Artist. Writer. Creative Mentor.

Soaring Spirits has had an enormously positive impact on my own life as a widow as well as the lives of so many friends and others. This organization is doing incredible work to help people not only to cope with widowhood, but to learn how to rebuild themselves beautifully... with love, laughter, tears, and authenticity. Most of all, Soaring Spirits gives us hope. Hope that life can still be amazing even after we have lost the most important person in our world. Hope that a beautiful life - one that our partner is always a part of - can be created. 

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  • commented on Long lost Pineapple Shorts 2020-01-05 08:17:37 -0800
    I love it, absolutely it is him!! One of the first really obvious signs I ever got from my fiance Drew was on my 30th birthday, just months after his death. His mom and I took the trip to the Grand Canyon that he and I had talked about for my birthday. The first few days we were in Sedona.

    On our first hike on our first day there, we were headed back down the trail to the car when a helicopter tour did a great big circle in the valley in front of us. (He was a pilot, and died in a yellow helicopter). It was, yup, yellow. It gets better.. we stopped to watch it and have a cry for a moment, then as we turned to continue on the trail, right in front of us on the stone wall beside the trail were a dozen or so little drawings some kids had scraped into the stone face. And right in the middle of them, the biggest thing there, was his name, ANDREW. We laughed and cried all at once, and knew for certain from that moment on, that he was with us!

    I hope you have an amazing trip to Hawaii, and that you see so many more beautiful signs of his love with you!!! Also – pineapples are the best!

  • commented on I Love You Like I Love Mike 2019-11-19 13:37:04 -0800
    I love this. Both and. Not more or less. Your words remind me of part of a poem I wrote the year Drew died:

    “In this way,
    true, deep, complete love is not easy.
    It is simple, but not an easy choice.
    Which is why
    whenever I see such love in the world
    It leaves me in overwhelm.

    Never a more beautiful thing
    have I seen
    than the immense bravery
    of any single human being
    that chooses the possibility of pain
    For the privilege to LOVE."

    You my friend have that bravery. ❤️

  • commented on Engagement from Two Sides 2019-09-16 20:03:55 -0700
    Thank you for reading Bonnie!

  • commented on The Weight of a Living Legacy 2019-08-25 06:05:58 -0700
    This is so cool. And I totally get that feeling of heaviness. When I was 9, my mom died. She was only 44. I remember even at that young age having a depth of understanding that she did not get to live her life fully. I remember growing up with this silent weight that I needed to not only do well, but that I wanted to do important things in order to essentially live both her life and mine. It was a lot to grow up with that weight. Often times it does feel heavy. Other times, it feels like such an honor. Most of all, I try to remember though after having lived over 25 years since her death, that this choice to live for her and for me is just that – my choice. And if I did choose not to do any of that, it would still be okay.

    Wishing you the best on this trip and safe travels! How exciting, and healing, and beautiful that new things are unfolding that are meaningful for you. The biggest thing my fiance’s death has taught me is that this new life is best when I am making meaning out of all the experiences – even the hard ones. Sounds like you are doing just that.

  • commented on Paying Grief Forward 2019-07-28 06:23:35 -0700
    This was so beautiful. I teared up. And you are living that legacy so well. What a legacy to leave behind. <3 Helping people turn death back into life. I freaking LOVE that. And you!

  • commented on The Rifts of Loss 2019-07-24 09:08:57 -0700
    Hi Ed,

    Thank you for your words. Hopefully if not nature, there are other things you appreciate more… Perhaps human relationships with those you love? It’s different for us all.

    I’d love to see the tattoos, and I do remember your message before. If you get this here, feel free to email me at to send them. I would really love to see.

