grief journey

Superbowl Sunday Morning

I want this to be a normal Superbowl Sunday again
I want you to hear you puttering around in the kitchen
The chop, chop, chop of onions being minced
The clang of the pans as you remove one from the pile in the disorganized cupboard

Stirring and
food processor whirring and
sausage sizzling in a pan

You busy doing what you love the most

I want to listen once again to those sounds of you,
the living, breathing man I loved,
as I write here in my office

My quiet, quiet office in this quiet, quiet house

I want you to yell across the house to me when you can’t find the
tomato sauce or
the little can of mushrooms
And hear you plunking down the basement stairs to look in the larder for a spare

I want to hear your favorite music playing
even though I can’t stand most of what you love

I want to hear you singing out loud about diamonds on the soles of her shoes

I want to hear the microwave slam
the water running
the sounds of you making a huge mess that you mostly clean up

You cook
I’ll clean

I want to listen to those sounds once again
As you prepare a delicious feast of

Zeb’s beans or
Chicken soup or
Chili and cornbread or
Stuffed peppers or
Ribs – made with your favorite special bake-in-the-oven recipe from Julie or
English muffin little pizzas

Maybe all of that – you always make too much and that’s okay

On this Superbowl Sunday without you
I just want everything back to the way it was


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