What If?

It’s going on five months now
I thought the “what if‘s” were over

I thought I had locked them away in a box after examining every single one
carefully
minutely
looking them over and over

and castigating myself for what I could have done.

But apparently it’s not over
Apparently someone unlocked the box

Perhaps I should’ve hidden the key.

The Pandora’s box is open again and the
what if‘s
and the regrets
and the questions
and the guilt
and the self-recriminations
and all those other horrifying feelings

are rushing into my brain.

How did the box open again?

I thought we were done with this.

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 Amazon.com.

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

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