Frozen meat

It’s noon and I’m hungry so I went to find food. I thought I’d take out some frozen chicken and maybe make a stir-fry for dinner.

I found 2 frozen chicken breasts and what looks like frozen steaks. Then I found 2 larger bags, with big cuts of some kind of meat.

I thought, this is ridiculous. It looks dry/frosty, and I don’t even know what it is or what he was going to cook with it.

Maybe it’s for pot roast? Or that thing he made me in the crock pot? What was that? The roast with the garlic slits, and some carrots, onions, and celery? Used to be little potatoes, but we switched to radishes to be keto.

Anyway, I decided the meat is probably pretty old and dried out and I’ll just toss it. I said, a quiet, Sorry, honey. Sorry I’m wasting food you bought. Rick hated wasting food, and so do I.

And then, quite suddenly, I couldn’t do it. I started to sob. I love him. He’s gone. He’s never going to cook dinner again. He’s never going to shop for some meat, the type he bought, the way he used to price things at different stores. He’s not coming back.

I can’t do it. I can’t throw away this meat he bought, he touched, he planned to use – and use in a dish that he knew I’d especially love. Because that’s how he was, so kind to me, always trying to make me happy.

I put it back. I can’t throw it out. I’ll use it, find a way to figure out what it is and find the recipe he would have cooked and use it.

But it’s not going in the garbage today.

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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