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.

Grief Mistakes

Soon after the sudden death of my husband, almost 8 years ago now, I began trying to navigate my new reality and world that I never asked for or wanted.

I didnt know what the hell I was doing. 

There are no guidelines or handbook for how to "widow" properly. I hadn't even put away all of our dishes and kitchen items and gifts from a few years prior, when we got married. Things were still in boxes. We were talking about having a family, moving out of Jersey, things that married people talk about in the first few years of their marriage. I hadnt even begun to figure out the rest of our life together, and now, I was left to figure out how to cope with my husband and my world and my future being dead? 

I didnt know how to do that. 

Looking back now, I see that I made a lot of mistakes. 

I made a lot of mistakes that I will now call "grief mistakes." 

I am probably still making them, but hopefully way less often. 

Sharing a few of these mistakes and lessons with my grief community may be helpful or beneficial for some to read. 

 

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Closer

Lately, Im feeling a strangeness that is stranger than my normal daily strange. 

I keep finding ways to make you feel closer. 

Its like, I cant seem to find a way for you to feel close to me, nearby, present, in the way that I want. 

Maybe it's because Im in a happy and loving relationship, and Im feeling delayed thoughts of guilt for that. 

Or sadness, that you and I never got to this place. 

This place of planning out a place to live together (you moved right into my apartment, and you died before we could ever move anywhere else.)

This place of coming into our older years, and thinking about things such as retirement and our long-term futures. Saving money so we will be okay. 

I don't know what it is, honestly. 

But lately, I feel this overwhelming and heavy sadness, that you are not here. 

And Im finding it harder to feel you here, in the ways in which I normally DO feel you here. 

What was once natural, now feels like a struggle, lately. 

To conjure you up in my heart, and feel that  few moments of comfort from the knowing that you still exist somehow. 

I still know it. 

But I am having trouble connecting to it, feeling it. 

Is this what happens when too much time goes by? 

Is this distance going to get further and further away? 

I sure hope not. 

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  • commented on It Never Gets Old 2019-04-05 06:56:59 -0700
    thank you Noreen. widowed people are my best audience. You are my people, my tribe!!! I love doing what I do, and I love coming to camp and relaxing with my friends in the widowed community. ps I dont think your google search was “accidental.” you were meant to find us, to help you find your way xo

  • commented on When Hard Days Come 2019-03-29 12:02:18 -0700
    I still find Dons birthday to be sooooo hard, because hes dead, and he doesnt get to live life anymore, and there will never be a day where that doesnt depress me, or where I think how unfair it is that he got such a short life span. The way you honor Drew is always so beautiful and so touching. He will live on and on because of who you are, and because you will make it so. Love you xo

  • commented on Self-Caretaking 2019-03-29 11:59:55 -0700
    Mike thank you for sharing this, it helps me greatly in recognizing signs of depression with people in my own life. I think its great that you are taking care of yourself, and I hope that you find yourself with greater peace because of it.

  • commented on It's a Real Thing. Camp Crash~ 2019-03-29 11:54:15 -0700
    It was SO awesome connecting with you this time around, attending your workshop, introducing you to my guy, who has been so incredibly supportive – and dancing with you at the banquet!!! I didnt dance a lot, but when I did, you were out there, and it made me smile. I love my widowed family :)

  • commented on Me and the Universe~ 2019-03-14 19:19:06 -0700
    I love this. Christina is amazing. I met her long ago also, and we have become friends. She is wonderful and very generous and big hearted. I have her new book and its been hard for me to read. I dont know why. I think Im scared to “go there” for some reason, but I have always beleived everything she speaks of. Energy. Love never dies. We are connected forever. All of it. My grief counelor took me through a period during our sessions a couple years ago, where she had me “shift” my relationship with Don from one of husband wife, to one of “forever connected , a beautiful bond, he is your spirit guide.” IT was soooo hard for me, to no longer “feel” married to him , but once I did it, I actualyl felt closer to him than ever before. I cant explain it, but ever since then, I feel him near me ALL THE TIME. Its not nearly as great as having him here on earth with me, but its nine million steps above feeling like he is nowhere, or somewhere where I cant feel him. I feel him right now. He is a part of everything. In some ways, our relationship feels even more profound than ever. I think you will feel that with your Chuck. I really do. I hope this helps.

