It is the happiest time of the year or at least that is what we are told. But for some, this time of the year comes with sadness and grief. It is not that we are not happy to celebrate the holidays it is that there is a piece of what we had missing. 


The holidays are pushed at us in every direction. And when your loved one is gone you can relate more with the Grinch than anyone. Wanting to stay in and avoid people. Saying you are busy when you have no plans. Avoiding the festivities because you can’t find the joy. 


I bought Grinch pajamas in 2020 because for me celebrating was like torture. Instead of my normal celebration and happy-go-lucky I was depressed. The second year without him I attempted more but only what I could handle. 

Last year I was in a new house. Put up a tree and lights and for the most part, I was okay. There were moments when I fell apart from missing either Matt or my grandma but I felt better. The joy of the season I started to find. 


This year is the first with my boyfriend and it is nice to just feel happy in the season. It is not without the missing things that I had with Matt. Seeing something he would have liked and thinking that would have made a great gift for him. Those moments pass and I stay present and love that I have people to celebrate with. My family, Matt’s Family and now my boyfriend and all of his family. I am doing the holidays my way. 


Making Christmas cards like my grandma used to finish them this year and sending them to people. Not like years past when I started and then stopped cause it was just not the same. I couldn’t write Merry Christmas and Happy New Year when I was not in the mood. 


And I did have a moment last night at Candlelight where I just missed my uncle. Remembering him playing a wise man in the past. How much he looked forward to that every year. Trying to remember where the picture was of the last time he did so.


I know I will continue to have those moments as we get closer and closer to Christmas and New Year. The traditions that we always had like Chinese food on New Year’s Eve. Which we skipped last year and it just didn’t feel right. 


Enjoy the moments you can this year and allow your grief moments to happen there is no shame in them. The holidays don’t have to be happy they just have to be what you make of them. 


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-