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.

Through the Roof

It's been one of those weeks. 

My anxiety is through the roof,

and Im not sure why. 


Well, thats not entirely true. 

I always know why. 

I'm a sudden death widow. 


My husband, at age 46, young and healthy and never sick a day in his life (literally - the man called out once from work in all the years I knew him, and it was so he could lie in bed and cry and grieve his cat Isabelle, when she died), left for work one morning, and never came home. 

As long as I live on this earth, his death will never make sense in my brain. 

I can "accept" that it happened, because I have no choice.

I live with his death every day. 

But it will never make sense logically.

In my brain.

Or in my heart. 

There will never be a "why" for that question. 

It just hangs there.

Until forever.


My husband left for work that day at 5am or so, not waking me. 

I was jarred awake by a ringing phone, over and over. 

Around 6:30 am. 

It was the call of death. 

The call that said "the life you knew is gone." 

I literally woke up to a brand new Hell. 


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  • commented on Pinata 2015-07-10 09:52:05 -0700
    Crap. My FB link to my event page didnt work. If youd like to reaad more about what Pay it Forward Day is and how to take part, its a public page on my Facebook, so just do a search on FB for “Avalanche of Kindness: 3rd Annual Pay it Forward for Don Shepherd Day”, and it should come right up. Thanks guys!

  • commented on Going Walter Mitty-ish... 2015-07-08 17:59:34 -0700
    I actually think this is a great idea. Its a form of therapy, really. You have to walk through your past and break it down and feel the love from it in order to fully engage in any kind of present or future. I think this is good. Let us know if the memories start to come back to you. Id be curious.

  • commented on Hey Bud 2015-07-07 10:01:49 -0700
    Thanks for reducing me to a puddle. Im a puddle now. Im no longer human. Just a puddle of tears. Thanks for that.

  • commented on The Fields of Tomorrow 2015-07-05 14:16:50 -0700
    I cant even handle how beautiful this is. Only you would have someone write you an email like that, proving yet again that Meghan and Drew are all over this union between you and Mike. Damn.

  • commented on My Week of Retreat 2015-07-04 06:50:56 -0700
    Okay, Im dying to know WHAT you ate . What were these “different and new” food choices that were offered? Also curious to know if you were allowed / felt the need to use your phone / get online / text etc in a place like that, or if it just doesnt even cross your mind in a place of healing like that. I would have been a “non surfer” too, we could have hung out together lol.

  • commented on New Life, Old Life 2015-07-04 20:11:21 -0700
    Dianna Maria – THANK YOU FOR THAT . What a nice thing to say. xoxo

  • commented on And the Plan is... 2015-07-01 07:21:56 -0700
    I, for one, think you are amazing, and Im so happy to have met you at camp. Everything feels aimless after this loss, and I can only imagine being on the road for so long would make this feeling even more “anchorless”. But Chuck knew what he was doing when he asked you to scatter those ashes. As you said, he was a smart man, and he knew it would take you on some sort of adventure and that you would absolutely grow and learn things about yourself and others and life. Things you would not have known or learned by staying at home. I think that while on the surface it looks like you were sent to honor his wishes, I believe he , as you said, saw the big picture somehow, and that was the real reason he asked you to do this. I think he knew you so well and the faith he had in you is awesome, and he knew you would turn this into something epic. And who knows what that might be. A book about the adventure? A documentary? A new connection you never would have made otherwise? Or just many pieces of self-discovery along the way. Everything feels aimless after this loss. I am not traveling the country and I feel aimless too. But we are not aimless. Everything we do or decide leads us somewhere else, and we are learning minute by minute to navigate THIS life, while carrying them always with us. You are awesome!

  • commented on My Other Soul Mate 2015-06-28 12:19:37 -0700
    your sister sounds incredible, and this story made me so happy for you that she did that for you. How did she know that “coming home alone” is the worst / hardest / saddest part of going anywhere for widowed people? I love the people in my life who just seem to “get it” even though they arent widowed, and there arent many of them. Tell your sister that all of us in widow-people-land think she is pretty awesome and that we love her for loving you with such care and compassion! p.s.I cant wait to hear about your trip!!!

