The thing about a grief journey is that it’s never over. Every step you take onward and upward holds an emotional echo. Some days it’s constantly ringing in your ear and other times it a distant whisper at the bottom of a staircase. Either way you still keep climbing to find the next landing.
A dining table, that’s what my boyfriend and I needed next for our new house. Slowly our life is beautifully coming together with all the designs and details, a room at a time together. I’m often asked why I still write a widowed blog now that I am in a relationship again. It’s simple – I’ll always be widowed. Just like someone who has been divorced is always divorced from someone even if they get married again. You can’t erase experience and it’s not healthy to ignore it either. Of course I wish I never experienced the types of loss that I have but there isn’t a way to reverse it so I hold gratitude for my experiences, which have given me wisdom and perspective. I’ll continue to write even after I’m married because there are many of us who walk this walk and someone should give it a voice that way others can follow the path less afraid and less lonely.
“Doesn’t your current partner hate that you talk about your late partner? I’d be mad if I were him!”
Surprisingly enough I have had that said to me more often than you’d expect. My person knows I love him and he loves me for all of me, which includes being widowed. It would actually be strange if someone forces you to stop talking or remembering those you’ve lost. How said to think people would just replace others and forget them. I think it’s a sign of self-confidence and self-assurance. His understanding is a beautiful gift to me.
Well now that I’ve said that, back to the dining table. We had found one we liked a month ago at a store and decided last weekend was the time to get it. Funny thing was that the store was out of the table until the Fall. As we continued on our day we drove past the furniture store that Clayton used to work at. I had never actually been. After looking through a few more stores we decided to stop in to see what Clayton’s store actually had. We were greeted with an energetic woman who hadn’t met Clayton but told me the staff speaks highly of him often 5 years after he couldn’t work anymore. We walked around the first level. I had hopes I’d see the table we’d want but it was nowhere in sight. Perhaps we were lead hear for me to just get the message that others remembered Clayton to this day as I do?
In the middle of the store was a set of stairs to another show room. Clayton had often shared stories that strange sounds and ghostly things seemed to happen in the upstairs section. I wasn’t scared, in fact I was hoping to catch a glimpse of him off in the distance arranging some chairs.
“Are you up here?” I whispered to myself. As I stepped onto the landing I saw a beautiful custom dining table with metal legs and a driftwood tabletop. Driftwood was one of Clayton’s favorite things. Without a doubt, my boyfriend and I knew we found our table and the next day it was delivered.
I personally think it was all by Clayton’s design and I’d like to think it was his way of blessing our new life and our new home. Call it coincidence or call it a sign, either way that soulful stairway lead me another step upwards on this grief grise…