The new year

The new year always signifies a fresh start. What wonderful things will I experience this year? What new things will I attempt? What new hopes and dreams can come to fruition? Will it be a good year?

No, not this year.

This year signifies a new start, but not the kind I ever dreamed of nor wanted. This year is the first, in more than twenty years, that I will endure without my husband.

It actually can be taken farther than that. My son turns 37 this year. That means that this year is the first in 37 years that I enter the new year totally alone.

I was my parents’ child, I was the single mother of my son, I was the wife of Richard Palmer. Now I am just me.

I dare to hope that I will have a fulfilling life ahead. I dare to dream that the pain of losing my beloved husband will diminish. I hear a tiny voice inside me saying, “you will be okay.”

My logical side says that’s a lie.

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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