Seriously. What’s up with the ginormous photos that appear for the funeral? They are HUGE! And no one else wants them (because they are freaking HUGE) and yet it feels wrong to throw them away. So they end up in the shrine of our dearly departed. Or hidden in a closet. Or just disappear. Seriously, when you get comments that most churches don’t have pictures of the Madonna that large, you know they are ridiculously HUGE.
When Dan died, I knew I didn’t want to spend a minute longer in our dream home than necessary, so I downsized as soon as possible. My fresh-start house was supposed to be just that, a fresh start. Tons of Dan’s stuff still ended up coming with me. Including the ginormous canvas photo that ended up over my fresh-start fireplace where he could watch me try to put the pieces of my life back together. Or watch me not leave the couch for weeks at a time.
After staring at it for months, I knew it needed to go. It didn’t feel right to throw it out in the trash. And unlike another W, I didn’t have anyone I could ask to throw it away for me when I wasn’t looking. Plus, I needed something over the fireplace. So…on a whim I painted over it. Wine and Pinterest may or may not have helped in this decision. I googled how to paint over a canvas, and trekked out to the craft store for supplies. I skipped an important step (when Google tells you to sand it down first, you should do that), so it took five coats of gesso to cover it up. Have I mentioned I’m not an artist and have never painted before? Yes, wine was definitely involved.
I was nervous when that first coat went on but then started laughing. Dan’s face was still there after each layer of gesso. He always was stubborn. It was a perfect metaphor for my fresh start in life. He’ll always be there underneath. Part of my core. But as I strive to Live Now, the new memories and experiences I have will add paint to my canvas, and it will eventually become all about me.
As always, thanks to wine and the ladies of The W Club for their heartfelt contributions to this post.
Next week–a discussion on proper disposal of military uniforms.