Tag Archives: grief support

Sorry Joe But…”You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

As the 6th anniversary of Joe’s move to heaven approaches, I find myself thinking about the things he wanted me to do if I outlived him.

What Joe Wanted

A life of pain and agony is not what Joe wanted for me, as we had this discussion many times. He wanted me to move forward with life by:

  • Excelling in my career at the bank.
  • Dating again.
  • Marrying again.

What He Got

Here’s how each one of his wishes turned out, in addition to some things he never expected.

  • Excelling in my career at the bank – I am glad he was positive about me being having a successful career at the bank. However, the joke was on him as I was laid off in 2009.
  • Dating again – Once again the joke is on him as men my age suffer from the “George Clooney” syndrome and only want 25 – 35 yr old ladies on their arm. Plus I choose to meet men the old fashioned way – in person. That opportunity has not presented itself, at least no yet. While I might be forward thinking in some area’s of life (blogging), meeting someone online gives me the creeps. Although it would make an interesting blog series.   😉
  • Marrying again (see Dating).
  • Learning to blog – He taught me about computers but never about blogging or website design.
  • Resume writing – Joe was my resume writer so when I got laid off I was upset at him. How dare he leave me with to do this on my own. However, I learned how to do it and it really is not so bad, unlike writing cover letters.
  • Job Search – He would be dazed and confused at what all is involved in finding a job now. I am sure he is impressed with how I’ve handled it, especially the networking.

So he never got what he wanted but hopefully he is glad at some of the things that happened since his move to heaven.

Remember Joe,

You can’t always get what you want.

The Rolling Stones



Henry Ford & Grief Recovery

(Author’s Note: Since I am now publishing “Movin’ and Groovin’ Mondays”, an original post will appear on Wednesdays, with “Weekend Wisdom” still on Saturday and Sundays.)

A lot of grieving people will say “I can’t recover from my husband’s death.” or “I can’t move on with my life since my child died.”

To them I say – “You are right.”

Don’t believe me, here is what Henry Ford had to say:

If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.

Henry Ford


Can’t needs eliminated from our vocabulary anyway, but at no other time is it more important to get rid of it than during grief.

If you keep telling yourself “I can’t” during your grief journey, then you will not recover because you are telling yourself you “can’t.” You keep sowing negative thoughts. And you know what the Bible says about sowing:

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

Galatians 6:7

You sow negative thoughts, you reap negative thoughts.

Negativity will keep you feeling nothing but excruciating pain and agony until your dying day.

“What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?”

Is that how you want to spend the rest of your life – in pain and agony?

Is that how your spouse, parent, child or other loved one would have you spend the rest of  your life?

Then eliminate “can’t” from your grief vocabulary and replace it with:

  • I can recover
  • I will move forward

After all, recovering and moving forward does not mean you forget or stop loving your spouse, it means you carry them with you in your heart while your life takes a new direction.

Take Action

Won’t you please eliminate “can’t” and even the word “won’t” and live a life of joy in honor of your spouse or other loved one? 

(Coming Next Wednesday: “What Joe Wanted…and What He Got”)

“40 Days Of Joy” Kick-off – Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Welcome to the kickoff of the 2013 edition of “40 Days of Joy”.  Normally this series runs from Thanksgiving Eve through January 1st, however this year there are only 36 days in that time span.  So I am starting it earlier with posts focusing on recipes that are family holiday traditions.

This way you have plenty of time for grocery shopping.

First up is the time honored tradition of Pumpkin Chiffon Pie.  Once Mom started making this, regular pumpkin pie just would not do.  It is light, fluffy and the perfect choice for dessert after a heavy Thanksgiving or Christmas meal.


Pumpkin Chiffon Pie.

This recipe is standard dessert for Thanksgiving and Christmas and comes from one of Mom’s old, beat up cookbooks.  It is very light and perfect for after a heavy meal.



1 8 inch Graham Cracker Crust Pie Shell

1 Envelope Unflavored Gelatin,

¾ C Light Brown Sugar – Firmly Packed

½ t Salt

1 t Pumpkin Pie Spice

3 Eggs – Separated

¾ C Milk

1 ¼ C Canned Pumpkin

1/3 C Granulated Sugar

Whipped Cream or Cool Whip


Combine gelatin, brown sugar, salt, and spice in sauce pan.

Combine egg yolks and milk – Stir into gelatin mixture.  Over medium heat, stir constantly until mixture boils.

Remove from heat, add pumpkin.

Chill until it mounds slightly when dropped from spoon.

