My home is becoming more and more about me and not the person who left… because I’m still here.
Bit by bit things have been added, changed, or let go. The desire to create a nourishing and singular environment is mine.
I recently purchased a Bohemian style robe, soft in fabric and knit together with a pattern reminiscent of my art, to hang in the kitchen. When temperatures cool, I wrap myself first and then make coffee, in that order…punctuating the start of the day.
Morning rituals are important when there is no longer that person to greet or make you coffee, retrieve the paper, or ask how you slept.
Music can be a kickstart and a mood changer too.
I live in a combined studio/ living space and so often it smells like popcorn, but sometimes there’s a scent reminiscent of Bodega Bay or Hawaii. My son’s Mother’s Day gift to me was a sweet bottle of scented essential oil to apply liberally after showering.
The scent and my scent linger for a while and I’m reminded of a girl, the one who’s been ignored in the past, but remains.
I’m here still.
When Alan first died, I was a mindless flurry of activity, taking care of so many tasks and some that could have waited. The hospice bed and commode were removed and eventually his toothbrush and clothes were removed too. His shoes.
Prescribed meds and vitamins were disposed of in the appropriate and proper manner. Wallet with insurance cards, money clip and toastmaster awards, childhood photos and diplomas, memories from his theater and accordion days, all have their designated place, now.
I just recently found homes for 4 bottles of Ensure and a can of Albacore Tuna I would never eat.
With fires in our area and the potential for evacuation, having his memory boxed up and available, is a relief.
But where is my place when this place has been a witness to Alan’s dying, and mine too?
I’m still here.
It’s clear, there’s an artist living in this space and a writer and grandmother. (Witness the toys accumulating in greater numbers, as Joaquin grows into a little boy.)
There’s some serious thriving going on.
The plant in my kitchen, recently repotted, is so happy and voluptuous, she may reach the sky by Spring.
The stack of poetry books on my kitchen table may reach the sky, too.
I’m here and returning, becoming, blossoming, or maybe leaving, it hasn’t been written yet.
Just hanging on for the ride and learning to lean into curves…including mine.
Still missing him but not feeling quite as empty.
With love and gratitude,
As you forgive, love and heal yourself, those around you will heal.
Don’t fool yourself, however.
You do not have to wait until you have arrived at a totally healed place, to be of value to others.
Continue to love and forgive.
If you lapse into unconsciousness, let go of the unconsciousness and again, love and forgive, for this will heal the world.
Love and forgive the stories you and others tell.
Love and forgive all that feels hard and not soft.
It is that simple.
As you continue to awaken you will find it easier and easier… and soon the state of love and forgiveness will be your new normal.”