I’m not normal

I’ve never been less normal in my life.

Nothing is appealing – no food, no entertainment, no joy, no hope, nothing. I died when he died.

I try to comfort myself with little “nice” things. I like to sit in my recliner, under his big brown blanket (it’s really burgundy; he always called it brown). I like to cuddle up in it, turn on the TV and zone out. Except I don’t.

Last night, I watched America’s Got Talent. Rick hated AGT and all the other inane shows I enjoyed as brain candy. In one scene, Tyra Banks reached over and ran her hands through Simon Cowell’s chest hair. I pictured Rick’s thick, sexy gray/white hair peeking out over the V of his shirt. I will never be able to run my fingers through it again. I began to sob.

I want him back. I need him. My heart is broken into tiny bits.

Sunday, I decided he wouldn’t want me to be this zombie, this dead woman just existing and performing her duties mindlessly, daily. I decided Rick would want me to eat my low-carb lasagna on the deck in the beautiful summer-like weather. For added enjoyment, I took out a fresh bottle of red wine – from the cases I have left from his memorial “celebration.” (Oh, how happy he’d be to see those cases of wine in our basement!)

I cleaned the table on the deck. I took out the food, a crossword, and the wine.

He wasn’t there to chat about the day, or make observations about the quality of the wine, or plan what we would do during the week, or just be there, next to me.

I want him back. I can’t stand this exile from my soulmate.


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 Amazon.com.

Katherine is a guest blogger for the Hope for Widows Foundation and writes about her grief journey at www.TheWritingWidow.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *