Once You Got the Death Sentence

Once you got the death sentence, you said there was nothing we could do about it.

But you didn’t die that Christmas, and you didn’t die that spring.

And we got Christmas with the family.
And we got spring in Florida.
And – in between hospital visits – we got summer at home.

We got time with friends.
We got time alone.
We got sunsets and wine and pizza.
We got Sunday mornings in bed.
We got afternoons in the park.
We got evenings of hand holding side by side.

We got nights of conversation and cuddling.

Once you got the death sentence, we got some extra time
To say goodbye.


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.

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