I often wonder what Matt is thinking. Watching me start to live again I can imagine him being happy. Because the age-old saying they would not want you to be sad is true. As I looked over the pasture the sheep are in I could picture him standing next to me smoking a cigarette. Just being Matt.

My heart is not ready to let go of these thoughts and truthfully, I don’t want to ever get to that point. Matt visits in my dreams sometimes and it is comforting and heartbreaking all at the same time. And when I remember that he is gone and fall apart. In my head, I think he is probably watching me going it is okay. And I wonder if maybe my reaction is why it takes him so long to visit again.

I am still avoiding going through our room that has his stuff in it. My plan is to paint the new house then start moving some of the things that can go up there. But to do that I need to go through our life together and decide what I am going to keep and what can be donated or thrown out.

His clothes are in that room and I know that it is not realistic to keep all of his clothes but there is still part of me that is not ready. Not ready to admit he is really gone and not coming back. The games we played are also there. Games that I know my nephew would love to play with me. I just haven’t decided if I can.

In those games are memories of date nights, hanging out with friends, and everything I have lost. I can still picture us playing Small World for the first time and then teaching Tiernan. That game is in the trunk of my car. Maybe this year around his birthday I will remember my love and celebrate his birthday by playing a game we played.

In the short eight years we had together we collected a lot of things and created so many memories and now those are landmines. Friday night watching a movie I realized Matt and I dated for one year four months before we got engaged. He has now been gone longer than that time. Someday he will be gone longer than we had together and I am not sure how to feel about that.

I still avoid places that we went to. The gas station, certain restaurants, and stores. There are some places I can go with Tiernan and be okay. The ice cream place that we always went to before bringing him home is oddly comforting. Or the one restaurant that we went to with his family. I always feel like he is there smiling watching all of us together.

I am now living for both of us and most decisions I make I consider how he would feel. Picture him watching over me just being proud of the things I am doing. Wishing he was with me as I conquer challenges. Knowing when a grief wave crashes into me that when I am lying in bed sobbing, he is laying behind me holding me and whispering I am here.

I find comfort in thinking he is with me. Thinking that this is about the time on a Sunday that he would wake up do his thing then walk in and ask what I want from Dunkin. Sunday was our day to spend together and now I spend it with my dad doing farm stuff that I know that Matt would have done but hated doing. Knowing that when my dad starts getting frustrated with me Matt is probably laughing.

This week I am hoping that I will not be as sad as the last few and that I can make him proud. That he won’t be disappointed in the tears that still fall. When I can’t sleep, and I say I love you and miss you that he is repeating those words to me. I keep going for him knowing he is watching and would want that.


** 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: widowsofhope5k.racewire.com


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.