Test frequently for mounding stage.

Beat egg whites until frothy.   Add sugar a little bit at a time and beat until glossy stiff peaks form.

Fold pumpkin mixture into egg whites.  Spoon into pie shell.  Chill until firm.

PIG OUT once firm – just make sure you save some for your guests ;)

Other Serving Suggestions:  Serve with your favorite coffee for breakfast or with a glass of warm milk for bedtime snack.      :D

My 3.5 Year Job Search Journey Part 1

Now I know you new readers are thinking “I thought this was a blog about your widowhood adventures?”  It is.  One of my adventures after becoming a widow was experiencing an extended job search.

What I Did In My Previous Life

When Joe passed in March of 2008 I was working as a mortgage collector for a major bank and had been there 12 years. I returned to work after being given 10 days bereavement leave.  It was very difficult to go back but I had to do it. If I had not gone back after the two weeks, I would probably never have returned to the bank.

Weekends during the first year were spent mostly on the couch conserving energy so I had enough to get through the next work week.

How It Came To Pass

I took a week’s vacation at the one-year mark of Joe’s passing.  When I returned to work, I was pulled into a conference room and told to work 2 p.m. – 11 p.m. or take a 6 month severance package ( I had been working 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) After much prayer, and consultation with family and friends, I took the severance package.

In a conversation with my sister-in-law, I said “I survived the first year of widowhood which was hell, so certainly I can survive unemployment.” She very skeptically said “I don’t know.” She was right, I was wrong. Unemployment almost did what widowhood did not do – kill me.

Confidence During My 3.5 Year Journey

A widows confidence takes a big hit while grieving then combine that with a lack of confidence caused by unemployment and you have recipe for a disaster of Titanic proportions. I began to wonder if I would ever work again or if living under a bridge was my destiny.

My confidence took a hit during job search because of fighting 2 stigmas.

  • The stigma of being a widow.
  • The stigma of being unemployed.

How Society Sees Widows

Widows are seen as invisible and people who do see us treat us as untouchable. At least one of the following 6 statements describe society’s mindset towards widows:

  • You have cooties.
  • You are too “young” to be a widow but “too old” to be hired.
  • We just don’t know and don’t want to know how to help you.
  • You are about to bust up a marriage or a relationship in order to get a man.
  • You are unworthy of help (household or job search) because you are a “young” widow and can do it all.
  • We were only friends with you because we were friends with your husband long before you came into his life.


Finding Confidence

I found confidence in figuring out who I was as a person:

  • Blogger
  • Photographer
  • Book Reader
  • Volunteer (Golden Retrievers In Need; GriefShare Co-Facilitator)

and as a career professional:

  • Loan Officer by day
  • Freelance writer/editor/photographer by night

It was tough figuring out my personal and professional life at the same time. It took a lot of self-reflection about my likes and dislikes.  By no means did I figure it out overnight. Truthfully, there are some days I am not sure I have the professional part of my life figured out.

Faith – My Other Source Of Confidence

My faith got me through my grief journey, so I relied on it to get through my extended unemployment. God blessed me with meeting a lot of people online and offline. I read my Bible, inspirational books, listened to Christian music, and surrounded myself with positive, helpful friends. All of this helped keep me upbeat but I had my down days.  When those days hit, I embraced them and worked through them.

I learned to lean on God and realized He is the only man I need to handle whatever life throws my way.  Yes, someday I might want to be involved in another relationship and marriage, but the need is not there.

Bottom Line

I kept confident during my job search and you can too.

Confidence takes a lot of work …and tartar sauce.           😉

Check back next Tuesday 10/29, for a post about blogging and its impact on my job search.

This Friday, 10/25, there will be a Special Announcement from JoyReturns. See you then!

How To Go From Grumpy To Bouncing Like Tigger In Under 3:44 Seconds

Yesterday morning I woke up about 3 a.m. and I was freezing cold. So I fixed a mug of warm milk, turned the heater on and went back to bed wishing I had a pair of strong warm arms wrapped around me.

When the alarm clock went off at 6 a.m., I struggled to get out of bed. I had warmed up some but was in no mood to go to work. It’s too much effort working and holding down a household but I force myself to do it anyway. It’s like that old saying “No rest for the wicked, weary, widow.” While getting ready for work I prayed for strength and energy to make it through my day.

After getting in the car, I turned on the CD and as I was backing out of the garage, Barry Manilow was singing “This One’s For You.” Well, I promptly switched to the next song as that song was not what I wanted or needed to hear.

