Yes, it’s a goofy thing to proclaim. Mowing is a basic chore that many men and women do frequently. However, today’s task of mowing my own lawn represents much and feels like a victory.
While plowing over the way too long strands of grass (and many wild onions), I, of course, had time to ponder life. The last time I remember mowing the lawn was in 2003 or 2004 – just few years ago - ha! I think we even had a riding lawnmower, and I might have been mowing because Josh was undergoing chemotherapy - but I’m not sure.
For the most part, our general marriage agreement was that he took care of outside chores and I did the inside ones (with some caveats). Josh loved mowing, making all the fancy lines and getting it all just right. He took great pride in a fresh-manicured space. While I enjoyed seeing today's lawn tidied up, I didn’t tap into that same sense of joy upon completion. I did, however, feel a new sense of accomplishment.
You see, this task represents yet another marker in my story. An activity to add to the list of activities I’ve done since my spouse passed away - now a year and seven months ago and over two years since his brain tumor diagnosis.
Today's mow had me thinking about basic things I've navigated as a widow, including getting a new job, buying and selling houses, paying taxes as a designated “single” person and allowing many friends help mow my lawn. There are also a few, more fun activities like joining a marble-hunting group (today's marble find below), taking up kayaking, buying a camper, and even dating. So many things – not too many, but still many.
The thought crosses my mind that this is another thing I'm doing without Josh, but I don't linger in that space. Yes, the heartache of losing him still stings at times and I miss seeing him do simple things like mow the lawn. Yet, life continues forward and there is joy to discover in big moments, in new moments, and in realizing that after everything, I am still “making it!”
I know God is still by my side and so are many others.
There are moments when I wish the story was different, but I am genuinely intrigued by the story God is writing now. I guess I could say, the grass is a bit greener, but I still really haven’t found the “other side” of grief and don’t expect I will.
Grief is a continual process of hard work and self-reflection while navigating hope and healing.
For my fellow grievers out there, hold on. God's got you and you can do much more than you even imagine. You probably can even mow your own lawn or find someone who loves doing it more than you (that's okay too!! :)
Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.