  • commented on Bringing New Love Home 2015-06-28 11:53:52 -0700
    More more more!!!! Please write more about this. More details. Yes, Im a stalker lol. But seriously, I LOVED this post and Im going to share it. It gives me so much hope for the future. This is so beyond beautiful. Since you have started dating MIke, I have been thinking a lot about Drew’s parents (I know – weird. Again, Im a stalker who spends way too much time thinking about YOUR life lol) How this would affect them. I started thinking about how insanely difficult it will be for them when the day comes that you leave their home and move somewhere else, possibly with Mike or wherever. It literally made me cry thinking about how , for them, having you there this whole time has probabnly been so healing and beautiful, to be able to care for the woman their son was to spend his life with. I would imagine that they will go through a whole other set of grief emotions and loss , almost like a second death, when you have to go. Hang on, Im getting to the good part …. lol …. .sooooo, because of all that, I would also imagine that yes, while its messy anad complicated and tragic and WEIRD AS HELL for you and for them to be sitting down having dinner with this new man in your life – I honestly think that in the end, Mike will be someone who helps them heal in a new way rather than making things more hurtful. They can never have their son back, and you can never have Drew back, but DREW is the exact reason you are all together. Drew (and Meghan) made this happen. Im convinced of it. He wanted you all to be okay and have another chance of happiness, and through him, you will have that beautiful opportunity. Its just so damn beautiful I might cry again. I was crying through this whole post, especially picturing Mike showing them a picture of his daughter. OH THE BEAUTY! LOL…..

  • commented on Anchor 2015-06-30 17:53:46 -0700
    THanks all. Still no results on the tests. Still waiting. I will let you know.

  • commented on These Two Years and a Little More~ 2015-06-24 20:25:07 -0700
    Memory fueled my existence for a long while too. Its okay. Really. It wont be like that forever. I remember telling my grief counselor that the only reason I wanted to get out of bed each day was because my husband didnt have that option / choice, so it was like an obligation I felt to honor him everyday. She said “So what? So if thats your only reason for living right now, let it be your reason for now. One day in the future youll have a new reason, or more reasons. That day isnt today.” She was right. Now, almost 4 years into this, I DO want to live and not just exist. I am excited for my future, even though Im still terified . And yes, I still fuel myself with memories of our love together, but I have mixed that together with the life I am trying to create now. You will too. Andif you dont feel that way today, thats ok. Today is not that day.

  • commented on Optimism 2015-06-24 20:18:14 -0700
    Mike, I really love reading everything you write, and I truly admire your attitude. I think Im more of a “realist” – Im definitely not Miss Positive-Thinking, and Im also not negative either. I guess Im a realist , sprinkled with a little hope lol. Anyway, living in fear is a tough one forme personally. I do have a lot of fear – about my future, about what will happen to me, about so many things – I definitely dont let it stop me from living, but its there. I just sort of feel the fear and do it anyway. I wish I didnt have the fear though.

  • commented on Everywhere 2015-06-24 20:02:57 -0700
    JANE, I truly believe you will get to that place of equalibrium. It just sort of happens and youll feel a shift, or maybe a few of them. Youll just grow tired of asking the same questions and then youll ask different ones and then not as many. Having patience is the hardest part . The pain is not fun to go through or sit in.
    SARAH thank you somuch!!!! Love you too !!!!

  • commented on Grief Like A River 2015-06-22 10:18:27 -0700
    Great picture. I greived yesterday on behalf of my husband – for the kids he will never get to have, the dad he will never get to be, and the full life he will never get to live with me. It was hard. I totally get it. There are certain days I grieve more for HIM than for myself, and Fathers Day is one of them.

  • commented on The Walk of Grief 2015-06-22 10:15:05 -0700
    Love this. Its so funny – this is one of those “new me / old me” things for me. The old me would have totally made fun of something like this – a labyrinth. And Don would make fun of this too. Totally. But in a lighthearted way. I can just see us walking one together if he were alive and the NEW me wanted to try it . He would do it with me. He would stand next to me and walk with me through it, because he was the type of person that would do ANYTHING I wanted to try, he was right therewith me. But he would be mocking it and making jokes and making me laugh and saying “do what did you learn, Boo? Are you gonna make me do yoga now too?” But the old me would never have tried this or seen the beauty or the profoundness in it. But THIS me does. Honestly, meeting people like you and others has opened me up more to things like this. Unconventional things that I would never have even looked at before. And Don is chucking, but he istotally along for the ride. ps.I think theres a labyrinth in Toronto, right outside the Marriott where we stay, If Im remembering right . Youre gonna love it there.

  • commented on What I Knew, But Don’t Now~ 2015-06-20 09:25:51 -0700
    This is so well written and makes complete sense to me, especially now that Ive started doing a bit of grief-coaching myself. Thanks for putting it into words in this way.

  • commented on Can I Really Do This 2015-06-22 10:19:43 -0700
    You MUST be bribing her lol I cant figure out how you just keep getting more anad more points ……. stop getting points!!!! lol

  • commented on The Musician: Part III 2015-06-19 08:17:11 -0700
    So incredibly beautiful.

  • commented on From Three Years 2015-06-14 07:05:49 -0700
    Cloudbursts. I love that. And holy hell, you have changed and grown soooo much just in the time I have known you. Im so happy we are part of each others ever-changing worlds.

  • commented on My Husband, My Blessing 2015-06-13 08:19:17 -0700
    By the way, why is it that I cannot catch up to you on the leaderboard, no matter what I do? lol. You are always like 20 points ahead of me. What are you doing to get all these points? Ha!

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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