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.

Its Your Birthday, My Heart and Back Know

Its amazing to me, how powerful grief can be. How it can take over. How it can make you feel things you havent felt in years. How it can bring you right back to that day, or those weeks, where you lived in darkness, and where you were just trying to comprehend that the person you married just 4 years ago, was really, actually, truly, dead.

Most days now, 6 years later, I am okay. I am more than okay. I am creating and building a life for myself that includes new passions, helping others through life-changing loss, and a new and beautiful love in my world. My life is filled with purpose and meaning and joy - and I have worked very hard through my grief and my traumas - to get to this place where I feel very good and very differently happy. Most days.

But then, out of the blue sometimes, at random, grief decides it wants to play. It comes out from the shadows and reveals itself, to show you once again who is boss. And you find yourself feeling like you are right back in those early days of darkness, hopelessness, trauma, guilt, and unbelievable sadness.

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  • commented on One More Phone Call 2016-01-25 11:52:40 -0800
    OH hell yes. Thank you for quoting me , and Im feeling a LOT of those same feelings you have described here. I want to call Don up all the time and tell him the cool thing that just happened, or share with him the great day I just had, and I still have that thing of feeling “NOBODY else would give a shit about this particular thing except HIM!!!! DAMMIT!!!!” I think it will always be that way, and that is hard. It will always be hard. But Im so glad for us both that we have reached the place where we have a life that we want so badly to tell them about, instead of just being in pain 24/7. I wish I could tell Don about you and your friendship. And yes, part of me believes that he knows, but like you said, its just not enough and its not the same as talking to him about it.

  • commented on ... And Still 2016-01-25 11:54:23 -0800
    thank you everyone. these are such simple thoughts, but we all feel them, I think. All the time.

  • commented on Home, Heart and Facing Fears 2016-01-03 19:54:44 -0800
    “I missed Ohio.” This post made me tear up so many times, because I know you so well, and because I have seen first hand these changes, and because I was the one who sat on the phone with you the morning after that traumatic event on New Years Eve where that guy who we wont mention did that terrible horrible thing … I heard you crying and I didn’t know what to do , and I could FEEL how traumatic that was through your voice, and It made me so incredibly sad . I felt so helpless . And now, to know that this year you came back to a Christmas tree and a guy and his lovely daughter and presents and songs and love …. its just such a beautiful thing. THank you Drew. Thank you Mike. Thank you life …. for always shocking the living crap out of us, and giving us another shot. Love you mommy xoxo

  • commented on Keep Them Alive at Christmas 2015-12-28 07:36:51 -0800
    ALEX thank you so much for sharing that. The first set of holidays is so hard because youre just trying to adjust and breathe and get used to this new reality. Im so sorry. Your wife sounds like such a beautiful person.

  • commented on Touching the Past 2015-12-24 20:09:02 -0800
    THis is something I think about constantly. You have put it into words so beautifully. Thank you. It is so complicated to rebuild your life out of death. THis continues to amaze me.

  • commented on You Find What Works 2015-12-18 19:29:44 -0800
    Thank you Don (my late hubbys name ). This picture is actually not me and Don – its of me and my friend Bobby at the tree 2 nights ago. I should have written that somewhere lol. Im so sorry about New Years Eve … that will be tough for sure. I think we are all just doing the best we can, and some days are just way harder than others. xoxo

  • commented on Metaphors for Grief in Nature 2015-12-13 09:37:51 -0800
    you are a beautiful person, and I love your “death bouquet” – at least thats what Im calling it lol.

  • commented on Surprised by the Loneliness 2015-12-05 10:19:06 -0800
    I was just talking with one of my widowed friends about this. No matter where we are, who we are with , how much fun we are having – its that “end of the day” winding down thing when everyone is going off with their families and partners, and you are again alone in your room, that is such an awful feeling.

  • commented on Making Meaning 2015-11-29 08:46:32 -0800
    I am so damn proud to know you.

  • commented on A Bit of Happiness for Me 2015-11-28 10:07:15 -0800
    Oh I love that you are doing this, AND I love that you are so generous to put your friends joy in front of your own pain, and not only be there for her, but HOST the damn thing. Youre a hero, woman! not sure I could have done the same. You rock.

  • commented on No Pie for Me, Thanks 2015-11-26 16:15:30 -0800
    Hug to you today. I know its very hard. I spent it with some good friends and it was a nice day, but there were some moments where I thought I would lose it.

  • commented on Fighting the stigma 2015-11-21 09:38:56 -0800
    Yes. And you have EVERY right to feel every emotion that you have, no matter how confusing and back and forth they might be. Your head knows that suicide is not a choice and that Dan was fighting a battle against himself really – but your heart and soul gets angry and the grief says “how could you leave me? How?” It makes total sense to me, and each time you make the choice to get up each day as a suicide widow AND help others understand this better, you are someones hero. And so is Dan. I miss you and cant wait to see you again at a future Camp Widow hopefully ….

  • commented on Echo 2015-11-20 17:09:02 -0800
    Thank you everyone for your awesome thoughts on this. So glad Im not alone in these feelings. Yes, Karen, it is scary to feel so needy and then ashamed of those feelings. I hate it too. It feels like theres no anchor anymore, and it makes all the other voices sound louder.

  • commented on Be Warned. Capitol Letters Used Frequently~ 2015-11-18 09:00:42 -0800
    YES!!!! I love this so much, Im going to share it!!! You rock too, woman!!!

  • commented on A Year in Review 2015-11-17 17:08:38 -0800
    youre a great dad, and Ill be thinking of you this week, especially Thursday.
    p.s. Shelby looks just like her in this picture.

  • commented on Not 51 2015-11-07 08:32:15 -0800
    Thank you for the understanding everyone. You all rock.

  • commented on Backward is Forward 2015-11-03 14:30:48 -0800
    Thank you thank you thank you to all of you !!!

  • commented on When Great Trees Fall 2015-11-03 14:28:10 -0800
    They existed.

  • commented on Grieving your own Death 2015-11-03 14:26:39 -0800
    SHe sounds like a beautiful and brave soul. I wish you much love and peace these coming weeks ahead.

  • commented on Visits of Comfort 2015-11-01 07:12:43 -0800
    God it had to be SO wonderful having her there. I know how much Halloween meant to you and Drew, and Im sure it was different this year and maybe even a bit weird. You talking about being homesick really brings me back to Don’s move to NJ. He was very homesick for Florida, and all the little things he could do there that he just couldnt do up here, like ride his bike outside year round , or play golf year round, or park his car without PAYING a fee or getting a ticket. I remember feeling so guilty everytime he seemed sad or missed his friends and life in Florida. I probably over compensated because of that, and was always trying really hard to make him feel like this was his HOME and that people loved him here. I wish like hell I could tell him how much it meant to me that he moved his entire life to be with me and take a chance on us. I definitely didnt tell him that NEARLY enough, how muich I appreciated that and admired it. It was so courageous, just like what you are doing. So if Mike hasnt told you already, whcih Im sure he has, Ill tell you what I should have told Don many times – thank you for taking this risk and for sacrificing so much for love.

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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