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.

The Hammer

This morning, my cousin posted an image on Facebook of a hilarious guitar magazine parody called "Mediocre Guitar." My husband Don loved music, especially guitars. He owned 7 or 8 of them at all times, and was always hanging out online at guitar websites and message boards, and giving free lessons to his fellow online guitar-enthusiast friends, on his YouTube channel. He would play guitar in our apartment almost daily, especially as a form of de-stressing after a long and stressful day doing EMS work. I am a singer, and we used to play and sing together all the time, learning Beatles and Natalie Merchant and Fleetwood Mac songs. He would strum his guitar and I would sing, and the way he would look at me while I gently sang a new song he was learning the chords to - it was the very definition of love and music. 

We met in a music chat room online. We always connected through music. So when my cousin put up that post today, I began typing my husband's name into the comment section of the post, because I wanted to "tag" him on the post so he could see how hilarious it was. I was halfway through typing his name into the comments, when it suddenly hit me - he is dead. He is still dead. He will always be dead. It will be 7 years this July, and yet, there are still those moments where a part of me forgets - just for a moment. 

That moment of forgetting - that 2 or 3 or 17 seconds - it is total elation. 

My eyes lit up at the mere thought of sharing this bit of humor with him. 

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Losing a Friend

So the book I have been writing about my husband's death, and life in the aftermath, is finished. It is now in editing, and should be ready for publication for July 13th. One of the sections in the book is called "Words About Don", where I asked a handful of his close friends and family to write up a few words/couple of paragraphs or so, about a memory, or what Don meant to them, or anything they felt like saying about Don Shepherd. I have been receiving the last of these writing pieces over the past few weeks, to be added to my draft. Yesterday, I received one from Don's very best friend - his EMS partner on the ambulance for years out in Florida, and his Best Man at our wedding. This man and his wife drove 24 hours from Florida to New Jersey, on very short notice, to be there at Don's funeral and honor him. They were the kind of friends who felt like and thought of each other as brothers. 

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  • commented on Losing Pieces of You 2017-08-25 08:09:46 -0700
    Wow. I am floored by all these thoughtful comments from every one of you. Thank you so very much. xoxo

  • commented on Her Final Song 2017-08-25 07:47:43 -0700
    Dammit Sarah … the crying …. you make me cry. Im SO sorry about your friend, and this post is absolutely beautiful. As are you. Mommy.

  • commented on Common Ground 2017-08-25 07:44:48 -0700
    I love this post, and Im very late in reading it. We need to catch up soon!!!!

  • commented on Hiatus 2017-07-31 14:28:41 -0700
    Janice our group is in the middlesex/worcester county area of Mass, we meet up 2x per month for social events etc. You can go to our FB page (soaring spirits regional group middlesex/worcester mass ) or to the SS site (right here) where all the regional groups are listed under regional groups.

    Linda, thank you for missing me. I was missing writing so much, but I was so dizzy I couldnt look at a screen or words for weeks. Now the vertigo is almost gone, thankfully.

  • commented on Being Responsible for Our Joy 2017-07-31 14:23:19 -0700
    I love this and have been feeling so similarly lately. This will help me get back to the joy I have fought for, DAMMMIT!!! lol

  • commented on Dear Dead Husband ... 2017-06-14 08:23:44 -0700
    THank you Bruce. Yes, that is exactly it. It does get harder, because the only thing harder than existing is living. Really LIVING. So hard.

  • commented on Eight Years and Crying 2017-06-14 08:17:10 -0700
    Tons of love xoxo

  • commented on My Own Decisions 2017-06-14 08:14:20 -0700
    That sounds very stressful. I hope that the people who are doing this somehow will SEE this blog post and understand that you deserve and need respect, as Shelby’s dad, AND as Meghans husband/widower.

  • commented on Back to You 2017-06-14 08:03:57 -0700
    Thanks everyone. Its not really that Im “blaming” Don for anything – its just more that every hardship in life, feels like it always comes back to me wishinig he was here with me to go through it with me. Ive been told by many, since this post, that I will ALWAYS wish that. I think thats pretty realistic, but I guess Ill find out.

  • commented on “Share your memories! (3 Years Ago)" 2017-06-14 08:01:32 -0700
    Go sit in the corner and shut up. lol. You rock. And yeah ….those FB reminders can be such a kick in the heart. Very well written, as always. xo

  • commented on Growth and the Gifts in Grief 2017-06-14 07:55:19 -0700
    yes to life!!!!!
    Let me know if youd still like for me to do a guest-speaker video or something for the course.
    love you xo

  • commented on Hugging through the Fear 2017-05-28 18:42:06 -0700
    Ocean currents. Love that. Girl – you dont need a therapist. You just self diagnosed every single emotion and feeling inside you and broke it down brilliantly. Bravo. lol. And I love the hug-attacks , love that Shelby does that , and love that you want to receive those in a less fearful and more loving way. And Mikes post was beautiful.

  • commented on Stranger 2017-05-28 18:33:57 -0700
    Thank you both. ox

  • commented on She Didn't Have to Be 2017-05-26 11:30:28 -0700
    HAHAHA!!! I got a mention #soblessed … this is really beautiful, Mike! Their bond is such a special thing …. and I do believe Megan knows, and she is so happy.

  • commented on Coping on the Hard Days 2017-05-26 11:20:40 -0700
    Yeah. All of this. Thanks, mommy.

  • commented on Echoes in my Heart 2017-05-21 08:06:20 -0700
    Oh man, I SO get this. And I do the same thing. I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop, especially with real joy and moments of bliss. I try to remain inside the joy, but sometimes it just turns to immediate sadness out of nowhere. I really do think its because you have had so much loss, but I also think its a ’sudden loss" thing. There is literally almost NO moment where Im not acutely aware that every single thing can be snatched away from me, with no warning or reason. And thats a weird way to live, having that knowledge. Its scary sometimes.

  • commented on Change Your Mind, Change the World 2017-05-21 08:07:44 -0700
    Thank you Marty!!! I appreciate that.

  • commented on A Phonecall from a Friend 2017-05-12 06:49:24 -0700
    Awww Im so sorry about your friends dad, and I know exactly what youmean about the depth that death brings. Love you xo

  • commented on Going Postal 2017-05-12 06:46:46 -0700
    Its been the same way here too. Cold and rainy and cloudy. With a few days here and there of sunshine. Very strange May weather. But I shall go outside anyway, as you have instructed lol ……..

  • commented on How to Keep on Loving... 2017-04-30 08:41:27 -0700
    Dammit, Sarah. Sobbing my head off. This is what happens when you choose to let love in. And holy shit, do I ever love you. So happy you are in my life. This is absolutely amazing, and I truly wish I could have been there in person. If I could have afforded to be there, I soooo would have been. It sounds magical beyond description. xoxo ….

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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