Awakening the Dream – Latest Blog on the Hope for Widows Site

… I’ve stopped dreaming.

I’m not sure exactly when it happened. Was it when Rick got sick and the dreams we shared began to dissolve? Was it after his death, when all my hopes and dreams for the future we had planned turned to dust? I know that in the year and a half since his death, I’ve worked to recreate my life, little by little, but I haven’t really begun to dream again. It reminds me of Maslow’s hierarchy: as a widow, I’ve been working to survive emotionally and to reshape my life, but while concentrating on the day-to-day, I haven’t had the energy or inspiration to consider creating new dreams, let alone lofty goals.

Or what if it’s simply my age? I feel like my life is winding down now: thinking about retirement, concentrating on where I want to quietly live out the rest of my life. Have I forgotten that I still have time for big dreams, for a little excitement?

But reading Kelly’s blog post inspired me. So what if I’m 62 years old? So what if I’m no longer that young single mother I was before I met Rick, a woman with my whole life ahead of me? I used to have dreams for my future. I had big dreams! And reading Kelly’s blog made me remember that I’m a person who needs big dreams. My husband died, and the dreams we shared will be no more, but I’m still here, and I need to dig deep and create some dreams and plans again. And, because I’m no spring chicken, I’d better get to it before the clock runs out!

Read 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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