Life is easier now

Life is easier now. Since the cancer diagnosis last fall, it’s been continuous stress: monitoring, doctor visits, pills, x-rays, tests, scans, chemo, radiation, shots, canes, then walkers. Reading about cancer, and pneumonitis, and blood cells, and medical studies, and alternative treatments. Trying to get you to eat, trying to help you dress and shower, trying to inspire you to get up one more day, trying to make you happy round the clock. Want to go to the park? Need a blanket?

What do you need? How can I help? How can I make you live?

Yes, that’s all over. The worries, the constant fear that the next episode will kill you. That you won’t make it home from the hospital. That you’ll die and leave me.

Yes, that’s all over.

Life is easier now, if you don’t count the constant pain, the horrible sadness, the emptiness, the loss, the unhappiness, the horrific horrific fear that I will not be able to recover from the pain of living the rest of my life without you.

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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