10 Years A Widow: It’s A Wrap

Today’s post is the end of the 10 Years A Widow series and the end of JoyReturns.

Hopefully, you found the series enlightening. Remember, these posts were based on my experiences during the past decade. Your experiences and lessons learned will be different because we are two unique individuals.

Over the years I hope you found joy here while reading about my adventures after Joe’s sudden passing. I pray you understand it is possible to move forward after the sudden passing of your spouse.

A special thank you to whoever posted 10 Years A Widow: Desperate Ways on Facebook which caused this blog to experience heavy traffic for 3 days. Wow!

The last 10 years have been filled with joy, hope, peace, grief, and challenges. I’ve planed a funeral, worked through grief, and co-facilitated a grief support group. There were also other friends and family deaths (12) along with births (5) and weddings (4). Fun and laughter prevailed at Memorial Day cookouts, family reunions, and Christmas dinners.

I’ve learned to write a resume and cover letter and LinkedIn profile, as well how to network. Speaking of new skills, a man from church taught me how to be a lumberjack when we took down the 3 pine trees in my backyard – now that is on the job training! Pine trees are soft and easy to take down. However, it took me weeks to bundle up the branches into piles 6 feet long x 4 foot high for the trash man.

Friends came into my life and friends left because they were only meant to be friends for a season. However, being on book launch teams and a part of Faithful Finish Lines led to meeting people who’ve become dear friends for more than just a season.

As you can see, life has been a roller coaster ride filled with plenty of hills, mountains, tunnels, dips, twists, and turns the past 10 years – just like yours.

Not sure what will happen in the next 10 years and I do not want to know.

I will take it as it comes.

1,500+ Posts

After 1, 500+ posts, I do not believe there is anything more to write. My days consist of work and housework. My social life is pretty much non-existent. Also, Rommie is living with Joe and therefore not hi-jacking my computer while I’m asleep and writing her own posts.


Air “Yoda”


The original date for the last post was going to be 6/29 as 10 days after my 25th wedding anniversary seemed like a good date to stop blogging. But it has become clear over the past few weeks that the end needed to come sooner.

However, while I plan on this being the last blog post, God told me to start a “widows website” and He can tell me to return to it. 

Books, Books, and More Books

I will now tackle the stack of books I’ve been collecting over the years that need read. As you can see there are plenty of books to occupy my time.


This is just a partial stack of books waiting for me. Yes, the stack of books meant I needed to refresh my highlighter supply as what I have was quickly running out of light.       😉

Where’s Michele? 

Even though I will not be blogging, you can still reach me via the form on the contact page, or you can email me. You can also check out OgleOhio, my photography blog, as I plan to post scenic views there every now and then.

Start Here

There is always the START HERE page for your to explore and I created a resources page filled with recommended books and websites dedicated to joy, getting through grief, and rebuilding a career. The resources page will be updated periodically.

Thank You

Thank You for your support, words of encouragement, sharing your story, but mostly for your friendship. It does not matter if you have been here a day or 10,000 days, you have impacted my life in a positive way.

Because of you, JoyReturns has reached a minimum of 115 countries. Yes, this little ol’ blog from Cleveland, OH reached places such as Mayotte, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Costa Rica, Saudi Arabia, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Spain, Austrailia, Columbia, Canada and New Zealand. Here in the states, I know readers from Maine, New Hampshire, Alabama, Texas, New Mexico, and California have paid JoyReturns a visit.

I never dreamed my writing would reach the four corners of our world.

Thank You, J.T. O’Donnell, at WorkItDaily.com for encouraging me to step outside my comfort zone and add blogging to my list of skills.

Thank you, Joe, for your love during our 14 3/4 years of marriage. There would be no JoyReturns without you. I do love and miss you but you are better off in heaven where you are healthy and living with Jesus.

Thank you, God, for whispering the words “Widow’s Website” in my ear one morning. You kept pushing me to do this even though Joe never taught me about blogging and websites before he passed. You truly do equip those you call.

You also took a couple of nasty life events (death and unemployment) and turned them into good using this website, for which I am humbly grateful.

Final Thoughts


Life is beautiful2



Love and Joy Always,


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.

6 thoughts on “10 Years A Widow: It’s A Wrap”

  1. I’ll miss your writing, all the courage and honesty and faith you effortlessly conveyed. Whether we weep or rejoice, I pray we will always find our Lord to be sufficient and His cross our hope of glory. God bless and keep you & make His face shine upon you.

  2. Aww…I’m sorry you won’t be blogging anymore. I have so enjoyed your posts. You have such wisdom and your calling has been so evident in your beautiful writing. Will miss you. Hope you will check in periodically and let us all know what you are up to! God bless you greatly in this new chapter of your life! ❤ ❤

    1. Thank you, Lynn. I will miss you too. Although I do promise to stop by your blog as I love your words and especially your artwork. I will check in periodically with updates.

      1. You are very kind. Thank you! I will be delighted to see you! Please let me know if you decide to blog again. I will be there! 🙂 Love and huge hugs!!

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