Living Life With Passion: Lessons Learned From Death Over Coffee With Joi Brooks

Widowhood Real Talk | Joi Brooks | Death Over Coffee

  Sometimes, all you need is a good conversation over a cup of coffee. In this episode, Joi Brooks, the host of Email and Coffee, opens up about the profound journey she embarked upon following the loss of her husband, Harry, and the passing of her parents. Joi shares her insights on embracing life with renewed passion, drawing valuable lessons from the shadows of death, all while savoring the warmth of a comforting cup of coffee. Beyond her personal tragedy, she discovered an unexpected ally and, through her experiences, gained the wisdom to support others in navigating their own grief. Join us for a heartfelt conversation with Joi Brooks, where the aroma of coffee accompanies reflections on life, loss, and the enduring spirit that arises from the darkest moments. Thank you for viewing this post. I am not a licensed therapist or professional life coach. I am sharing my experience of loving the same man for 32 years, a mother to two adult children, a retired military officer, a breast cancer survivor, and my connections with others. Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should reach out to a suicide hotline or local emergency number in their country: — Watch the episode here   Listen to the podcast here   Living Life With Passion: Lessons Learned From Death Over Coffee With Joi Brooks Our guest is Ms. Joi Brooks. She is a widow and has a wonderful perspective that I know that you will find insightful, empowering, and encouraging. Let’s get into the conversation now.     Happy morning to you, Joi Brooks. Happy morning. I’m thankful that it’s not flooding this morning. She’s been part of the widowhood conversation. Flooding, what is that about? It’s called living on the South Shore of Long Island. We get used to it over time. It’s not a good thing, but it could be worse. I was looking at different places in the weather. Ohio is getting spanked by the snow and a lot of other places. What is the weather in New York? It’s foggy. We had a rain and windstorm. It wasn’t as bad as Tuesday or Wednesday when we did have flooding. It’s not in the house or anything like that. It could be, but it was about an inch in the garage. How long have you lived in this area? Twenty-five years in 2024. What’s your worst flooding experience? Superstorm Sandy. How did that impact you? Five feet in the street and three feet in the house. It’s past the garage into your home. It’s like a swimming pool in the house. What was that experience? We lost everything. Every day, you rip everything out. You throw it out, and everybody down the block has the same thing. Everybody’s stuff is out in the front. The Red Cross trucks drive by, and they feed us. It’s martial law. There’s a lot right there. That’s packed with stuff. What is the frequency in which you’ve endured? That was what they called a 100-year flood. It shouldn’t happen like that. Hurricanes, yes, because Long Island is prone to what is called a North Easter, which comes up the coast of the United States. It circles around and spanks us. Because I’m on the south shore of Long Island, it goes around and pushes the water up, and we get a hot time. A perfect storm was Superstorm Sandy, which was a hurricane, a full moon, and a North Easter. A hurricane is not bad enough. It was a North Easter hurricane. The way it came up and circled around. That was the perfect storm. We get flooded. There are times when I walk the dogs, and it’s an adventure because I’m not going down the street. I turn around. I got to walk on this person’s lawn. It’s something that we live with. If we get down to a personal level, we shouldn’t be living on the South Shore. One of my husband’s dying wishes was to move out of the house. I like it here. The summers are beautiful. The neighbors are lovely. They know me, and I know them. I’ve been living here for several years. If I were not to come out of my house for 2 or 3 days, they’d be knocking, phoning, or texting. That’s important. I could move to some other place. Odds are something else would be an issue. It’s a trade-off. The weather on Long Island in the summer and fall is lovely. In the winter, it’s iffy and dicey. In August, we get hurricanes. New York, it’s hurricanes. The East Coast gets hurricanes. You dived right into what was going to be my question. You spoke about the devastation, but why stay? You’re right. Everywhere in the world has some level of extreme weather that you experience, but you cannot outdo those relationships that have been built and cemented over time and the people who care for you. People would notice if something were awry in your life. I can understand that outweighing because you have to pick which extreme weather situation you’re going to live in. You have found one worth being there for. When your neighbors read the blog, they know how important and valuable they are. If you’ve never been mushy, let them know. They mean a lot. There are services, shopping, doctors, lawyers, and a whole amount of services that, for the past several years, I’ve been part of. I’d have to start that all over again. I’d find a new doctor, dentist, or accountant. You could pick anybody. You could shop at any store that you want. When I walk into my supermarket, there are a few people who recognize me, and I talk with them. It’s a thing. You mentioned your husband. Please share your late husband’s name. His name is Harry. Since he passed, he’s become a saint. He’d laugh at that because he was no saint. I’ve turned him into Saint Harry. He could do …

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