grief journey

Today, I Will Sit in the Sun – A Poem

Spring has finally arrived in Michigan and today was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I’m used to being alone here now; this will be my second springtime without Rick. As our time together continues to fade into the past, I often stop to think how much he would have enjoyed certain things – and days like today were his favorite because they embodied everything he loved about life: sunny days outdoors, sounds of nature, having a lazy Sunday afternoon together to putter in the yard and cook on the grill. Rick was the consummate outdoors man and every facet of this gorgeous spring Sunday made me think of all that  he’s  missing.

But then, in the midst of my reverie, I realized that these are all the things I, too, love about life. And that now, more often than not, out of my sadness at his loss comes a desire to live life to its fullest. Realizing what he’s missing reminds me to fully enjoy a day like today, to stop stressing about unimportant things, to put aside my to-do list and drink in the beautiful day that I’m still fortunate enough to be here to enjoy. So I decided to ignore the to-do list, the laundry, the client invoices,  the vacuuming, the dusting, and the bills. Instead, I swept the deck and brought out the lawn furniture, then I grabbed a tall glass of ice water and sat outside in the sun. I soaked in the sun’s rays, listened to the chatter of the squirrels, drank in the greenery surrounding me, and enjoyed the light breeze that caressed my face. And then, I decided to write this poem.

Today, I will sit in the sun –
Knowing that if you were still here, you’d be thrilled by the burgeoning summer.

Today, I will remember to take time to breathe in the aromas of springtime –
Because you’re no longer able to enjoy the beauty of this time of year.

Today, I will remember to stop the chores, take a break from the work, ignore the to-do lists, and take time to dream –
Like those lazy Sundays when you invited me to join you for an afternoon nap, and we lay in each other’s arms, drinking in the sounds of spring and the breeze wafting through the open window.

Today, I will remember to do something fun –
Because I loved laughing with you and I’ve learned the value of living in the moment.

Today, I will enjoy the sound of the birds, the chatter of the squirrels, the background hum of the neighbors mowing their lawns –
I will drink in the sounds of life that you can no longer experience.

Today, I will enjoy dinner on our deck; I’ll cook our favorite foods and have a glass of Cabernet –
And I will remember our time together, our long talks, the way you looked into my eyes across the table.

Today, I’ll listen to our songs and remember you singing “The Dance,”
And I’ll be once again reminded that you’d want me to dance again in my future.

Today, I make a promise to you, that I will soak it all in – life, love, laughs, even sorrow –
Because I’ll never forget you and these reminders of everything you enjoyed about life, all these things we shared while you were here, each facet of life that you can no longer partake in.

Today I will keep on living, and I’ll embrace every beautiful thing life has to offer while I still can –
Because I will remember how short life is and how suddenly it can all be taken away.

Today I will sit in the sun.

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. It’s May 19th. It was our first sunny day in weeks. It was warm. It was sunny. It’s Sunday. I am a widow also. As I was sitting out back under the pergola ( after deciding to do absolutely nothing today – for once), I too realized that it was the perfect sort of day my husband would have loved! Birds singing. The sound of the pool’s water rippling from the jets, blue skies, and his BOSE speakers on filled with his crazy 1980’s music. His only day off was Sunday. Sundays were sacred around here! Reading your blog gave me a bit of comfort and a sweet laugh as I realized you somewhat enjoyed your Sunday as I did today. It will be 5 years for me this week. Coincidentally, today I found joy in our home even though my beloved wasn’t here.
    Thanks for your blog.

    1. I love that – “Sundays were sacred around here…” Thank you so much for letting me know that we share these wonderful sunny memories. ❤️

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