  • commented on Quality Time 2019-03-14 19:11:49 -0700
    Time lost feels so heavy after our person dies. I am VERY aware of precious time now, in my current relationship. I totally get it.

  • commented on Accepting Fear 2019-03-14 19:09:33 -0700
    Don , your comment made me laugh lol. Sarah, I agree that it helps enormously to share with this community and to write it all out . The fears are so real and terrifying, it feels good to just put them somewhere sometimes, instead of hiding or ignoring them.

  • commented on Trauma Triggers: Is This Still a Thing? 2019-03-14 19:07:04 -0700
    thank you everyone for these very kind comments. The trauma is real, as you all know.

  • commented on Favorite Parent 2019-02-22 07:02:18 -0800
    This is so cute and I actually had a “tear” while reading about Shelby having a tear. Ha!!! I love that Weird Al is the thing you have in common. How hilariously perfect. I love him also. Hes the best. I bet that concert will be so silly and funny and just all kinds of FUN! Take pics please when you go!!!

  • donated 2018-11-27 17:25:00 -0800

    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.

    Donate

  • donated 2018-10-08 12:34:50 -0700

    One-Time Donation

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  • commented on Fire and Rain and Huge Grief Triggers 2018-07-06 19:26:41 -0700
    Johan, 15 years later, are the grief triggers still there??? Im guessing the answer is YES.

  • commented on PRESSURE 2018-05-29 07:15:46 -0700
    Hi Linda! And thank you! Yes of course. The book will be available through Amazon once its finished. I will let everyone know!!!

  • commented on Second Time Around 2018-04-27 13:14:52 -0700
    Thank you Misty!

  • commented on The Last Dance 2018-04-10 08:05:59 -0700
    Dammit Mike. I was fine until that last sentence.
    You always get me with the crying…….
    ps dry bologna sandwiches sound nasty. They need to do better for the dads!

  • commented on Coffee with Missing Pieces 2018-03-16 09:04:38 -0700
    Oh man, I totally wish I could hug you in a creepy manner right now, and call you mommy LOL. I don’t know what its like to lose your mom so young in life, or to go through adulthood without your mom or dad – I don’t know what that is – but your beautiful and honest writings about it, have certainly helped me to better understand that feeling of nervousness , of feeling ungrounded. I DO understand so well about hearing a word, such as “mom”, in normal conversation, and having it just wound you, and shine a light on the thing you will never have. I love you, mommy – and I think youre a courageous person. I so wish I could see you next week, and I know that you are wishing that too. xoxo

  • commented on Maturity Rising 2018-03-16 08:56:19 -0700
    I love everything about this Mike. You are a good day. You are letting your daughter grow up to be a person with her own thoughts and feelings, while allowing her to ask the sometimes hard or unanswerable questions, that might surely come up.

  • commented on Its Your Birthday, My Heart and Back Know 2018-03-16 08:48:57 -0700
    INDIE – I am sorry you haven’t found that door yet, the one that will make you feel as if you aren’t just simply existing – but actually living again. I can only tell you it took me 6 years to find that feeling, and still now, its very hard some days. I fight for my joy everyday. Its never easy. I hope you wont give up on yourself. When youre exhausted, take breaks. Take emotional breaks to zone out, think about something else, see a funny movie. Then come back to it when you can handle it more. You can reach out to me anytime also. Here. On Facebook, or at my email kelleyiskelley@gmail.com For real. Please don’t give up.

  • commented on New Directions Coming 2018-03-16 08:33:08 -0700
    Im so damn proud of you.

  • commented on Home & The Heart 2018-03-16 08:30:08 -0700
    Finally have somet ime to catchup on blogs. Love this. And I wish that Don could read it, as crazy as that sounds. He and you have so much in common, and he never stopped missing Florida.

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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