I miss my best friend

Dear Rick,

I have missed so much about you since you’ve been gone. I miss your love. I miss your touch. I miss your intelligence and wit and quirky sense of humor. I miss your huge strong body, and your muscles and your hugs.

I miss your unequaled and nonjudgmental acceptance of all that I am – foibles and failings included.

You were my unfailing champion, my biggest fan.

You were the smartest man I knew, and so accomplished in so many ways. You were a gifted designer and a talented writer. I so enjoyed working with you on our business, despite our differences and arguments – I loved the challenge of you. You were no simpering fop. You knew what you wanted. You had opinions. You were socially aware. You were a renaissance man.

You were also my best friend.

Until now, I’ve been missing your love and your companionship as a husband, as a soulmate. I’ve been immersed in the sadness of being a widow, a woman whose mate has died.

But this evening, as I sit here alone, I realized that a huge huge part of what I’m mourning is the loss of my best friend.

I liked hanging out with you. I could confide anything and everything to you and trusted you beyond life itself. You were there for me, always.

And we had so much fun just being together, day in and day out, playing games, chatting, dancing, just being in the same room, or even just under the same roof – shouting back and forth to each other.

What are you doing? What do you want to do today? When’s dinner? Where do you want to go?

I saw another Marvel movie without you today. This is the second one since you’ve been gone. You would have loved it. And later, you would have explained all the nuances I missed. Yes, honey, I did notice Stan Lee in his cameo, but I still need you to explain the history and about the vibranium and the ending with Bucky. You knew the details and the stories and you shared your knowledge with me after every movie.

I need my best friend back. My whole weekend is spent finding things to occupy myself with. I filled the time working on the newsletter you created. I’m getting used to doing it now. And I went to dueling pianos last night and I had a really good time. I laughed. I had fun. And then I cried myself to sleep because I wanted you there with me to enjoy it by my side. And I wanted you in bed with me when I got home. I wanted to cuddle up to you and talk about the evening and plan our Sunday.

I went to see the movie – Black Panther – with Brandon and Lindsey at 11am. It was the only time we could go with Sue watching the kids. And I wanted you there. But I filled the time, and kept occupied, and finished the newsletter. And here I am again, alone, and missing my best friend.

It was effortless filling the time with you by my side. Whether we had something to occupy us or not, it was enjoyable, just being with you.

And now that’s what my life seems to be: an effort. Work to find things to fill my time. I have plenty I CAN do, but little that inspires me or that is enjoyable.

I need to find contentment again. I need to find fulfillment in something. I need to find happiness in a world without my best friend.

And I need you here to help me, to talk me through the toughest time of my life. I need my best friend to help me through this, to help me as you did for all our years together. I need you here to help me cope with your loss.


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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