I was pondering how different my life is now that I’m coming up on another new year without Rick. I’m used to this new normal. I’m past the heavy grieving stage, and I’m living the life of a single woman. I have a very full life. I spend time with my family, play with my grandchildren, and go out nearly every night. I write and go to Meetups. I date men. I have a successful career, a part-time business, and a home to take care of. Yes, I have a very full and fantastic life.

I was an “old maid” of forty when Rick and I married, and as a single woman, I knew what it felt like to be alone. But I have a loneliness inside me now that I never knew could exist before, because I now know what it was like NOT to be alone. I have no shortage of love in my life. I have friends and family who are near and dear to me, but without Rick here, no matter what I do, I can’t escape the feeling that I am now more alone than I’ve ever been.

Still Alone

It’s still so quiet now at home
When waking in my bed alone
It’s been two years since you were here
I don’t expect to feel you near

I’ve made it through the days somehow
And yes, the quiet’s normal now
But having shared my life with you
Has changed who I am through and through

Before we met, I was just me
There was no other way to be
But when we bonded, something changed
My sense of self was rearranged

And now that I’m alone again
I’ve found I can’t go back to then
That person who I used to be
Before we joined and became “we”

Now being alone is not the same
As long before I took your name
For now I know how it can be
To feel you as a part of me

And though I’m fine, my life is full
A part of me still has a hole
A piece of me that should be here
I miss it more year after year

No matter what I seem to do
It’s all so different without you
My life seems fake, my days so long
Without you here, it all seems wrong

And though I do enjoy my life
It’s not the same as being your wife
The emptiness, the silence too
The missing piece since losing you

There’s no shortage of men to date
I go out dancing, stay up late
But when it’s time to go to bed
Those times with you still fill my head

I miss you so; I’ll never be
The girl I was, the happy me
I smile, I laugh, I fill my day
My life is great, I have to say

But deep inside, I still feel pain
And I will never be the same
Since losing you that awful day
When part of me was ripped away

I know that I have made it through
The hopeless grief of losing you
I live alone contentedly
But miss the other half of me


On August 13, 2017, I lost the love of my life. Rick Palmer and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary one month before he died at age 63 of complications from treatments for small cell lung cancer. He was my partner and soulmate, the love I had been looking for and finally found at age 40.

Rick was a talented writer and web designer and, in 2002, we began our own web and print design business. We worked together building the business and enjoyed traveling, writing, and playing together. Our dream was to spend our golden years together doing more of the same, but in the ten months from diagnosis to death, that dream shattered.

After Rick’s death, I quickly realized that the enormity of his loss was too much for me to handle on my own, so I began grief therapy. I also began writing through my grief in a journal of feelings, thoughts, memories, and poetry. As I navigate my new life alone, I share my journey and my efforts towards creating my “new normal” on my personal blog: The Writing Widow. I’m also on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

I recently published two books about my grief journey: my poetry book, I Wanted to Grow Old With You: A Widow's First Year of Grief in Poetry, and compilation of my blog posts A Widow's Words: Grief, Reflection, Prose, and Poetry - The First Year." Both books are available in print and Kindle versions on Amazon.com.