Reaching Out for New Life

This story was written by a very passionate and vibrant woman who is in the Widows Recovery System program. I hope you enjoy her metaphorical insights about grieving your love and the way the new life within you wants to be set free.

Passion Flower Vine Message

The potted passion flower vines spend each winter in his studio, Frances’ studio, in the brightly-lit corner windows behind his easel, on top of old oil pans above the radiator. In this second winter without him, I was amazed today to see how much they have already reached out and begun to entangle each other, despite how much I had hacked them down before bringing them in two months ago in early October. He would always actively disapprove of my energetic pruning of anything in the garden, especially his beloved passion flower vines. This was one of his many endearing traits, hating to harm anything natural, even if it was beneficial in the end. We were a team that way. I tended to be more ruthless about certain things, while he was more tentative, more thoughtfully deliberate in his decision-making.

By April when we would usually start looking forward to transplanting them outside once the ground warmed up, the vines are usually a tangled but lovely mess after months of a plant’s version of “making out” through the boredom of winter. This morning I got it into my head to put some tomato stakes in the pots in an attempt to keep their hot hands off each other. Even as I am arranging this I recognize its futility. There were already some uncooperative strands resisting my hair-brained idea. Last week during her visit, my daughter had asked me if I’d ever seen a fast-motion video of growing vines in action, the amazing stretching and unfurling of tiny springs to reach out and capture the closest object.

So why bother, Marie? Don’t you see? These vines resemble you in your current state of bereavement. I find myself trying to corral these emotions of deep sadness, as if clinging to them will somehow keep him from slipping further away from me. But those tendrils of hope and survival are not to be contained. They will break free of any constraint because that is what life does. It marches on. It certainly marches on.

  1. M. R. Nov. 29, 2017

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