Journal entry from the night before you died

Twenty years. We missed each other for a few, early on, when we lived apart. Why did we waste that time?

I sit here alone in the living room, wishing you were next to me. I dread going to bed, the empty bed.

What a journey we’ve had. You’ve taken me to incredible heights and depths. It was a crazy ride. I don’t want it to be over yet.

Remission – a beautiful word, yet meaningless? Our new beginning, our bucket list, hasn’t happened. Sickness and stupidity – from pneumonitis, to blood clots, to steroid issues, to a broken hip??? Where’s the time we are to share and enjoy this respite from cancer?

You are my best friend, so I’m alone. I need you to comfort me at the end of a long day watching you suffer. What a dilemma. Needing you so badly after dealing with your ordeals.

Who will ever hold my hand, stroke me, hear me, the way you do? I need your love and your touch. I need your humor and your intelligence. I need the connection that I’ve felt for 20 years. I honestly feel like you’d be able to hear me telepathically right now.

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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