Love Is All – Sadly Erasing Him From My Future

I attended a writers’ conference two weeks ago. I’m still working (reworking) my plans for life without Rick after retirement. We had big plans. We started our web design business in 2001 with the goal of having plenty of work that we could enjoy doing together remotely from our favorite spot in Florida half the year, and back near our family in Michigan in the warmer months.

Rick was very goal-oriented. He made that plan 20 years before he would be able to retire, and I thought it was a wonderful idea. He was actually able to semi-live out the plan. He took a buyout from his job 5 years before his “official” retirement age and spent those years riding his bicycle and visiting web clients each morning, working on the sites while I was at work in the afternoons, then cooking our dinner and chilling in the evenings. I’m so thrilled that he had those years to enjoy himself, because he died at 63 – just after the social security kicked in and a year before I would have been able to join him on those Florida trips where we’d sit by the pool working on websites instead of being holed up in the frigid Michigan winters.

So, our plan for our golden years never came to fruition. Now I need a new plan. A “me only” plan.

Read the blog at the Hope for Widows website.

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

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

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