Grief waves sneak up sometimes and others there are little wakes that come in first reminding me that a big date is coming that I need to brace my heart for. Tomorrow is going to hurt. My heart is going to break into a million pieces. I just hope I can get through the grief wave quickly. I don’t want to live there. Tomorrow is Matt’s birthday. He will forever be 37 he should be turning 38 but he is gone and I am left with the memories of the past. 


Matt hated his birthday. He never wanted to celebrate it but I forced him to. And he went along with it because that’s what you do when you love someone. Memories of the past have been visiting me the last few days. Haunting me, reminding me he is gone and I am still here. 


The first year we were dating he made me promise that I was not going to do anything knowing I would. I had to work later that night than he did so he went over to the farm in a thunderstorm to feed my animals. Then came back to pick me up. I was worried the whole time he was gone. 


The first thing he said to me when he got back was why are there presents in your truck. We went to get Chinese food and went back to his place. Somehow I ended up spending the night most likely I fell asleep while watching the movie.  How I wish I ould go back to that night and just sleep in his arms again. That was a birthday past memory that floated into view last night. 


The second birthday was from the same year. He told me I was not allowed to make him a cake. He however did not tell my grandma that. She made him a small cake and told him he would let us sing to him and he would eat the cake. Matt could not argue with that. 


The real reason tomorrow is going to crush me is the second year we were together. The day before as we were going somewhere Matt was talking about how he never wanted to get married again. I was thinking then what the f*ck are we doing. 


The next day I had to work but we ended up going out to dinner with Tiernan. It was just the three of us, no one else could make it. As we were saying good night he was just holding me he looked down and said.

Matt: Do you want to give me one more present

Me: What 

Matt: Marry me? 

Me: Are you serious right now? Yes. 


We would be married the following year. The birthdays following that we spent most together with my family. I am going to make cheesecake like I always do for his birthday. I am going to cry a little. And for those of you who can drink a beer, grab a Stella in his honor. 


I am terrified that tomorrow is going to cause a grief wave that will be days long. The past few weeks I have been doing so much better. But grieving has taught me that you can never get used to what will throw you. 


Last night I dreamed of Matt. He was there. I was happy and excited. In my dream, an email came in from someone that I should not have been hearing from. He turned to leave and I told him wait, we don’t talk. I have told him to leave me alone. I asked him if we were good. He said yes, wait for me. I said always and then he left. I woke up confused about where I was and then it hit me. 


I have been thinking about moving on for the last few weeks. I have been talking about it with others. Not looking for anything serious but I know that Matt would want me to. Then I have that dream and think maybe he is the only one for me. Maybe memories are all that I will have forever until we are reunited. 


His birthday is tomorrow and next Sunday will be ten months. The grief waves will keep crashing for the next two months. There will be dates that are big that I will just wish he was here with me. I will always love Matt. I will always want him with me. But life goes on and I am just left with the memories of the past.


Laurel became a young widow on October 2, 2020, her husband Matt had a heart attack he was only 37. Matt was a juvenile diabetic and they always knew he would die young but she never thought that she could be a widow at 32. Navigating grief with anxiety, regrets and guilt have been a struggle for Laurel. They had gotten into a fight days before he died and they had talked about divorce. One of the things that helped her the most is finding other widows who understood the pain she was feeling. In February she decided to start writing her story. Self-care is something else she started to do daily and art has become her outlet to get what she is feeling out which she shares on her Instagram. Being a young widow comes with its own challenges but we are not alone in this journey.
You can find her on Instagram @HealingPorcupine or her personal blog link-