What have you been up to? When this comes from someone that has not seen you in years and you are a widow it can take your breath away for a minute. It is the reason that I like meeting new people. People that did not know the old me. The one that could go out and have fun without the anxiety that I have now.

Well, I always had it, but it just wasn’t so pronounced, and I could go to a party and not get exhausted after a few hours. I am terrified of what have you been up to question.

My life has been a roller coaster and I can’t wait to get off. For now, when we finish dropping another climb happens.

Ten years ago, I would not have imagined that I would be a widow. I had just started dating Matt. We were still in that new relationship stage where we could go days without talking and be okay. We were quickly moving to the next stage of our relationship.

We got married in 2014 and in 2015 I had my first traumatic event with Matt. And as I drove through Hartford last night it came flooding back to me. We were away at a show for the weekend when Matt wasn’t feeling good. Tiernan, my mom, and I got back to the hotel room late and Matt was not in good shape. I ended up calling 911 and we spent the night at the Hartford Hospital he would get admitted to the ICU for a few days.

I just remember being terrified that he was going to die. That is how the fear started with thinking I could lose him but we had more years left.

Grandma got sick we took care of her more and more. With us eventually moving on to her side of the house. Matt and I experienced some marital problems We were not making time for each other and the stress took its toll.

I have so many regrets about the last six months of his life of our life. Not a day goes by that I don’t wish I could change our ending. The other week I had a dream that he was still alive and we saw each other and I sent him a text asking if we could talk that I wanted to work things out.

I try to stay away from the what if he lived thoughts but they happen. And yesterday I drove him thinking about the alternative universe where he is alive and we are still happily married. Life treated us better and we got everything we wanted in life including a baby of our own. A little girl that runs around outside barefoot.

But the ugly truth is that life is not fair, and I am instead sitting on my couch alone. Facing tomorrow without him. My mom will have her cardiac catheterization and hopefully, we will get answers to why she has not been feeling well. I have been dealt a bad hand so many times in the last few years that I think I am scared that something else is going to happen.

The last ten years featured the best and worst moments of my life. I don’t want to tell people that I used to know that I married the love of my life. I managed to F*ck that up and became a widow six years into my forever. That for the first time in two years I am starting to live again.

What have you been up to? I have been trying to let go of my forever and figure out what my new life looks like. And tonight the fear and the stress have me crying and wishing he was here. But for the last month, I have felt alive and that is a feeling I want to hold on to and not feel guilty about it.

I am going to keep fighting and hope that this ride ends soon.


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.