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The Answer

Author’s Note: No scientific evidence or cold hard statistics here folks, just an answer based on my experience. 

What Happened? 

I suddenly became a widow at an age society considers to be “young.”

I did not see Joe’s death coming. The night before he was vibrant, energetic, and having fun figuring out which TV and TV cart to use for the DVD player I brought his and his roommate. He was looking forward to getting through rehab and coming home so he could walk Rommie.

The next morning he was gone.

What My Doctor Said

The odds of my becoming ill and dying within two years were great.

She did not say how great and I was too shocked and chicken to ask. Try living with that thought in the back of your head. Sometimes it makes its way to the front of your head and you have to work on pushing it back.

An example of this is me not finding a job and thinking:

“Well, guess the reason I am not getting interview or job offers is because I will be dead by the second anniversary.”

Grief messes with your mind.

Year One

The First Year:

  • I wandered aimlessly without desire or motivation. I sat on the couch or laid in bed on weekends to “store up” energy to drag my sorry behind into work the next week.
  • I knew who Michele and Joe were but now it was just Michele. Who was I no that I was single again?
  • The only reason I got out of bed each morning was to let Rommie (golden retriever daughter) outside as I did not want to lie in bed smelling pee and poo.
  • Ther was a fair amount of paperwork I had to do in order to get everything transferred into my name and get debts paid off or reduced so I could handle the monthly bills.
  • Just because I made it through the first year, did not mean I had made it 100% through lmy grief journey and was completely whole again.

Year Two

The Second Year:

  • My Mind became clouded with grief from losing my job.
  • My mind was still somewhat foggy from losing Joe.
  • I had to figure out who I was as a person and a professional.
  • I had some desire and motivation but not the amount I wanted or needed.
  • Had another 12 months to deal with the fact odds were against my making it to the second anniversary.

The Answer

Based on what I went through, the answer to how long do you wait before telling a grieving employee –

“I’m sorry, but we need you to perform at the level this job requires or we’ll have to let you go.

is Two (2) years. 

Undoubtedly you have either choked on your cinnamon roll or spit coffee out your nose at the thought of dealing with a grieving widow for two years.

The Next Step

Now that you know my answer, work with her in developing a plan to bring her back up to speed. If you work with her I doubt it will take 2 years for her performance to be at the level you need.

Coming tomorrow – Ideas for developing a plan. 

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s currently using those skills as a virtual logistics contact center representative for a Fortune 100 company. She’s also managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

My 2020 Word of the Year?

Most people post there 2020 Word of the Year posts on January 1st or sometime later in the month.

Not me.

I have to be different.

But then again, I am still not sure I have a word for this year even though we are into August.

Late last year, I kept coming across the word “believe.” I thought maybe that needs to be my word for 2020. Although it seemed too much like “hope” my word for 2019.

Believe would be believing in God keeping His Word.

So I started looking for another word using DaySpring’s Word of the Year chooser. I answered a few questions and it the first word was “Abide.” Hmmm…not too sexy. I tried again and got “Stand.” Hmmm..once again, not very sexy. The third time I got “Bloom.” Finally something fun, sexy and lighthearted – just like me!

So I loosely committed to the word “Bloom” with a touch of “Believe” thrown in.

Then Covid-19 hit.

All of a sudden believe, abide, and stand made sense for this year filled with uncertainty.

Believe

“Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.

Habakkuk 1:5

Believe in the Bible, the word of God. Believe He is always on this throne and has got every aspect of 2020 in His hands. Believe He is doing a work in these Corona Virus, rioting, looting days that we can not fathom yet.

Abide

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

John 15:4, 5

Abide would be staying connected to God’s word so it can be connected to me. Bearing fruit in this life is possible only if we keep reading and meditating on what is said in the Bible. Well if there ever was a year when you need to stay immersed in the Bible, 2020 is it.

Well I guess abide makes a good choice for word of the year.

Stand

Stand firm in God as my rock, fortress, and deliverer, and everything else God says He is in the Bible. Know on days where I am ready to tear my hair out, I can seek refuge in Him.

In addition to standing firm in God’s word, I will also stand firm in the Constitution. I will stand firm in the founding father’s vision – a country governed by the citizens and not the government. So stand makes sense as a word of the year.