    All my Best,

  • commented on Call Me Anytime 2019-10-30 04:07:55 -0700
    Hi Robyn, I’m so sorry you are going through this too. TV has always been a positive distraction for me since my fiance died. I will check out the show you mentioned. If you like lighter shows about death, there is one called Drop Dead Diva. You can probably find it still on YouTube. Sending you lots of love. It’s hard, and I think we all feel lost for a while… Even more challenging with kiddos. But you’ll make it. And I believe they are still around trying to help guide us and give us subtle signs about how to keep going. I know you’ll make it and find your way… And we are here for you for the days that feel espet lonely and lost!

  • commented on Trauma Return 2019-05-19 04:54:49 -0700
    I am so sorry this happened. That it happened in the first place and that it resurfaced too. I’m glad you are sharing about it these days, because it helps me to understand it more. It helps me understand the many other women in my life who have been through their own experiences with rape and what it does to you in a way I haven’t been able to understand it before. Thank you <3 And still, I wish I wasn’t able to thank you for writing this. <3

  • commented on Over the Edge. Maybe~ 2019-02-17 06:44:38 -0800
    I love this so much!!! And I know exactly that feeling of YES/NO excitement that comes when you get accepted to do a workshop at Camp! It is one of the scariest things I have stepped into the role of doing in my life, and one of the most rewarding and special things also. To lead a group of others in a workshop, and to build love and hope and connection with them, was one of the most healing and empowering experiences for me both times I’ve hosted at Camp… and it has literally changed me as a person for the better.

    I am SO thrilled for you, and I am so excited. I know that you are going to do SO amazing at this and I’m so proud of you! Yeah! I only wish we were going to make it to Tampa this year – if we were I would definitely be signed up for your workshop!!! Lots of love! <3

  • commented on Don't Die 2019-01-20 07:31:09 -0800
    Wow, such beautiful comments from everyone here. I’m so touched by the things you’ve all shared. Each story is so different and complex but so full of love and bravery. It is why I love this community so much. I cannot imagine how difficult long-term illness is for those of you who have endured it. Even though I did deal with it with my parents, it’s very different from it being your spouse. I suppose it’s no different than how difficult sudden loss seems to those on the other side of things.

    And to Mike, here’s me saying my usual “Don’t die!” today ;) And I will also add, thank you, for not dying on any of the other nearly 1,460 days thus far since we met! <3

  • commented on Will I Ever Stop Asking ... 2018-12-02 06:41:55 -0800
    A thousand times yes. I still wonder about this all of the time… all of this. sigh

  • commented on The Forgotten 2018-08-05 06:20:25 -0700
    It’s horrible when people start to do this, but sadly so much of our society is completely inept these days to know how to properly support and deal with loss. One of my very best friends did the same sort of thing to me in the months after my fiance died… I almost walked away from the friendship entirely. Five years later, I was there on the other end of the phone, while her dad was dying from a very aggressive cancer, which took him within only months. She didn’t understand how to be there for me, but now she does. Now we have had many conversations about my loss, and what I went through, and how sorry she is that she didn’t really understand what to do. Some people truly just do not get it and they end up saying stupid things.

    My only hope on this journey is that now, as I am healing more, I can show up for others – even the ones who did not know how to show up for me – and at least show them "THIS is what you do. And THIS is what you say. " So that they can learn from it and learn to be there for others down the road. Sadly, it usually takes going through their own horror story for them to get it.

    Its horrible, the way so many run off after a few months. My new partner, also widowed, he had the same experience as you… and I do think sometimes it is harder for men. There is a double standard for men to just suck it up and deal silently. Total crap. Nearly everyone abandoned him after his wife of ten years died. Worst of all, it has made him untrusting of people now, and much less willing to build close friendships… because people he thought would be there, left him alone in his time of need. I don’t blame him. Sometimes people can be so unbelievably unaware of how their actions, and words, affect others. The “IT” thing – yep – so horrible!

    Despite how shitty it is to go through, this was really well written, and it portrays how truly awful those words do feel, so completely.

