Today would have been our eleven-year dating anniversary. And I am honestly not okay. I wanted to be I wanted this third year without him to pass without the sadness and pain.

I take a walk down memory lane. Remembering how our friendship started to turn into something more. Once we both knew that the opening for team lead was going to someone else there was nothing keeping us from dating.

If I am being honest with myself I knew there were more feelings than just being friends long before March. But that seemed to be the month that everything changed.

My shoulder was causing me so much pain that I didn’t want to eat or else I just felt sick. Matt made a comment when he saw me throw away my dinner after taking two bites. I remember telling him you don’t have the right to care about me.

Like that would change anything. One of our co-workers made a comment about us dating because we bickered like an old married couple. The trip down memory lane stings.

The night of my sister’s bridal party laughing and talking. Telling them that I was going to see a movie with Matt as a friend. Them all asking if he knew that it was not a date and I ensured them all that it was just as friends.

Today I could have gone and gotten my whole grain order from that store instead of a partial order from the store we went to. But I knew I could not walk through those doors without memories of eleven years ago hitting me square in the heart.

He was off that day but came in to grab something and stopped to tell me that he should be home before I was off. Him driving my truck to the movie theater and getting lost. Laughing so hard it hurt. At the end of the night, I still had no clue that it was a first date.

A week later and a bunch of things happened he was in a mood and so was I we decided to grab dinner. Going back to watch a movie at his place and as I was leaving he kissed me. It was realizing that I was on a second date without knowing.

I honestly would go back and do it all over. Accidentally asking him out on our first two dates. Slowly falling in love with him. Getting married all of it just to have those eight years. Knowing that I was not prepared for the grief that came with the loss.

Two years five months later and I can’t watch Hunger Games still. Listening to sad songs all week as I pretend to be okay and I think I was convincing to most.

I don’t want to tell people that I am still not okay. Knowing that most people don’t understand the magnitude of my loss. Wishing that I could speak to him. Hear him tell me what to do to make this all end.

Being honest is hard but I am trying. Telling my best friend that I don’t like dreaming about him anymore. It just hurts in the morning. Waking up to a dream that he is back and asked you to marry him. Reminding him we are still married and saw an engagement ring and my wedding ring on my finger right before I woke up.

I listened to Honest by Kyndal Inskeep this week after seeing multiple reels featuring the song. Listening to the words as they spoke to me. Grief is a minefield of dates and places with everything being okay for a bit only to plunge back into the darkness.

I feel the emotions but don’t allow myself to linger in the dark. This week I will go back to the normal me as I move away from the memories. I give myself permission to be sad and to grieve as nothing prepared me for this.




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-