Soaring Spirits Founder & Executive Director

When my 39 year old husband died in a cycling accident I didn't know any other widowed people. I spent a full year seeking out other widowed people in order to feel understood, just for an hour or two. Meeting other widowed people changed my life. Knowing that the people I met survived their own losses, and found ways to recreate their lives gave me hope that I could do the same. 

Once I found my community, I wanted to share them with the world. Soaring Spirits programs are designed to create and maintain a community of support for widowed people around the world...we just want folks to know that they are not alone. 


Life In Yellow

07_13_09.jpgSo, it is Tourde France time. This may or may not mean anything to you, but in this house Tour Time is a big deal.

The Tour deFrance is the granddaddy of cycling races, made famous in recent years by the athletic feats of Lance Armstrong.  You will notice in any photo of me that I am wearing a bright yellow LIVESTRONG wristband. I took the band I currently wear off of Phil's wrist as I sat beside his beautiful body in the emergency room trying to grasp the fact that he was dead. He wore this particular yellow plastic circle for at least a year before his death, and I have been wearing it in his honor for the past four.

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More than a Guest Book

Being required to plan a funeral right after someone dies is cruel and unusual punishment. Yes, I know, arranging a final resting place for the deceased loved one is necessary...but putting together a thoughtful celebration of the person you love is incredibly difficult when you are still trying to register the fact that they are actually dead.


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What Might Have Been

07_09_09.JPGLast night I was sitting on the front porch enjoying a gorgeous summer night. Wispy strips of clouds lined the sky and created a red and orange evening canvas. As the breeze blew over me I was reminded of the many summer nights I sat in the same place on the porch chatting with Phil. As I called up memories of July evenings past the driveway was populated with images and I sat back and watched them dance across the stage of reminiscence.

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The Family We Choose

07_07_09.jpgThey (whoever they are) say that friends are the family we choose....

This opening was written by our Tuesday girl, Ms. Michelle Dippel...then a new job, a recent move, her little guy's ninth birthday, and a holiday weekend happened...and she could use a little help from a friend, so you'll hear from me (the other Michele) once again this week! I promise you will get a new writer tomorrow ;)

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On My Own Two Feet

07_06_09.jpgBefore Phil died I never questioned my ability to stand on my own two feet. Being in a relationship was something I loved, but I didn't believe that living life as a pair was mandatory for achieving happiness. My husband was my partner and my friend, but we were definitely two individuals with our own opinions and preferences...that didn't always line up. Then the world shifted, Phil died, and I was inexplicably unstable on my previously solid two feet.

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Why Me?

07_05_09.JPGI will admit that I have uttered the phrase, "Why me?" on more than one occasion. I could follow that with the similar, "What did I do to deserve this?" or "Why is THAT person still alive while Phil is dead?" and a few others that are equally ugly. But the land of the ugly is where I resided for quite a while, and sometimes a place I still visit. The infuriating thing is that no matter how many times I have asked myself, God, or my closest friends these questions; I never get an answer that I find acceptable.

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I am the director, and founder, of Soaring Spirits International...and I love the work we do!
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