Write Down the Memories – Hope for Widows blog

Last week was the anniversary of our first date. I remembered writing about that date a year after his death, so I looked up the blog. There it was, and as I read it, I remembered that stage of grief again, the rawness of another “first” without him. But something else happened while I read it…I started to smile. There on the screen was a play-by-play of that night from 25 years ago, the details captured in writing for me to access and recall anytime…

So we met and got a booth in the corner. You were so interesting and funny and intelligent. Always the consummate interviewer, you plied me with questions about me and my life and – as the night went on – you were more and more excited about how much we had in common and how much our interests gelled.

Finally, later in the evening, you asked what my favorite food was. I told you Mexican food, and you laughed and asked, “Will you marry me?”

It was a joke, and I laughed, but we both knew by then that we were hooked. I took a break to go to the ladies’ room and I remember smiling and rehashing that comment, that joke you made: Will you marry me? And I thought to myself, Yes, maybe I will.

The words brought it all back to me. How it all began. Things I assumed I’d never forget, but – now that I’m in my mid-60s – I’m not so sure. Every time I wrote about him, I knew I was doing it to remember. I was writing through my grief with one thought: I want to keep him alive. I hoped and prayed that by writing about him, he wouldn’t ever really die.

Read the rest of 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

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

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