  • commented on Sympathy Pains 2018-07-15 07:17:03 -0700
    I can TOTALLY understand having that fear… especially since his illness came so suddenly and was so aggressive. How you could NOT think “I could be dead in 8 months too”. One of my best friends lost her dad – whom she was very close to – last year from a very sudden and aggressive cancer. One moment they were hiking the Appalachian Trail together, and just a few months later he was diagnosed… and less than 6 months later he was gone. I know for a fact that this has impacted her own fears about her health too.

    My mom died from breast cancer when I was nine. It was a few years and an awful battle. Even though I don’t have a lot of memory of her illness, I do feel like it is buried within me somewhere… and my hugest fear is of course the same happening to me. Even 25 years later, I am STILL occasionally just randomly afraid of it. I definitely get it.

    It sounds like you’re doing your best to keep the fears from growing too big too often, and being proactive. I definitely like to think our physical ailments are our bodies trying to get our attention and remind us to take better care of ourselves emotionally. I certainly hope it’s nothing serious and resolves quickly.

  • commented on Navigating My New Normal 2018-06-17 06:58:04 -0700
    I’m so sorry you’ve joined this club. I’m the Sunday writer, and have been without my partner for 6 years as of last week. I didn’t go to a wedding after he died for over two years, no doubt it will be hard. All the firsts are hard and terrifying. All I can say is to let the emotions and the demons out when you can, how you feel you can. Sometimes that means taking a break from your trip to call a close friend and unload. Or even just slipping away to the bathroom to have a moment to let some of it out on your own. I’ve found giving myself permission to have little breaks like this helps with the anxiety of having to face lots of faces and questions and times of celebration that are tough.

    I’ve told a lot of folks this… I think of grief and the pain it causes as something that needs to be bled out of us. A bit like a toxin. And it must be done gradually, and often… and our tears are the way that we let the pain bleed out. Over time, as we bleed out the pain, we have more and more room for the love that remains for them.

    Wishing you the best on this tough journey. We’re sorry your with us, but glad to have you.

  • commented on A Friend I Never Knew 2018-06-12 06:58:42 -0700
    Yup, you two would be the most successful annoying team ever, I can assure you of that! ;D Thank you, for welcoming both me AND him into your life. <3

  • commented on Truth in a Weedwacker 2018-06-03 06:42:20 -0700
    I love this story. That weedwacker is so symbolic of so very much. It’s amazing how eventually, one day, something that’s been hanging there suddenly just looks different… how eventually, something shifts inside us and we’re ready for some new part of living. Awesome post! I’ll remember this one for sure.

    I just wrote my Sunday post about buying a stove with my new guy, and though it was a different sort of symbolism, it’s amazing how a stove or a weedwacker could become so deeply symbolic!

    Thanks for sharing :) And proud of you!

  • commented on You Have Been my Best Surprise 2018-05-20 05:54:00 -0700
    Thank you April, that really means so much to me! Vulnerability is SO hard as a widow, no matter what our circumstance, but seems always worth trying for!

  • commented on My Husband Died, And I Am Not A Child 2018-04-20 18:30:41 -0700
    I had to comment. I so get it. As you know, living with Drew’s folks for so long I constantly felt like a child. There is still a bit of that feeling now, because Mike takes care of making the money, that somehow people don’t think I can do that. As if I didnt do it for a decade before Drew died. It did get better when I met Mike, except for what you say.. everyone who never noticed any of the other shit suddenly was noticing lol.

    So yep, also a yes to that feeling that everyone either avoided me or coddled me until I met Mike, and once I met him… All the coddlers disappeared, thinking “finally we don’t have to worry anymore!” And all the avoiders crept out to express how happy they were (i.e. how they were finally comfortable again with my life lol). It’s tough. I’ve felt so alone since moving g to Ohio because everyone just thinks a new love solves it all and we can all go back to “normal”. Only I cant go back to normal. Not ever. I get it for sure.

    These days I dont have too many folks treating me like a child.. I really think it is partly you living back home as I felt it more then too. It’s annoying. They mean well, but they are annoying lol. What do you do about it? No idea, other than give me a call so we can laugh it off. Love you!!

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