I made it through Thanksgiving with very few tears it was a win for me that I needed on the grief journey. Being the third without Matt so I knew I would be okay there, but it was my first without my grandma the woman who taught me how to cook. Would heckle me in the last few years for not doing things the way she would.

We gathered around the same table in a new house. As I was setting the table I started to think about the empty seats. It is not just Matt, it is my uncle and grandparents. I am not unfamiliar with the sting of the holiday season. But this year I was determined to not let it get to me as much as in the past and to have some wins.

At the end of the night, I was satisfied with the day. The only hitch was the roasting pan I was going to use having a pin-size leak in it. I laughed instead of having an anxiety attack which was a huge win. Thinking about my grandma and Matt laughing up in heaven as something always happens


I have been excited this year to decorate for Christmas something that I have not done in a while. Partly because Matt did not like the Holidays and partly because after he died, I could not get into it the way I wanted to.

My dad and I went to Home Depot a few weeks ago and I got excited about all of the Christmas items. Friday at work all I could think of was going and getting some decorations. Talking to my dad at dinner he said we could go after dinner.

He knew that I wanted Christmas stuff and humored me as we went and looked at trees as soon as we walked in. I said something about waiting to get one and he told me they might sell out and that we would swing back by after going in. My dad is not a Christmas person as a child we got ours the week before Christmas and decorated it on Christmas Eve.

I walked out of there with a penguin decoration, some garland, and a tree. My sister was surprised but I wasn’t my dad has struggled with watching me grieve. He would do anything to see me smile a real smile and if that means buying Christmas stuff with me.


Before Matt, I did a lot of things for myself. The magic of being in a relationship is I started to depend on him to do so many things for me. I got the part of me who could do it all back on Saturday morning. I rearranged my furniture so I had room in my living room for my tree. In my past life, I would have needed help.

I was waiting for my dad to get to my house so he could cut the bottom of the tree for me. After getting impatient I went to the garage and found the bow saw and did it myself. And was able to get it in the house and in the stand-alone. It brought back memories of the past that I kept in check.

My house is decorated the way I always envisioned it would be. This is something I did for myself. A win that I need for the holidays to remind me why I always loved Christmas. I am now making my Christmas cards another thing that reminded me of my grandma, but it makes me smile to know that I am keeping that part of her alive. Sure, I could go to the store and buy them, but this is what makes Christmas special for me.


I had to go to a church thing this afternoon and really enjoyed listing to the music and the praise songs. Lately, my faith has been tested and I needed that. It made me want to see if there are any Christian Widow groups in the area and if there aren’t look into starting one.

I am watching Christmas movies tonight and the one that is on next it about a widow I feel like I am going to be able to watch it and not be sad which would be a huge win. Since Matt died, I would not have been able to do that but I am turning a new page with my grief and it feels great.


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 or to sponsor, go here for details and to fill out the application:






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-