Frozen in time

Dear Rick,

Since you died, I’ve been amassing photos, videos, and even one voice recording I found. I’ve found things you’ve written – in longhand – and in google docs or Word.

I’ve gathered anything and everything that can keep your memory fresh.

Right now, I’m doing an Amazon Prime photo backup and seeing pictures I haven’t seen in a few years, or never noticed before because finding every possible scrap of you and our life together wasn’t as imminently important to me before.

I’ve gotten the old video cassettes out. They’re sitting with my video camera by the iMac, awaiting the time I’ll get to them to digitize and store them in the cloud so I’ll never lose them.

I’m scouring the house for every tiny insignificant scrap of you that I can keep forever in memory.

And just now, it hit me, once again, that there will never be a new photo, video, handwritten note, audio recording. You’ve been frozen in time. All I have now is all I’ll ever have of you. And, once again, I am incredibly sad that we will never make a new memory, never create a new photo, never speak or see each other again.

Is it me or you who is frozen in time?

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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