I’ll never settle down
That’s what I always thought
Yeah, I was that kind of man
Just ask anyone
I don’t dance, but here I am

One year, three months, twenty-six days. Sitting at my desk stressed to the max listening to music just trying to make it through my day when a song comes on and I am not paying attention. Then suddenly, I realized I was listening to  “I don’t dance.” And I had that moment of oh no but to my surprise I was okay. The lyrics stream through my earbuds. A song that has not come on my playlist in a long time and has not come back on the station I was listening to since.

Love’s never come my way
I’ve never been this far
‘Cause you took these two left feet
And waltzed away with my heart
No, I don’t dance, but here I am

I Don’t Dance was my wedding song. In the past year, I  have not been able to listen to it since the day Matt died without completely falling apart. It was the song I listened to in the car before his memorial service. It came on my playlist, and I lost it. It is a song that I loved before but now brings a different emotion.

Matt always said that song described me more than him. Now looking at the lyrics I guess it was more me than it was him. I never thought I would get married and I was not looking for love when I found him. And I would have done anything with him at my side. Sadly, I am back to the girl that does not dance, and I am not sure I will ever want to with someone else.

I was proud of my widow win until I started to get into my own head. We did not dance at our wedding neither of us was okay with being the center of attention ever. Our wedding ceremony was only fifteen minutes and that amount of time in front of a large group was more than enough for us.

Then I started to realize that we never danced in the eight years we were together we went to parties and weddings, but we never danced. Another regret I realized is that I can never get that dance now. There are a few things that I would change from our wedding I wish I had gotten a photographer and that I did the first dance.

Saturday night I was working on a paper for school. Mentally and emotionally drained when it hit me finally the weight of the week and the tears flowed. The last time I pulled that late of a night was in 2019 when Veronica Mars came out on Hulu. We went to get food at the diner at 11 pm because I was so focused, I forgot to make dinner. Then came home and I finished my paper but only had like one episode of the show left so we watched it.

Last night was rough and I went to bed at two and did not fall asleep for a while after that. I watched a movie about a widow that I have seen before, and she asked her father-in-law about how you move on when you know that person will leave. And that spoke to me. I don’t want to feel this way ever again, I don’t want to settle down, I don’t want to dance with someone new.

I find myself looking for signs he is with me. Maybe that song coming on was his way of saying I am here I am with you. Today I say the hawk that has been around before when I am thinking about him. I don’t see it every day and sometimes months go by before I see it again. But I take the sign and hold on to it.

  Life is short and unfortunately, the man I want to dance with is never coming home. I am proud that I was able to handle the stress of the week. Widow win still happened when I was able to listen to a song that I haven’t been able to. I still think of him often and smile. Exhaustion and stress with no self-care led to me falling apart.

I know that the week and month coming up are going to be stressful at work. After this week I know I need to make time to take care of myself. Drawing, reading, or doing something that recharges my batteries. Not getting stuck in the what-ifs or the regrets. I can’t change the past and have that dance but I can keep an open mind for the future.



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- Healingporcupine.com.