Contact: michele.kearns@joyreturns.com

Begin your journey by clicking on the Start Here page.

Michele Kearns – Creator and CJO
Chief Joy Officer

Hello and welcome to JoyReturns. My name is Michele Kearns and I am the Creator and Chief Joy Officer of JoyReturns.

I am also a lover of books, lipstick, music, photography, lazy days spent lounging in bed and starting my day savoring a piece of chocolate with my hazelnut coffee.

JoyReturns is about my adventures, thoughts, and opinions as I work on rebuilding my life after my husband’s unexpected move to heaven. (March 2008) It’s been 11 years and I am still a work in progress – especially my career.

I am a Christian (former Presbyterian, now a member of the Reformed Church in America) and do talk about my faith and aim to provide Christ-centered spiritual support, encouragement, and resources as you walk through your grief journey and work on rebuilding your life.

However, don’t let the title Chief Joy Officer fool you as I will not shy away from discussing tough issues. Jesus dealt with them head-on and so will I.

If you are not grieving, I hope by reading my stories you will learn “how a modern woman takes the punch and goes on.”

My Blogging Adventure 

In 2010 I heard the words “widow’s website” in my ear as I was waking up one morning. I looked up at the ceiling and told God

“Are you nuts? Joe did not teach me anything about websites before he passed!” (Joe was a computer geek)

So I did what any good Christian would do and blew God off.

However, He kept nagging at me. After finally doing some research using the term “widows website” Finally, I did some research on widow’s websites and did not like the dark, dreary and depressing websites I found. After getting blogging advice, I wrote my first post and on 1/13/2011 it went live.

Types of Adventures

You will find stories of my adventures through joy, grief, career (including unemployment), faith and everyday life. You will also find posts by my late daughter Rommie (8/5/2002 – 7/31/2015), a golden retriever, who occasionally hacked my computer and wrote her own stories.        

Enjoy your journey and if you have any questions, please contact me.   

Awards / Nominations:

Received the HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award for nurturing hope and spreading joy throughout at least 115 countries. 

 Nominated for Kent State University’s 2014 Distinguished Citizen Alumni Award


B.A. Rhetoric and Communications (public speaking).


  • Photography: I love taking pictures of God’s creation. OgleOhio is my photography blog where I showcase Ohio’s scenic views including my backyard. 
  • Books: The Bible, Gone With The Wind, One Lavender Ribbon, One Thousand Gifts, Chasing Francis and Healing After Loss – Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief are just some examples.
  • Music: Jazz, Rock, Disco, Opera, Classical and Big Band were the musical styles I listened to growing up and still enjoy. Oh, and then there is Elvis because quality singing and entertaining never goes out of style.
  • Movies: Gone With The WindSerenity, Sound of Music, Julie and Julia, and The King’s Speech.
  • Golden Retrievers: Golden Retrievers In Need (G.R.I.N.)


“…having searched the internet from end to end, yours is now the only site I visit every day.  Other sites are so depressing with detailed accounts of loss (too much information), bitterness, whining, sarcasm, dark humor, woe is me. I can’t take it and it is not helpful….Your posts are uplifting and make me feel I have a friend by my side on this journey.”


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