This week has been freeing to me. For the first time in forever, I felt happy. I have not been in the darkness of my grief. It has been a much-needed change not to feel weighed down, stressed out, and depressed.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the battle between the old me and the new me that I feel brewing at times. This week I felt the old me resurface for a bit. Reminiscing on years past with my friends not just recent years but our childhood show years. The darkness lifted and my smile and laugh came back.

Standing in the show ring Thursday and actually being present, unlike the last year when I was in survival mode. My soul was healing. Then I got home and I laid down for bed and it hit me I didn’t think about Matt all day. No one talked about him. The darkness was back.

It should be a good thing sign of healing. Putting the past behind me and looking forward to the future one where I might actually be able to date again. But it hit in a way that I was not expecting, and I cried. After all I am still grieving and I have to allow myself those moments.

I did not allow the darkness to follow me into Friday. A few moments of anxiety did happen. But my friends were there to help me. The more I stay in the moment the better I am. When everything was over, I thanked my one friend for recognizing my anxiety and helping.

The emotional roller coaster I am on is that for a majority of the week I thought that maybe I am ready to consider dating again. I would love to have someone I could lean on in those more stressful moments. Someone that would recognize my anxiety flaring up and do something to support me in the moment and make it less stressful. If that means giving me control of the situation or simply knowing that my snaping is not because I am mad.

It is in these moments that I know the darkness is lifting. I no longer long for Matt’s comforting hug or kiss on the forehead. I could see someone else doing that. The thought of moving on no longer feels like I am betraying him. I know he would want to see this.

It felt good to laugh with an old friend. To make fun of him and have that old banter that we have had for a long time. It was me that existed before Matt. The old me that very few of my closest friends know. They know either me with Matt or the one that came after. Out of my support friends, only one knew the pre-Matt me and she lives states away so she did not really know us together.

That was the me that Matt fell in love with. The woman that I have been longing to be again. I have wanted this version of me for so long. At first, I would have said the woman that I was with him but she was not the one he fell in love with. I was a better person with him, because of him because he was not afraid to tell me what I needed to hear not what I wanted to hear.

I know that if he is watching me from up there he would be smiling hearing me laugh again. Watching me smile without thinking about it. Seeing the darkness of the past two years start to lift. Now I need to figure out how I hold on to this and don’t lose this feeling.

The fair will end and I will resume normal life on Monday. Next weekend I am traveling to Maine with my family to attend my cousin’s wedding. It is the first one I am going to since Matt died which means staying in the moment and not letting my anxiety flare. Life goes on and I need to start living again.


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-