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.

Just Like That

Next month will be 7 years since my beautiful husband Don went to work one morning, and never came home. Life has been life. Ups and downs. Years of therapy, grief counseling, writing, healing, processing, finding my tribe, finding myself, re-creating myself, and here we are. I am okay. Some days, I am better than okay. I am filled with purpose and meaning and a new appreciation for the fragility of life that I never had before. It's not something I run around screaming about - it just sort of exists within me, and I live my life with a subtle sense of gratitude layering everything I do. 


My book has been published, finally, and is now on Amazon and out into the world. ("My Husband Is Not a Rainbow") I have now been with my new love for just over one year, something that I still can't believe sometimes. He loves me. I love him. Our love is so very different than the love that existed and still exists between me and Don. How could it not be?


Everyday, I find little pieces of myself. I put them where I think they might belong. Or, if they no longer fit my current life, I toss them aside, figuring they no longer serve me. 


Things are going very well. I am slowly discovering what my next life will be, and things feel meaningful and hopeful and joyful. 


And then .... 


Just like that ...... 

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  • commented on Appreciating Death 2017-01-13 12:53:12 -0800
    Great post Mike. So important. This disease sounds incredibly shitty. Not that ALL diseases arent shitty, but man …. to to struggling to breathe, literally …. has got to be one of the most awful feelings in the world.

  • commented on New Years Eve Blues 2016-12-30 13:34:46 -0800
    Stacie thats beautiful. We were considering a new years eve wedding too, but we didnt want to chance it with snow and weather issues, so we went with a theme of “christmas in October” instead. Ive always wanted to be at one of those great big New Years Eve parties somewhere and get proposed to there just before midnight… ah, fantasies. Im glad you are going out with your sisters this year, and you should absolutely toast to annd honor your Tom …

  • commented on Humbug 2016-12-30 10:47:51 -0800
    Good for you, for recognizing this and taking action with it. I think we ALL have work to do on ourselves, constantly – and its always just a matter of choice whether or not we take actions to always be bettering ourselves. That “stuff” doesnt just disappear or go away – you really do have to tend to it, whether its self-care, counseling, or whatever else. Also remember that you were in caregiver mode for so long that taking care of YOU was not really a priority, and like you said, you fall into habits and then ease into them. Im sure that whatever course of action you take will be worth it.

  • commented on A Change in Christmas 2016-12-25 09:02:36 -0800
    I even read your blog on Christmas morning lol Tradition. Beautiful post xoxoxo

  • commented on Christmas Is Christmas Again 2016-12-23 20:19:07 -0800
    Marybeth, that was the key for me – not forcing myself to let Christmas in before I was ready. If you can do that, (dowhat you have to for the kids but no more than that), I promise you, there will be a day when you can let it in again and it will be joyous. It takes a LOT of time. Wishing you peace xoxo

  • commented on Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come 2016-12-23 15:09:54 -0800
    Love this!

  • commented on Oh, the Shame! On THEM~ 2016-12-16 10:46:30 -0800
    Just had a chance to read this, and , THANK YOU!!!! It still is shocking to me what was said in that email, and why anyone would say that to someone else is beyond me. They could have just as easily stopped communicating with me and left it alone. But to go out of your way to say cruel things like that? Who does that?

  • commented on A Christmas Surprise 2016-12-11 08:33:17 -0800
    I’m sobbing my head off reading this beautiful post. Why? Because what you wrote, what you have, how you live after loss – is exactly what I believe. It’s exactly what I want. To have love grow more love, and for the love I have for Don to become an extension of itself, and provide new love to grow on top of it and because of it. Im also crying tears of joy for you, because I know how very hard this is to find, and how so many people choose to do what Drew’s dad chose, and to isolate instead of love. And how much that hurts. And I know what it takes and how hard you have worked emotionally, to get to where you are right now, and how much you deserve to finally have a beautiful family. All because you loved Drew. I truly believe its all connected, and I do think all the people who died that you love, are beaming every time they see that love being extended forward. Im also crying because I love Christmas so much, and I love YOU. I just love every single word of this post. Thank you Sarah ….

  • commented on Hope and Reality 2016-12-08 19:54:53 -0800
    God, Im so sorry this turned out the way it did, I know how very much you were looking forward to being able to do this. You are such a good writer and you really had me imagining this entire thing, as if I was there myself.

  • commented on Because you Died 2016-12-08 19:41:54 -0800
    Holy shit, this is beautiful. How am I just now seeing this???

