I’ve had a couple of really beautiful, full-circle moments recently. The sort that have reminded me in such sweet ways how totally interconnected my old life and my life now still and always are.
This past week, we finally got my couch moved into Mike’s house from the garage. And by my couch, I really mean Drew’s. I have been dragging this thing around ever since he died… an enormous olive green couch. It is really the only piece of furniture of his I have. Since we didn’t live together, much of his bigger stuff ended up being given away or taken to Goodwill when he died, as there was no place to put it. But this couch, I was not letting go of it. It sat in a storage unit for 3 years after he died, before finally making the journey north with me from Texas to Ohio last fall.
So we finally get this thing moved into Mike’s basement, where we have made a cozy den next to my art studio area. Over the course of a few days, I watched as something really heartwarming took place.
There was a broken board underneath one side of the couch. It was cracked pretty badly and causing the middle of the couch to sag a lot. This crack had been here for years. In fact, it was a remnant of my old life… because it was Drew who broke it, by jumping on the couch one night while we were acting like a couple of kids and goofing off.
For 5 or 6 years now, this couch has been broken. Drew wasn’t nearly as handy as Mike about such things, so he never bothered to fix it. Then of course, he died, leaving me with a broken couch.
You can imagine how my heart melted then that, this week, Mike flipped the couch upside down, removed the covering on the bottom, and took a look inside. He found the break, and he went to work at fixing it – clamping it and glueing it back straight one night and then, after the glue was dried the next night, nailing some new boards on the side to support it. With just a few screws, old pallet wood and some loving attention, it was made almost good as new.
I just couldn’t get over this event happening. I just kept watching him while he fixed it. It was such a small thing, only it was not. Here he was, this new man in my life, fixing a broken piece from my old life. It felt so symbolic, and like such an incredibly literal metaphor for his role in my life. That simple act to me showed just what love is all about after you are widowed…
He never tried to replace the couch or get rid of it, just as he has never tried to get rid of the life I lived before him. Instead, he brought that couch, and my love for Drew, into our lives here. He helped make room for it all within our life. And when there are things he sees that need mending, he mends them, with love and care… whether it’s a broken board or the tears of a broken heart still missing someone.
I think mending that couch mended a small piece of me too. Watching him patch it up was the most incredibly surreal moment for me…. seeing my life with these two beautiful men united. It felt like watching them shake hands.
It was a perfect metaphor. For I have always hoped that love after loss could be a thing like this. This person reminds me in little ways all the time that love after loss is not only about loving, but also about mending, and that it is indeed as beautiful as I had hoped it would be.