Someone last week commented about how they want to handle the rough patch they are going through as I did. You still have a smile on your face and find a way to laugh. What they do not know is that I had no choice but to become strong and independent if I didn’t life would have beaten me last year. If I gave in to the darkness I would have let it take hold of me forever.

Being a widow was not a part of my life plan. I was broken when Matt died and walked around going through the motions. I was void of emotions for a while after. One of my co-workers asked if I was okay once because everything was going wrong at work and I was calm. Normally I would be yelling and cursing but I was too busy trying to be strong to notice the fires around me.

When life cornered me I choose to be strong and learned to be independent. Maybe this is the reason I am having a hard time moving on. People are shocked that I don’t want to date. Everyone wants to come up with a reason why. I depended on Matt so much that when he died, I didn’t know what to do I just know that I don’t want to do that again.

Being strong involves knowing when a trigger might happen and having a plan to deal with that. I have not been to a wake or funeral since Matt died. Last week I should have gone to one for a friend who lost his grandma. I was going to go but then I realized that I would be over an hour away from home and putting myself in that position is not something I could do.

I made the choice not to go and it did not feel like I was being that strong and independent woman that I wanted to be. At the end of Matt’s service, I had a panic attack, and I was not willing to relive that. Deep down I know I made the correct choice, but it still felt like I was being a coward.

I want to be that person that others want to be like when going through things. Sometimes I wish I could see myself the way that they see me. What people don’t know is that I put on a mask when I walk outside of my house the one that shows strength. While I can be vulnerable when I want to be it is when I know I am with people I can trust with my truth.

Being strong and independent takes its toll on me and there are times that I come home feeling exhausted. Those are the nights that I fall apart when I am alone. That I miss him more than people know.

Being strong is the only choice I have. While I know I have people I can lean on, and they will help me every time I also know that the only person that will always be there for me is myself. Life has thrown everything it can at me in the last year and a half, but I keep going.

It is easy to fall into the depression of nothing is going right. Life is not fair. Nothing good ever happens. What I have been working on is looking at the positive in life. I need to replace the roof on my house, not something I was prepared to do but the insurance company is requiring me to do it. Instead of looking at the negative, I was able to say at least I am doing it before it leaks.

Widowhood changed me it. It made me a stronger person. I am rising from the ashes of my former life. Figuring out how to heal. Starting to live life again. Being strong is part of me now there is no turning back from that.


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-