Post #1,500 – 10 Years A Widow: A Letter To Joe

(Author’s Note: I felt that writing this letter was the most appropriate way to acknowledge this day. However, writing it has been a nightmare. I write the words but delete them because I decide they are not right. So for better or worse, here is Post # 1,500 my letter to Joe.)

My favorite picture of Rommie and Joe

My Dearest Joe,

It’s hard to believe its been 10 years since God decided it was time for you and Him to have a meet and greet.  

I hope you saw just how much people cared about you – from me to your family to my family to the folks at Golden Retrievers In Need, to our neighbors – we all loved you and still do.

Speaking of which, I hope you see how your brother, sister-in-law and their children have kept me close. That does not always happen when a husband dies. Facilitating a GriefShare support group for 5 years taught me that lesson.

Foo-foo Flowers


There are flowers in the vase at the cemetery again this year. Three pink silk sweet pea bushes for each of our great-nieces, one blue silk sweet pea bush for our great- nephew and two white silk geranium bushes for our twin great-nephews playing with you.

The only thing I ask is that you do NOT teach them how to sing and dance. Leave their singing lessons to Elvis and their dancing lessons to Fred Astaire. Thank you. Thank you very much. 

 My Love Life


You expected me to be dating by 6 months if you passed before me. That is bad advice for me and anyone. I had to get through all the “firsts” the first year brings. The best way now to find someone to date is online dating, which terrifies me. You know my luck – all the psychos would find me.

Besides, I do not need a middle-aged, menopausal male underfoot 24/7 – that includes you.

Yes even though I love and miss you, I would not bring you back.


You are in heaven, healthy and happy living the good life. You are with God, Jesus, and your friends and family. 

In heaven you have:

all the love, friendship and fellowship you could want,

no food, utilities or housing concerns,

no career issues,

hugs from Jesus at any time. (What I wouldn’t give to be able to just touch the hem of his garment.) 

Why would I want you to leave all that and more to come back to this hot mess of a world?  

Life here would frustrate you so much because, like me, you process life more deeply and with greater intensity than normal folks.

Final Words

I was told that your hearing would be the last thing to go. So I hope you heard my final words to you while you were on life-support, if not I will say them again:

Thank you for asking me to be your wife. It was and still is an honor to be Mrs. Joseph (Michele) Kearns. 

June 19th, 1993

I Love You,


P.S. Please give my love and hugs to our golden daughter Rommie, Dad #1, Mom #2, Dad #2, and “B” your friend and former boss.

Take it away Whitney.

Another one of Joe’s favorite songs.


Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while managing call center teams, facilitating a grief support group and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, lover of chocolate, red roses and golden retrievers and is an amateur photographer.