However, the next one really got me in the groove. I looked at the sun shinning on the trees during my drive and started bouncing in my seat like Tigger and singing at the top of my lungs (it’s a good thing I do not carpool with anyone.)

The song that turned my day around

“Daybreak” by Barry Manilow

I bet you can not listen to this song without clapping along. Just please do not clap while driving.

Each daybreak is a new beginning, a new chance to move forward with life, “if you’ll only believe.”

So believe my friend, believe that you will survive and thrive while on your grief journey.  Then find a way to let your belief “shine, shine, shine all around the world.”          😀

Click here to be taken to Lyricsdepot.com for the lyrics.

(This post was originally published on an earlier date.)

Weekend Wisdom: “Empty” by Cherie Hill

I am reading “empty., Living Full of Faith When Life Drains you Dry” by Cherie Hill. (Kindle $2.99/Paperback $7.16 as of this writing.)  It is about the woman at the well‘s encounter with Jesus and how it applies to our lives when we are feeling empty.

Ms. Hill’s book is powerful and digs deep into the reason we:

  • struggle working our way through grief,
  • feel something is missing in our marriage,
  • despair over any other problems that engulf us.

I am only on Chapter 4 but felt I needed to get some quotes and scripture out to you in the form of “Weekend Wisdom.” There will be more posts about this book as soon as I am done reading it and have a chance to drink in Ms. Hills words.


“although difficult to imagine, physical pain can sometimes be easier to endure than the ongoing anguish of loneliness, rejection, loss, and failures.”  (Chapter 1)

“We’re empty because we’re more concerned about “feeling” better than finding God.” (Chapter 1)

“Emptiness is not the end, it’s the beginning. (Chapter 1)

“We fail, miserably, to grasp the fact that only God can supply what our soul most deeply desires.” (Chapter 3)

“We, just like the woman at the well, don’t realize that what we’re really yearning or is an encounter with God.” (Chapter 3)


“…or God gives the Spirit without limit.” – John 3:34 (NIV)

“Whoever believes in  me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” – John 7:38 (NIV)

“The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them.  People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NLT  (Chapter 3)

“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”  Romans 8:6 NIV (Chapter 3)

For Widows Only?

This book is appropriate for widows, or anyone experiencing any of life’s nasty events.

Call To Action

Don’t wait for my review – go buy this book now!  Have a pen, notebook, and hi-lighter handy as you will need them when you read it.

Closing Thought

“Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny.” – C.S. Lewis (Chapter 3)

The 2013 Edition – Lisa Ryan’s “5 Thank You’s A Day” Gratitude Challenge

What if 30 days from now you were experiencing less grief?

Whether from:

  • your loved one’s passing
  • your unemployment
  • your rocky relationship

What would life look and feel like if your heart was filled with more gratitude?

Well that is the idea behind Lisa Ryan’s “5 Thank-You’s A Day 30 Day Challenge” – to fill your heart and consequently your life with more gratitude.

Last Year

I took the challenge last year and it got me to:

  • think more about gratitude’s role in my life
  • look at the people, places, things and events in my life with more gratitude

Lisa is running the challenge again this year starting June 1st and I will be taking it.


Because developing an attitude of gratitude take practice and everyone needs a refresher course from time to time.

The Program

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to simply say or write 5 Thank You’s each and every day in the month of June.  You can do this in 5 ways:

  1. Write down 5 things you are grateful for (Each entry is one Thank You)
  2. Express sincere appreciate verbally (each time counts as one Thank You)
  3. Send a thank you note (each note counts as one Thank You)
  4. Send a letter of appreciation (each letter counts as one Thank You)
  5. Meditate on gratitude for 5 minutes.

When you participate you’ll receive:

  •  A short daily inspirational video to keep you motivated
  •  A newly revised and updated “Thank You Notes” Workbook
  •  Entry into a weekly drawing to win a gratitude book, audio program or movie

Lisa Ryan

See it is not hard.

How To Sign Up

To sign up, just email Lisa at

lisa@grategy dot com (spelled out to avoid spammers).

 Here is the link to Lisa’s blog where you can sign up for weekly gratitude thoughts and learn more about her.

(Disclaimer – This is not an affiliate link and the only compensation I receive from Lisa  is a “Thank You.”)


Imagine how 30 days of focusing on gratitude will shift your thinking and help you on your journey through whatever nasty life situation you are experiencing.

If you are not facing a nasty life event, just think how well prepared you will be when one comes your way.

So who will join me in taking the challenge?

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