02/17/2013 01:30 pm ET Updated Feb 19, 2013

Nate Berkus On ‘Super Soul Sunday' Tells Oprah He Was ‘Home' To Fernando Bengoechea (VIDEO)

We couldn’t hold back our tears.

Nate Berkus' Most Sacred Space

Since he was a little boy, designer Nate Berkus has been drawn to the sea. In 2004, he survived the Indian Ocean tsunami, a natural disaster that took the lives of more than 200,000 people—including his partner, Fernando Bengoechea. Find out what it was like for Nate to return to the sea after losing Fernando and why the water now brings him comfort.

Our love for Nate Berkus grows every time we hear him speak.

On part two of Super Soul Sunday: Things That Matter, Berkus opened up to Oprah Winfrey about the devastation he witnessed and what he personally lost during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in Sri Lanka.

Berkus was solemn as he spoke out about the loss of his long-time partner, photographer Fernando Bengoechea, who went missing and was never seen again. "The witnessing [of his passing] was a gift," Berkus said. “It made me a better person, it made me a more compassionate person."

And while the pain is still clearly evident on his face and in the tone of voice when talking about Bengoechea, Berkus did reveal the profound way he came to accept this loss, and it was with the help of Winfrey herself.

Three days after he returned home from trying to find his partner, Winfrey went to visit him. Berkus reminded Winfrey of her response when he asked why did tragedy happen. "You said to me, 'when the soul gets what it came to get, it goes.'"

And to Berkus, that made sense as he revealed he felt that Bengoechea was taken from him once his partner had finally found the "home" he was searching for his entire life -- and that was with Berkus.

"Here was a person who had left Argentina to live in Brazil, who had traveled around the globe, who truly had never had established his own family and life on his own terms," Berkus said. "And all of a sudden, I was 'home' to him. I represented 'home' metaphysically, physically, everything. And he had gotten what he came to get by being with me."

In the powerful interview, Berkus also spoke about how he doesn't believe in shrines in the home but rather fills it with things from those who passed that give him joy. "I think the distinction is, when you leave a space untouched in honor of somebody, who is no longer here to enjoy it, you're not honoring yourself and you're not moving forward."

Berkus ended the show speaking about his sacred space, which surprising is the sea -- even though it was the cause of a lot of this pain.

Click through our slideshow to see some of Nate’s treasures, and watch the clip above to see him talk about his favorite spot.

Nate Berkus

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