  • commented on Outside the Walls of "Safety" 2016-12-05 07:23:53 -0800
    Wow Sarah. You know I can relate to this one on soooo many levels. We havve had many talks, you and I, about feeding our souls and loving people who have a passion for something in life , and having one ourselves. What a great piece. I truly think that two people find the very best kind of love , when they allow each other and bring out in each other, the very best of what they both want, need, and can be. When they let each other soar, they come closer together. Im going to read these words, specifically, over and over, when I need to be reminded:

    “n the hours of unknowing, the times that I begin to worry something bad could happen, I try to remember that ALL of our hours are unknown. We fool ourselves into a false safety that is never really there, and then we try to live within the walls of that, missing out on so much more sometimes. For the walls are but ruins, and they do not feed the soul..”

    Thanks, love! (mommy)

  • commented on Take me Home, Country Roads 2016-11-30 12:07:10 -0800
    Im so sorry your trip was ruined, for now anyway. But Im REALLY happy you are in a place, mentally,where taking such a trip is possible again. I think thats awesome, and you WILL get back there. Will it really be until spring before the fire ban is lifted?

  • commented on Holidays and How our Stories Unfold 2016-11-27 10:14:23 -0800
    I love you, and I love that Drew and Don brought us together in friendship. Im so happy you got to spend the weekend with your sister, and all your pictures of playing in the snow made me so happy!!! (on FB) My thanksgivings are still on the sad side, and Im rarely with my family anymore (same reasons, too expensive to get to them, etc) – but Im so happy you are able to have this life that I so envy and admire, where all the pieces of love and Drew and Meg and you and Mike and Shelby and your mom and everyone who has been lost – is a part of your life, every single day. That is what I want for myself, and I know its not EASY to do it – but its a hell of a lot better than the alternative, which is to shut out life and love and live in misery until we die. To do that would be an insult to Don and myself. He doesnt have the choice to live, and he keeps letting me know that he very much WANTS me to live and find joy, so Im trying. You have blended everything together so beautifully – you and Mike – I think its really awe-inspiring to watch it all unfold. The family you have all created and grown, build out of collective loss and love.

  • commented on Blunting the Knife 2016-11-25 09:05:48 -0800
    Like Linda, I also had not thought of the death anniversary as you describe it here either. It might be different for sudden death, Im not sure, but I tend to “re-live” the trauma of that day in my mind and heart, and also “countdown” to it in the weeks before, even though i dont want to. Mybody knows its “that day” and I go into this weird anxiety-ridden form of mourning. And Don is a part of my everyday life too, as you know. He always will be. But that day, the day he died, it just makes its impact in a visceral way for me. Its interesting how we all go through things and process things so differently. I always feel like I learn something from a new point of view when reading your blog. Thanks Mike!

  • commented on Life is for Living 2016-11-25 08:49:10 -0800
    I love this for SO many reasons. This is what love is . You and Mike have such a deep love. He put aside his passions for awhile because he was so worried about triggering you, and now you are putting aside your triggers so he can have his passions. That is beautiful. And very courageous. xoxo

  • commented on Further Away 2016-11-25 08:43:26 -0800
    Thanks Hillary! There is no such thing as letting go or moving on, at least not in my world. I wont do it, and anyone that asks me to, can kindly go screw lol.

  • commented on Making Lemonade out of Death 2016-11-14 09:53:45 -0800
    I loved this, and you know I use humor as a coping skill, and more of a survivor skill, really. I liked how you discovered yourself taking on Megan’s use of dark humor as a coping device, “because it worked.” My husband Don also had this same humor. My humor is dark, but his was darker. He joked about things like death, and then he would burst out laughing and say “that was so wrong.” He loved that kind of humor, which is why I know he would LOVE the idea of me getting onstage and joking about grief and death and loss. About all the crappy things people say, etc etc. I always picture his face, in the front row, laughing like mad and giving me that look, like he was in awe of me.

  • commented on Poetry: Building Up The Bones 2016-11-14 09:43:03 -0800
    I love that.

  • commented on One Month Till One Year 2016-11-06 07:53:18 -0800
    Sweet girl, these pictures broke my heart. Im the Friday here on here, and been reading your posts and I just want to hug you. Im at 5 years now, and Iremember the 11 month mark, the one year mark, so well … and how awful it was, and how surreal it was, and how I replayed everything leading up to “the day” for 2 months before. Please know you will not be in this place forever. It will change and shift and not always be this hard and this raw pain all the time. My husbands death was sudden also.Here one second, gone the next. It will never make sense to me. Not ever. But Rumi is right. the healing from the pain is in the pain. Sending you love.

  • commented on Beautifully Broken 2016-11-14 09:44:26 -0800
    Thank you so much everyone. And Flo ,,,, how amazing that your friend shared that post on the same day I shared this. Definitely connected.

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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