10 Years A Widow: Think of Me Fondly


After Joe’s passing, I thought of him every waking moment. I did not dream of him. God in his mercy made sure I slept. However upon waking the pain returned.

He was in the basket of red geraniums, the sunshine yellow daffodils and the bright orange daylilies around the mailbox.  At some point, I did not think of him so much. Not sure when that happened. I know he is in my heart as I continue to make a new life for myself.

A Decade Later

Do I think of Joe every day? No. Usually, when something happens such as breaking news, a family event or something happens around town – like a new traffic light. I still live in the house we bought so in a way it is hard not to think of him from time to time.

Thinking of him has not stopped me from moving forward with my life.  I’ve found a new job and working on rebuilding my career with the company. I founded this blog and kept it going for over 7 years. I’ve attended networking events and met new people, who’ve become friendly acquaintances. I’ve joined an online faith and fitness group and became good friends with several of the women.

Two Options

I had two options when Joe passed, stay stuck at day one or move forward. The pain of grief is so mentally and physically excruciating that it was a no-brainer decision. I am a wuss when it comes to pain. At the first sign of a headache or sinus issues, I am reaching for the drugs. Whatever it takes because “I haven’t got time for the pain. “

It was no different with the pain of grief, I did what I had to do to get rid of the pain and that was embracing what happened and attending GriefShare. I did not take drugs for grief. Drugs and grief are a whole other topic.

Some people enjoy the pain of grief, enjoy sobbing into their bath towels or pillows at night. I did not want to be one of those people who years and/or decades later are still stuck at day one. I wanted to move forward with a life that honors Joe’s memory and live up to the words from his favorite song from Andrew Lloyd Webbers’ musical The Phantom of the Opera

If you
Ever find
A moment,
Spare a thought
For me

Think of Me

The Phantom of the Opera

And that is what I do – think of him fondly when I find a moment to spare.


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.

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