Still Alone – A Poem on the Hope for Widows Blog

I was pondering how different my life is now that I’m coming up on another new year without Rick. I’m used to this new normal. I’m past the heavy grieving stage, and I’m living the life of a single woman. I have a very full life. I spend time with my family, play with my grandchildren, and go out nearly every night. I write and go to Meetups. I date men. I have a successful career, a part-time business, and a home to take care of. Yes, I have a very full and fantastic life.

I was an “old maid” of forty when Rick and I married, and as a single woman, I knew what it felt like to be alone. But I have a loneliness inside me now that I never knew could exist before, because I now know what it was like NOT to be alone. I have no shortage of love in my life. I have friends and family who are near and dear to me, but without Rick here, no matter what I do, I can’t escape the feeling that I am now more alone than I’ve ever been.

Still Alone

It’s still so quiet now at home
When waking in my bed alone
It’s been two years since you were here
I don’t expect to feel you near

I’ve made it through the days somehow
And yes, the quiet’s normal now
But having shared my life with you
Has changed who I am through and through

Before we met, I was just me
There was no other way to be
But when we bonded, something changed
My sense of self was rearranged

And now that I’m alone again
I’ve found I can’t go back to then
That person who I used to be
Before we joined and became “we”

Now being alone is not the same
As long before I took your name
For now I know how it can be
To feel you as a part of me

And though I’m fine, my life is full
A part of me still has a hole
A piece of me that should be here
I miss it more year after year…

Read the rest of the poem on 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 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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