grief and new normal

Year Two – A Poem

I’m used to life without you
I’ve made all new routines
The quiet house seems normal now
My life’s gone on, it seems

I function out in public
Can hold my tears inside
No longer overcome with sobs
Seeking a place to hide

I’m used to traveling on my own
And tables set for one
And you not with me on the beach
To watch the setting sun

I live a single lifestyle
A woman on her own
No more joint decisions
I do it all alone

And, yes, I’ve coped with everything
The house and all the chores
My groceries get delivered
(I still hate going to stores)

A year since I’ve been with you
A year alone in bed
A year of conversations
Held only in my head

There’s no one here to kiss me
When I awake each day
It’s lonely on the weekends
Without you here to play

So, yes, I’ve gotten used to it
I’ve done it for a year
That doesn’t mean I like it
It’s dull without you here

I’m used to life without you
I’m used to life alone
And, oh, to have you back with me
I’d give all that I own

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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