Grief and Loss of Hope

I Wanted to Grow Old With You – A Poem About Grief

To Rick: I Wanted to Grow Old With You

I wanted to grow old with you, but fate had other plans.
I vowed to love you until death as we stood holding hands.
We pledged to be together until our lives were through.
I thought we’d spend the golden years ahead, just me and you.

I know you’d be here if you could, you tried so hard to live.
You struggled to rise every day, gave all you had to give.
If love alone could save you, you’d still be here with me.
If love alone could bring you back, how lovely life would be.

But no one lives forever, so I go on alone.
I’m finding my “new normal,” attempting to move on.
The silence now is deafening, the empty bed brings tears
I dream of you most every night; I hope I will for years.

I look for signs that you’re around, perhaps I’ve gone insane
But I miss you so desperately, I’ll grasp at anything.
Our memories are all I have; I guess they’ll have to do.
I’m thankful for the years we had; so grateful I found you.

I know that I am fortunate, that some will never know
A love like ours, the joy we shared, before you had to go.
I miss your touch, your gentleness, your laughter, and your care
And now the pain at what I’ve lost is more than I can bear.

Our vows still echo in my head from on our special day
Our wedding song exactly voiced the words we longed to say…

You sang, “Grow old along with me,”
You said the best was yet to be.
We vowed til death that we’d be true
I wanted to grow old with 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


  1. Tomorrow is my Late Wifes 3rd Anniversary. She manages to still take my breath away, sadness, joy, day, night. I empathize with you.

  2. My husband if 38 years left this Earth on May 14,2021.
    I had a day today where I feel drugged. I don’t drink or do drugs but I can wake up but can’t stay awake. I know it grief will have its own way but….
    I wasn’t finished with my life with him!@

    1. My heart goes out to you. I felt that drugged state, too. In the early months after Rick died, I was moving around in a fog. Now that I look back, I’m not sure how I was functioning at all. Be good to yourself. Sleep all you need to. This is a major blow and you need to recover just like you would after major surgery. The fog won’t last forever, but I think it’s your brain’s way of protecting itself from the too-harsh reality of your loss. Take care, Katherine. ❤️

  3. My love for 27 years joined our creator April 2021 and today marks our 28th year should she be still beside me.

    I just want to let her know that I want to thank her for always staying at my side all the time til now. And she still captivates my heart when i think of her smile.

    I am taking baby steps towards moving on as she wants me to live long enjoy life and love so when my time comes I can tell her stories of our grand children.

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