The little losses

Now that I’ve been in mourning for more than 4 months, I think this grief thing is pretty predictable: I’ll wake up each morning and immediately notice your absence. I’ll either bury the thought and jump out of bed, or – on the weekends – I’ll bury myself deeper under the covers and begin remembering you and our time together.

It’s the little losses that are unpredictable.

I’m stressed at work, I want to turn to you to vent. You’re not there.

I have a cold, I’m tired and cranky – you aren’t there to cheer me up and bring me some comfort food. You don’t feel my head with the back of your big, strong hand and make your pronouncement: no fever!

Nothing big. It’s the little losses that pile up and eventually swallow me up in grief.

December 6, 2017

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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