved this blog of yours. Im the Friday writer on here, and this is the first time Ive stopped to check out your words before writing my own blog post. I will certainly be doing more of that, because I really loved what you have to say. Keep being honest. My husband and I had a huge music connection too, we love jazz and the Roots are awesome! Also, its totally normal to feel both grateful for your daughter and intensely sad that your wife isnt here , and to be confused by all of it. Hang in there, youre doing great things.

  • commented on Call Me Anytime 2019-05-10 13:48:16 -0700
    Yes to all of this. I remember all of our late night chats, and middle of the day chats, and the ones where we cried hard to each other over our failed new dating attempts, and other things. Such a deep bond is created through mutual loss. And what is REALLY cool is watching the person you saw at their saddest, living again and happy and finding her joys. It makes me so happy when I see my widowed friends creating lives that they can be proud of and joyful in. Love you xo

Kelley is a comedian, writer, actor, and speaker living in NYC. She married her soul-mate and best friend Don, in October of 2006. She was 35, and he was 42. Just over four years later, he would die shockingly from a massive heart-attack. Kelley has turne
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