Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

The Grass is Greener

Sunday, March 27, 2016
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The Grass is Greener

As I write this, it is a sunny Sunday morning. What that means to each individual is as unique as the person who is experiencing it: people may have celebrations of Easter planned; others look forward to being out in nicer weather doing spring clean-up and getting a head start on their gardening; some may be sleeping in; others may be wishing for a grey, rainy day. There are millions of expectations and plans surrounding this day, and everyone has their own perspective about how this day might turn out, flavored by the experiences of their past, their present, and their potential future.

Spring is on the horizon, and the green will soon return. The awakening that a new season brings is somewhat dependent on the roots that were there before Winter brought a time of barren cold. What we put into this year’s efforts has just as much bearing on how the season turns out as how we tended to it in years past. This is true of our own well-being as well. In order to blossom, we must tend to ourselves. This can seem hard when you don’t know where to start.

Losing a partner rips at the roots of our foundation, leaving us unsure of how to go forward. It has been nearly 8 years since I lost my husband, and each Spring season has brought me mixed emotions, each year a little different than that before it. Some years made me feel more alone than ever, and others brought me a sense of hope. There is no rhyme or reason as to when I experienced more positive or negative feelings. I admit that comparing my situation against what others have often left me with a sense of envy. You might call it a case of the grass is always greener, or the little green-eyed monster.  Being widowed left me longing for what I had, and feeling jealous of how well others seemed to have it. It made me feel alone, unwanted and unattended to, like a garden grown over by weeds, or left to wither off without nurturing.

It’s hard to admit that I feel like I’m still fumbling around in my widowhood after all this time, but I am. I have good and bad seasons, and I am constantly working to improve myself. Sometimes I make significant steps ahead, only to be knocked back, or remain at a standstill, for a while. I get frustrated, upset, and sad when I can’t seem to make forward progress. I want to be at a different place in my life, and sometimes I can’t figure out how to do that. It weakens my roots, makes me stressed, and causes me to feel less than I am. And then, someone will remind me to look over my shoulder and see how far I have truly come since I started this journey no one wants to be on. Like looking at the rings on a tree trunk, there is evidence of the time passed. Some years were better than others, but the roots of who I was remain. I need to tend to my own feelings in order to strengthen myself as a whole. I will have times when I am more successful than others, and although many factors are unpredictable, and sometimes volatile and beyond my control, how I choose to continue to try to grow is largely up to me. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, it’s just relative to your own patience and effort. 


My husband passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly in December of 2013. What you wrote was so eloquent in describing the myriad of emotions and thoughts I experience from day to day, week to week, month to month, year to year -- but could not describe or explain to myself or anyone else. Thank you.

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