We have or have almost made it through Halloween. For me, it is the easiest of the holidays as we never really did anything for it. We had Tiernan for one year and it was great being able to take him trick or treating. It still feels like a win.

Thanksgiving that first year was ridiculously hard for me. Grandma had been home for two weeks and that is how long the doctors said she had. I was sleeping on the floor of the living room to be close to her. I did not want to do the holidays, but my dad made me.

I put on my I can do this attitude and even went to his family’s holiday events. By the time Christmas came along I was barely hanging on. I remember sitting in my boss’s office in tears just asking for a few days off and being asked to wait a week if possible.

Surviving was what I was attempting to do and the girl who lived for Christmas just didn’t show up in 2020. She tried to in 2021 but just couldn’t seem to pull it together.

Now I face my third set of holidays without Matt and my first without grandma. This year feels different, and I feel ready to take on the holidays. I even started watching holiday movies last night and I do not feel bad about that.

I have already started thinking about the different types of cookies I am going to make this year. People have requested the “murder cookies” again and I think I am going to even if it is for a different reason than last time.

I am hosting Thanksgiving this year at my house, and I am planning on where the table will be and if I should set up a table in the kitchen to place the food on then everyone can get food like in buffet style. The types of pies I can make. Planning on making stuffing knowing that grandma would be proud of me for doing it.

After Thanksgiving, I might move my dining room table into the kitchen, so I have space in my living room for a tree. I bought a wreath kit for my front door. This week I am going to start making Christmas cards. I am excited about the holidays.

I can see the plan to decorate my house. Putting some things outside. Decorating the banister. Going all out. Old holiday me is back and it feels so amazing. Knowing that Matt did not always love the holidays, he did humor me when it came to them.

For people that are in the first year of grief remember it is okay if you are not in the mood to celebrate this Holiday season. It took me two years to get back into it. Do what you feel up to and don’t feel pressured to do anything you can’t.


Looking for a way you can make a difference and give back this holiday season? Embrace the spirit of giving by participating in Hope for Widows Foundation’s third annual ‘Bring Hope’ virtual program that directly assists a widow’s family who cannot provide gifts for their children or other necessities during this holiday season. Some widows who are struggling to make ends meet during this time simply do not have the luxury of purchasing gifts when their finances require them to choose between keeping the lights on and food on the table or purchasing presents. Add in the factors of solo parenting, grief, and the emotional and physical toll it takes. If you would like more details on how you can support a widow and her family, please EMAIL US directly for questions at info@hopeforwidows.org or to sponsor, go here for details and to fill out the application: https://linktr.ee/hopeforwidows



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.