His Lasting Impact on My Life – Hope for Widows Blog for June

The impact of Rick’s death has lessened as the years go by. That’s only natural. I’ve always been a firm believer that time really does heal all wounds, although not as quickly as we would like (and I definitely formed that opinion before experiencing widowhood). But certainly the enormous and raw pain I felt daily in the first months and year after his death is no longer enveloping me. And the anniversaries and holidays bring on a few tears, but not the depression that I endured in year one, or even year two.

No, my emotions have quieted now. But as I near the fifth anniversary of Rick’s death, I’m still impacted by those little unforeseen triggers. Memories pop up out of the blue and make me, not only miss him, but leave me stunned at how long it’s been since he was here and life was normal.

The impact of his death may not be as great, but the impact of his life and how well he loved me are causing unusual, I’ll call them “consequences” in my dating life.

I tend to keep comparing Rick and how he treated me to the men I get involved with. Not that there have been that many men. It’s true that in the past two and a half years, I’ve dated a couple dozen – but nearly all of those first dates ended with me thinking: Not a chance. Each of those men brought with them a huge bouquet of red flags, or I wasn’t attracted – or they obviously didn’t want more than casual sex.

But I have become “involved” with three men. And with each budding relationship, after being together a month or two, I began to notice little things that make me question how much the man truly cares about me. Because even in the midst of thinking he’s a keeper, I begin to see what’s lacking when I remember how well Rick treated me.

Read the blog here.


About the author

Katherine Billings Palmer is a technical writer, poet, and essayist from Garden City, Michigan. She’s won several academic writing awards, including first place in the University of Michigan Dearborn Critical Essay Contest for her work about poet John Donne: “‘The Sun Rising’: A Lover’s Boast.”

In 2017, Katherine’s husband, Rick, died of complications from small cell lung cancer. She wrote a series of poems and essays about her struggles to cope with her grief. I Wanted to Grow Old With You is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

Her latest book, A Widow’s Words: Grief, Reflection, Prose, and Poetry – The First Year was published in January 2019 and is also available on Amazon.com.

Katherine is a guest blogger for the Hope for Widows Foundation and writes about her grief journey at www.TheWritingWidow.com.

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