The Missing Piece – Latest Blog on the Hope for Widows Website

I woke up today realizing I feel more alone now than I ever have in my life.

And it’s not just that I’m living alone for the first time – no parents, no child: totally alone in this quiet house. It’s a different kind of alone than just being alone physically. This is a kind of alone that I didn’t know existed before I shared my life with Rick…

With Rick, I felt totally safe. I let him into that most private place inside me and he did the same. We knew each other’s hopes and dreams, our flaws and foibles and failings and insecurities. I know it sounds cliche – but sometimes I think he knew me better than I knew myself. This sense of oneness was something I didn’t realized I had missed in all the years before him. I hadn’t known it was possible to join with someone like that, to form that most intimate bond. I trusted him with my heart and soul. I felt like he was a part of me. He was with me when we were miles apart.

That’s why, now that he’s gone, I feel more alone than I ever have in my life. Now that the bond has been severed by death, I am back to being a single individual, but this time it’s different, worse than it was before. Because this time I’ve experienced something I didn’t know existed, the ability to become so close to someone that they form a part of you. Before Rick, I had no idea what I was missing, that there even was a possibility of that type of intimacy. Before Rick, I was ignorant of the joy of being that in love, the safety net of that kind of love, the confidence that – despite anything I could possibly do – he would continue to love me, and I him. Before Rick, I never experienced the serenity that comes from knowing that I’m not alone in this world….

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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