I’m Still Here

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.”

14 thoughts on “I’m Still Here”

  1. Miss MaryLou you are one amazing woman. Your life path has lead you to such insightful thoughts and we are all so grateful for your sharing. I so admire you my friend. I wish I could spend more time with you. Love you Kiddo. Mel

  2. Oh Marylou, Thank You for sharing your journey, sometimes when I read your share I feel my heart opening to the Essence and this was one of those times. Sending soothing, soft and amusing vibes, thanks again!

  3. You are so wise and I am walking with you and all your family. I thank you for listening to me. You are a high up spirit and WE are all glad to know you. marcella


  4. This is so brilliantly compassoinate and clear of how healing happens……insightful as looking down from the ethos and yet emanating from the core of survival. Yes….thriving…..this is the path toward thriving. Thank you for the education!!!

  5. One Morning Marylou Woke Up And Returned To Her Art For Healing….
    Sending you love and healing energy….
    May you now receive what you have graciously given to this World….

  6. I understand about the “clearing out” because I’m on that journey. My life, except for some years spent trying and succeeding in extricating myself from a toxic marriage, has been a journey filled with friends weaving in and out of my life. Sometimes, encompassing some years.
    Now, I’m preparing my children for what none of us can escape. Having suffered a tremendous fall in my 30’s, I’m facing the reality that comes to all living things. It was predicted as a result of that fall and it started in first minor ways and now has bloomed. I could be bitter, angry, but I accepted it because death is inevitable. I shared my thoughts and feelings with my loved ones. Despite all the hell I’ve lived through I have so much thankfulness for all the truly loving kindness I’ve been given and have been able to share. I vowed to be kind to people because we’re all on a journey, a journey we take only once.

    1. You inspire me, Jan. Yes, you have been on quite the journey, haven’t you? I am sorry to hear your health is declining but you have such wisdom and love to carry you through. Thank you for sharing your story, for being so open about it all. Grateful, my friend…love

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