Groundhog Day

My life has become a movie: Groundhog Day.

Every morning I wake up and realize you’re gone all over again.

I drive in my car on the way home from work, looking forward to seeing you when I get there – oh wait, Rick is dead. I knew, but I forgot.

I walk into my house and suddenly realize the silence. Oh wait, Rick is dead. But I knew that, didn’t I?

I’m losing my marbles.

Wait, isn’t he in bed waiting for me, as I watch late night TV? Won’t I find him there, waiting to pull me into his arms? No, silly, he’s dead. He’s gone. He’s never coming back.

I knew that. Didn’t I?

One month, nearly a month you’ve been gone. And daily, sometimes hourly, I need to remind myself that you aren’t coming back. And the pain is unleashed anew – fresh, raw, pain, as fresh as the moment of your death – all over again.

Just like in Groundhog Day, I’m doomed to repeat the reality of your death, the fresh waves of grief.

Look, there’s a new sequel to your favorite book series coming out today. Rick will love this, I think. I should call him, I think. But wait, Rick’s dead. But I knew that, didn’t I?

Over and over and over. I’m reminded that I’ll never see you or touch you again. Over and over, I’m hit with a fresh wave of agony, tears and pain. Over and over I see you in my thoughts, I hear you in my dreams, I feel you next to me.

And remember it’s not true. You’re dead. You’re not coming back.

I knew that. Didn’t I?

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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