After a week where I am exhausted from the emotional burnout and stress from the week I just want to bake. Tonight, I thought about fall-themed baked goods. Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, muffins, and to get ideas I went on Pinterest. The problem with that is it suggested pumpkin cheesecake. That brought me back to memories of Matt and I let myself go down that road even though I know better.

It was a rough week at work very stressful and for once not grief triggering. I am counting it as a widow win, a huge one. Friday, I had a moment that I was not proud of, I lost my shit at work because the week finally got to me. I was basically told to take a walk and I did because I was on the verge of having an anxiety attack which I have not had one of those in weeks. After I cooled off a bit, I found myself staring at the photos by my desk, photos of Matt. Sat there thinking that how do I move on when my soul mate died. On the way home I thought I should just replace those photos with ones of the kids only.

Dating Matt and marring him was so easy and now that I am trying to get back out there I am realizing I am so lucky to have met him. I saw a thing on Facebook that said you don’t get to choose who your heart will love. Matt and I just found each other. There was no swiping or talking to each other for a bit before deciding to go out. It was easy, simple, and wonderful and now I am realizing maybe Matt was my true love and I don’t get another. Life is not fair and I only got my love for 8 years, not the life I envisioned. But I know that if I keep trying maybe I will find someone else to share my life with.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

I bake when I am stressed out,  it is a coping mechanism that I have always had and did not realize until last year. Throughout college when I was stressed with a paper or test, I would make cookies or cake. Senior year was a try new things type of year. Last year it was a weekly thing after Matt died. My therapist at the time said it was my way of recharging from the week. It is something that I do to heal my soul and everyone around me gets to enjoy what I create.

If you are wondering why Pinterest suggesting Pumpkin cheesecake was a trigger it was the one thing that I made for Matt every year. It was our thing, the thing I did for him and only him. Now it is the one thing I can’t fathom making. I love all things pumpkin including that cheesecake. But I have not had that since Matt died because you don’t mess with the thing that was yours. Pumpkin cheesecake is something so simple to make and I can’t do it. It takes me back to a time that I can’t bring myself to visit. A time when my life was better it might not have been perfect but he was here. These moments where I am alone and have no one to talk to hit me the hardest. I was so proud last week that I hadn’t cried since the weekend of Oct 2nd. But tonight, I miss my husband and I am watching a romantic movie with tears in my eyes.

Memories I don’t mess with

Tonight, I am watching Pretty Women because not only did I give up on pumpkin cheesecake but also a number of movies and shows. It is the small pieces that I am not sure I will ever get back. I see a new season of a show is out and realize I am now two seasons behind because the last time I watched that show was curled up on the couch with Matt.

I have tried to reclaim parts of our lives together and sometimes that works. There are still places I can’t go like the local gas station. Thor was on last night and I sat there watching it with my dad and grandma and it dawned on me the last time I watched that movie was with Matt. I loved the Fast and Furious movies before I met him but then we started to see them together so I can’t bring myself to watch the new one. Just like the pumpkin cheesecake, there are things that should just be left as our thing.

My heart still aches every day for him especially on the good days because I want to tell him about them. Friday, I wanted to text him and tell him I needed to talk. To vent to him to hear his voice and just know everything would be okay. Telling him that I am going to bake this weekend. I can imagine him asking for a pumpkin cheesecake in the way that he always did. I miss everything about him.

I am slowly getting bits and pieces of me back but as one of my new favorite songs Memory, I Don’t Mess with by Lee Brice. “I’d fall right back with one slip, Always leave me helpless, Don’t hate me, I can’t help it, Gotta leave us where we left it, You’re a memory I don’t mess with.” If I allow myself to visit my memories I slip back into a crying mess of a person. But I wouldn’t have it any other way because he was the best thing that happened to me and I will forever be grateful for the little bit of time I got with him. Even if that means never eating pumpkin cheesecake again.


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-