My New Angel, by Stephanie Shockley, MA

Last month, my life partner and best friend passed away from a journey with cancer. Words cannot describe the pain and sorrow I feel constantly.  The word "lost" best describes my life at this moment and I find myself walking around in circles hoping I will wake up from this dream state and my life will go back to normal.  Unfortunately, reality says otherwise and my new life does not include the beautiful man that was a part of my life for the last seven years.

Navigating my new normal is challenging and I am noticing something about myself I have carried for many years. Self-doubt and lack of confidence are themes in my life and since his death I have been faced with situations that trigger this core belief.  Unlike the past, during some recent experiences I have felt a subtle energy carrying me through these difficult moments and I am being shown how much he encouraged and grounded me in times of trouble.

I became clearly aware of this quiet and powerful force while on a recent trip to Utah. Provo is familiar place to me although my accommodations were new so when I found myself in the grocery the first night without my phone, I panicked. I did not have the address of my Airbnb or my daughter’s apartment nor did I have the code to the doors at my rental.  Again I was lost! I defaulted to a “freak out” as my children so affectionately call my overreactions, when I felt a presence enveloped me in a soft and beautiful calmness. I responded with a “stay with me, just stay with me” to this ominous visitor. So along with this peaceful passenger, I headed in the direction of my daughter’s home as the car guided me by landmarks I recognized until I reached her residence. 

I was overwhelmed and amazed I found help with such ease because in the past I would have stopped short of my goal and questioned my decision.  This is my pattern especially when searching for a new destination. There is a saying in the 12-Step Program, “Don’t stop before the miracle happens.” This time I was carried by something greater than myself, something I cannot see, but can feel and trust.

The lesson I am learning during my grief is that although the physical body is gone, the spirit stays with us. Angels are present and I am protected and guided by this new heavenly body. In the song “Angel by the Wings” Sia asks us to:

Take an angel by the wings

Beg her now for anything

Beg her now for one more day

Take an angel by the wings

Time to tell her everything

Ask her for the strength to stay

You can, you can

Do anything, anything

You can do anything


The confidence and assurance I received from my love in his earthly life is the gift I continue to posses in his death. I miss him deeply and believe he is always with me because when I begin to feel lost, I can take my angel by the wings and trust I can do anything.

Thank you Bub!


Stephanie Shockley, MA
Integrative Therapist, The Estuary
(615) 943-4697