grief journey

Facing a Crisis Alone – New blog on the Hope for Widows website

The world is a scary place right now, and I know there are a lot of people alone in their homes, waiting it out. There are many who have always been alone, who have never found a companion they wanted to share their lives with, and I feel for them now. But as a widow, I know that I’m in the same boat with many other women who used to have a man by their sides, someone to weather this storm with. Depending upon how long your husband has been gone, you may be used to managing on your own by now, but you may also be alone for the first time in years, and my heart goes out to all of you.

Rick has been gone 2 ½ years. I’ve adapted, and the worst is behind me. Since I started dating again six months ago, I’ve not only had to define what I’m looking for in a prospective date – the type of man, age, height, demeanor, likes, and dislikes, and things we have in common. But also, I’ve asked myself, what do I even want the relationship to lead to? Do I want to get married again? To have a long-term partner who lives with me? or do I prefer to remain alone in my house in a sort of extended dating period where the man never moves in? Am I even interested in long-term at all, or do I simply want a date for a movie or dinner now and then, that leads to nothing more than that?

… I’ve decided I want to remain single, and I don’t picture that changing in the foreseeable future. Not only am I enjoying my first-time independent lifestyle, it’s also been interesting dating several men in the past six months. I’ve enjoyed getting to know them, and – besides the two I’m currently involved with – I’ve parted amicably with the others I decided I no longer really wanted to hang out for one reason or another.

I’ve wondered if this disinterest in finding a new spouse, or long-term guy, could be because I’m not in love with anyone now, so I don’t feel that overwhelming urge to be with any man. But for whatever reason, in general, I like living alone in my own home…when things are fine. But in the past few weeks, as this coronavirus pandemic develops, I have discovered one thing about being married to Rick that is sadly absent now, and that I would gain with a long-term partner – I miss feeling safer because I had someone to share the decisions, fears, and anxieties with.

Read the rest of the blog 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

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

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