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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

The God of All Comfort

I came across this in my Bible reading yesterday. Notice what Paul says in verse ten.

Peony comfort and joy

May Paul’s words be a blessing to you as they are to me.

The God of All Comfort

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 

For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

2 Corinthians 1:3-11 (NIV) (emphasis mine)

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 a virtual logistics contact center representative. 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 music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com.

Happy National Backwards Day

It is my opinion that We The People do not celebrate enough, especially the small holidays or events.

Here’s our chance to change.

Tomorrow is National Backwards Day. A day set aside to honor those of us who are little backwards. Okay, that is not really the point. It is a day when we can reverse our ways (no more couch potato) our direction (take a different route to work.) or your life’s direction (go back to school ).

Backwards day can also mean something as simple as putting your clothes on backward.

While tossing and turning in bed last night, I came up with a brilliant way to celebrate the day. Priests, pastors, and ministers need to reverse the the order of the service. It would get people to sit up and pay attention whether watching online or in person. Start the service with the benediction and end the service with welcoming people.

Some of the fun things I found at National Day Calendar were:

  • putting ice cream in your chocolate,
  • put coffee in your milk,
  • go out the back door,
  • say “Goodbye” instead of “Hello” when answering your phone

Or you could do what I did this week at work and format the team newsletter backwards. The newsletter is published weekly and the team has gotten used to it being a certain way so I decided to shake it up a bit.

Make your plans now for how you are going to celebrate tomorrow. You just might gain a new perspective by doing something backwards.

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. 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.

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