When Matt died, I went back to work immediately and until this week I would have told you that I was healing. I realized this week that instead of dealing with my feelings and emotions I instead put on this mask and pretended that I was okay. This week I said I am sad and I have the right to be no one can tell me that I have to be happy or have to pretend to be.

F*ck that.

The other night a local cop stopped by the house for something stupid. But I went into a full-out panic when the dispatcher called to tell me that there was an officer outside. My mind went to a dark place. Once outside the officer told me why he was there. I did not mask my nerves.

I finally said to him sorry the last time one of you was here it was to give me bad news. He said I know that was me. That is why I had dispatch call you to come outside instead of knocking.

That interaction triggered my anxiety.

I had an anxiety attack on Thursday morning. Finally, I acknowledged that I ran from my grief. Instead of dealing with certain parts. Walls were put up around what made me uncomfortable. I masked my pain to survive.

Now that I have more free time to deal with things, I am starting to uncover the parts I ignored. The parts that facing head-on I could not do because I had someone to care for. Grief bombs are dropping all over and for once I am feeling my way through it.

I am not wearing a mask. F*ck that. If my grief is making someone uncomfortable then that is their problem. Masking up is not something I am willing to do.

Next weekend I am going to move into my house, and I think it will be good. I can’t move on while in the space I shared with them. I started to move some things this weekend and although it is still Matt’s books on the shelves or my grandma’s knick-knacks that will hang on the walls it feels at home but without the sadness.

It is a new beginning. Fresh start.

Matt would be happy to see me starting to heal and find peace. He was my light in the darkness. Now I am going to be my own light.

I am a strong woman who bought a farm and holds down a great job all while going through some shit and I am proud of that. And as I take these next steps to continue to heal and grieve, I know that I have a great support system that will be there for me. I just need to be honest about what I am feeling. And that has meant explaining my RBF that I was wearing a lot last week.


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.