Time’s Up! You’ve Reached Your Grief Limit… post on Hope for Widows site

It’s been fifteen months since my husband died, and I have a question…

What exactly is my allotted grieving time?

Is there a prescribed time limit? Can I access a table of typical grief limits allowed per relationship type? Parent = 9.3 months? Cousin = 4 months? Aunt/uncle = 6.2 months? I can’t even begin to guess the grief time limit for losing a child, because the thought is so devastating and unbearable to me.

So where does the loss of a spouse fit into this imaginary time table? Based on some of the articles about grief I’ve read, combined with the historic mourning period when widows traditionally wore black, and noticing the typical reaction of the general public I come in contact with day to day, I’m guessing that the consensus is one year.

I think I may be going over the designated limit. I may be taking too long to “get over it.” Read the rest of the blog on the Hope for Widows site.

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


  1. Even at 9 months I feel this pressure to forget my Jim, to “move on”. This during Covid when mostly I’ve been alone and unable to travel to family, friends or favorite places of ours. Myself and my loss front and center encased in longing. I dread the second year when it comes.
    Your blog has made me feel as if I know you and Rick and I feel your loss. Your sarcasm in this post and how you have journeyed through grief gives me hope. Thank you.

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