Tag Archives: Sarah Brightman

Post #1,499 – 10 Years A Widow: Non Sum Qualis Eram


Today is the 10th anniversary of becoming a new creation. Ten years ago this morning Joe suffered a stroke caused by a blood vessel rupturing at the base of his brain.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:17

I went kicking and screaming into this transformation. It is the day I came home from work, pressed the button on the answering machine and found out what Non Sum Qualis Eram truly means.

The History Behind Non 

My coworkers and I were sitting at our desks working crossword puzzles on a winter day when I worked for a savings and loan.  I do not remember the clue for the answer, but I looked up “Non Sum Qualis Eram” in the dictionary (this was BG – Before Google) and I discovered it meant

I am not what I used to be

I cracked up laughing. I told my coworker that is what I want on my tombstone – I am not what I used to be. It is true. When you die you are not what you used to be. You are a new creation.

Well, that is not what is on our marker out at the cemetery.


Putting This Post Together

When I started putting this post together, I thought it would be how I summed up the last 10 years of being a widow instead of a wife.


Instead, it begins a series of lessons, opinions, and observations based on my experiences during the past 10 years.  They are a mixture of good, bad, and ugly. They are intended to prepare you a teeny, tiny bit for what you may face if and when you become a widow. Because that is what I do best, educate, inspire, and train – just call me your Grief Cheerleader.

So come along with me on a journey of looking back and fondly remembering while moving forward with life as a new creation.


Oh and if Non Sum Qualis Eram is not on our marker – what is? A line from Joe’s favorite song from The Phantom of the Opera:

Think of me, think of me fondly when we’ve said goodbye.


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.

“When You Realize You Have Been Loved”

Well almost through the 4th anniversary.  I have done well overall.  There have been occasional moments where I needed a Kleenex but with God’s help I have made it.

I really do not have much else to say as words just will not come.  So instead I will leave you with a Sarah Brightman video – “I Will Be With You (Where The Lost Ones Go)”.    (Kleenex required)  It is from her album “Symphony” which along with “Yanni, Live at the Acropolis”, were played at Joe’s wake.  Joe liked Sarah in “The Phantom of the Opera” so it only seemed right to have her and Yanni provide the music for the night.

In watching this video, I heard a line which never stood out before:

When you realize that you have been loved 
Than you will never be alone 

How very true.

May you always remember that line.

May the sentiment bring you comfort now and/or in the future.

May you always carry on, even if it is one baby step at a time.

Thank you Joe for loving me.  I carry your love with me as I move forward with my new life. 

(The duet on the CD is with Paul Stanley, in the video it is with Chris Thompson.)

“I Will Be With You”
(feat. Paul Stanley)

Leave and let me go 
You’re not meant for me, I know 
Carry on, carry on
And I’ll stay strong

Leave and let me go 
I will think of you, I know 
But carry on, carry on
And I’ll stay strong 

Someone else will keep you warm from now on 
Someone else will keep you safe from the storm 
But I’ll be with you wherever you go 
So you will never be alone 
I’m going where the wind blows 
Going where the lost ones go? 

I will be with you 
I’m losing the love I found 
Crying without a sound 
Where have you gone? 
I will be with you 
You were my fool for love 
Sent me from high above 
You were the one 
I will be with you 
I’m going where the wind blows 
Going where the lost ones go 

Leave and let me go 
Don’t look back, just let me know 
Carry on, carry on 
You must stay strong 

Nothing ever looks the same in the light 
Nothing ever seems to quite turn out right 
When you realize that you have been loved 
Than you will never be alone 
I’m going where the wind blows 
Going where the lost ones go 

[Repeat chorus]

Leave and let me go 
Baby I can’t come along 
Carry on, carry on
You must stay strong

Coming Friday 3/30 – Senior Olympic Synchronized Swimming