Something was wrong and I did not know what. Sadness just hung over me. I struggled to get through another day. Things were not as easy as I would have liked at work, grandma was so confused at night, and I was alone without my support.

I was falling apart, and I had no idea why. This week was no different than any other week since he died. I live in a constant state of waiting for the other shoe to drop. But this was different. This was the sadness of last year and I had overcome that or so I thought I had. Standing in a room with my co-workers just trying to keep it together. Having people ask me if I am okay over and over because I am not acting like myself. Not want to say I have no idea why I am so sad.

Getting into the car to go home I finally look at the date and realize what is coming up. My mind, body, and soul were reacting to something I hadn’t pieced together yet. This has happened in the past where dates trigger a grief wave before I know what date is approaching. These waves make it feel like I am fighting a losing battle. I struggle to hold back tears, I miss my husband but this is more than that.

I still struggle with letting people see my grief. Not wanting them to see me as weak. Grief is vulnerable and it is our story to tell we get to choose who sees it. But when a wave hits it can almost knock us over.

Once I acknowledge the date, I can deal with the grief wave and take away the struggle of the days ahead. March 26, 2012 was my first date with Matt. Yesterday would have marked 10 years but instead, it was just a new day in my new life without him. I stood in the rain doing farm stuff thinking the weather is expressing how I feel.


Sitting at my sister’s bridal shower talking about how I was going to go to the movies with a friend. Them all telling me it was a date. I insisted it was not I had asked him to go with me as a friend. We all laughed so hard that night I struggled to breathe.

Matt did not have a car at the time, so I went to pick him up. I made him drive and we got lost going to the movie theater because it was not the normal one, I went to but it was closer to work. We got there right before the movie started. I got home later than expected and my dad was not happy but still in my head it was not a date.

Thinking we were still just friends in the days that followed. Matt cut his finger badly at work and had to leave. Our coworkers were surprised he did not tell me, and I thought it was odd they thought that after all as friends he did not have to tell me that.  Then later in the week he had another issue and wouldn’t tell me what was bothering him. I struggled with him shutting me out.

On April 1, 2012 we went out to dinner then he invited me over to his house to watch a movie. We ended up watching Kick-Ass I hated the movie. When it was over, we went to say goodbye and Matt kissed me. It was only then that he thought we were on a date, and I didn’t know it.  We would laugh about how we started dating throughout our time together. People like to know how we met, and I tell them at work. We became friends quickly after I started working there. When we would tell them about how I accidentally asked him out without knowing.


These memories come flooding back but they do not make me sad I am happy that even though he is gone I still have something. He was my friend first and that is what I miss the most. Sure, I miss the other stuff that goes along with being in a relationship, but I miss my companion in life. I struggle with the thought of being alone but not wanting to live this life with someone new.

Last year I found the ticket stub from our first date. When going through some other things I found the card I gave him on our first anniversary and the letter I wrote him. Happy reminders of the past we had. Memories I can hold on to when the sadness hits.

I struggle with the fact that our happy ever after was not that and that we only got eight years together. Knowing that if I could go back in time knowing how things end I would still ask him out by accident because he showed me what love is. The only thing I would change is the ending if I could stop us from having that fight. Telling him instead that I love you and I always will.

In the past year, I have been working on healing. I acknowledge that grief is forever, but it does not mean that I will struggle with this pain for the rest of my life. We all deserve the love that this world has to offer I need to work on not fearing finding it and losing it again before I can consider moving on.

There will be days were the sadness crashes in on me again. I will remember the times we had. Remember they were real. Continue to talk about him and to make sure he lives on through everything I do.



** Mark your calendars! Hope For Widows Foundation’s annual virtual event has returned on Saturday, April 2, and Sunday, April 3, 2022! Anyone can join! Whether you are a widow, widower, or a friend/family member showing support or walking in the loss of another family member, everyone is welcome to participate. The proceeds will directly support widows through the annual financial Restoring Hope and Peace Grants, Sunshine Boxes program, and Bring Hope Holiday Assistance Program. Do you have or know a business that would like to sponsor? That’s an option too! To register and frequently asked questions- please go here:


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-