Bloom

So here is what I have decided to do. I will treat believe, abide, and stand as seeds and plant them deep in my heart. I invite you to join me because if we plant the seeds of believe, abide and stand in our heart and soul then with God’s help we will all personally and professionally bloom. We will blossom into the fullest brightest bloom even during this chaotic year.

Just because it is August does not mean it is too late to bloom in 2020 and have some bright shining moments in

Then we will use our two lips to praise and thank God for allowing us to thrive and prosper this year.

We will also give him praise for bringing us through this Corona mess and setting this country back on the path to prosperity.

God bless you as you believe, abide, stand and above all – bloom during the remaining months.

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s currently using those skills as a virtual logistics contact center representative for a Fortune 100 company. She’s also managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

Weekend Wisdom: To Anaceron In Heav’n

Time for the history buff in me to emerge.

I was always curious about the song To Anacreon In Heaven (British drinking song) so I decided to research and publish the lyrics this weekend. You already know the tune but more about that tomorrow.

Anacreon was an ancient Greek lyric poet. ( born c. 582 BCE – died c. 485) Unfortunately, very little of his work remains. According to Wikipedia Anacreon was known for his drinking songs and erotic poems.

Lyric poetry are words or poem that is sung to music. You can find out more here.

Here are the lyrics of To Anacreon In Heaven. Courtesy of POTW.org (Poem of the Week)

                                              1
          To ANACREON in Heav’n, where he sat in full Glee,
          A few Sons of Harmony sent a Petition,
          That He their Inspirer and Patron wou’d be;
          When this Answer arriv’d from the JOLLY OLD GRECIAN
                        “Voice, Fiddle, and Flute,
                        “No longer be mute,
         “I’ll lend you my Name and inspire you to boot,
         “And, besides, I’ll instruct you like me, to intwine
         “The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS’s Vine.

                                                    2
          The news through OLYMPUS immediately flew;
          When OLD THUNDER pretended to give himself Airs_
          If these Mortals are suffer’d their Scheme to pursue,
          The Devil a Goddess will stay above Stairs.
                            “Hark! already they cry,
                            “In Transports of Joy
         “Away to the Sons of ANACREON we’ll fly,
         “And there, with good Fellows, we’ll learn to intwine
         “The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS’S Vine.

                                                    3
         “The YELLOW-HAIR’D GOD and his nine fusty Maids
         “From HELICON’S Banks will incontinent flee,
         “IDALIA will boast but of tenantless Shades,
         “And the bi-forked Hill a mere Desart will be
                      “My Thunder, no fear on’t,
                      “Shall soon do it’s Errand,
         “And, dam’me! I’ll swinge the Ringleaders I warrant,
         “I’ll trim the young Dogs, for thus daring to twine
         “The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS’S Vine.

                                                    4
          APOLLO rose up; and said, “Pr’ythee ne’er quarrel,
         “Good King of the Gods with my Vot’ries below:
         “Your Thunder is useless_then, shewing his Laurel,
          Cry’d. “Sic evitabile fulmen, you know!
                      “Then over each Head
                      “My Laurels I’ll spread
         “So my Sons from your Crackers no Mischief shall dread,
         “Whilst snug in their Club-Room, they Jovially twine
         “The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS’S Vine.

                                                    5
          Next MOMUS got up, with his risible Phiz,
          And swore with APOLLO he’d cheerfull join_
         “The full Tide of Harmony still shall be his,
         “But the Song, and the Catch, & the Laugh shall bemine
                     “Then, JOVE, be not jealous
                      Of these honest Fellows,
          Cry’d JOVE, “We relent, since the Truth you now tell us;
         “And swear, by OLD STYX, that they long shall entwine
         “The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS’S Vine.

                                                    6
          Ye Sons of ANACREON, then, join Hand in Hand;
          Preserve Unanimity, Friendship, and Love!
         ‘Tis your’s to support what’s so happily plann’d;
          You’ve the Sanction of Gods, and the FIAT of JOVE.
                          While thus we agree
                          Our Toast let it be.
          May our Club flourish happy, united and free!
          And long may the Sons of ANACREON intwine
          The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS’S Vine.

Courtesy of POTW.org

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, co-facilitating a grief support group, and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

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