still


Hello sweet friends.  I'm writing because a few of you have reached out expressing concern for me.  I'm still here.  The word still seems to be my word these days.  This month will be 3 years since Larry died.  Just typing that gives me chills...still.




For forty years it was we.  Getting used to that stillness takes some getting used to.  Anderson Cooper's voice reporting the evening news is comforting. It's really not what he says it's just the voice.   Little rituals seem very important to me now.  I like being in before it gets dark.  Opening and closing the drapes at just the right time each day.  Certain lights on at certain times.  Small patterns keep me grounded.  I can't explain it but that's how I am now.  As a child I always liked being alone so I think that is in my blood and my saving grace.  I have several widow friends and they are unbearably lonely.  I don't feel lonely but I am aware that I am alone so there is that.  Maybe that'll pass one day?  

There are heartbreaking times for sure.  Watching my young grandchildren play and knowing they will never know him can be gut-wrenching.  I'm glad my older grandaughter has lots of memories of him.  

I hope this did not sound morose because I am surrounded by a loving family and many friends.  I feel very loved.  Thank you as always because without you this blog would never have been anything.  Do you know that over 10M people have read this blog?  23K just last month. 

So the world does goes on.  xo



42 comments

  1. Thank you for the update. After 40 years together, it will take a long long time to get used to not having your beloved near to you. I've thought of you from time to time, and am glad to hear from you.

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  2. Great to see you back! Glad to hear you are loved and enjoying your time, even though alone. Xxx

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  3. When I read how Anderson Cooper's voice is very comforting to you, no matter what his subject is, I agree. If my nerves are jangled and I need to calm down or maybe even take a little nap, I watch and listen to Anderson Cooper for a while. Sometimes I will drift off to sleep or sometimes I will watch his show. I didn't watch it while he was Ukraine because I have been a bit downhearted lately and the things going on in Ukraine are so heartbreaking. He really does have a calming way about him, though.

    Spring is trying hard to happen around here this year. We have had such strong winds,and lately rain showers and a lot of cloudy days. The daffodils are shining like the sun,hyacinths are blooming,and my bright red tulips are forming buds,but I hope they wait to bloom for a while so they can keep their petals on if maybe these crazy winds will calm down.

    Take care.

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  4. I notice Joan Didion on your coffee table. No better description of the inner life of a person experiencing the absence of a loved one and that “stillness.”

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  5. How wonderful to try your account again & see a new post! So glad to hear you are well, at least as "well" as you can be at this time of your life & that you are surrounded by love. Yes, these are heartbreaking times & I continue to find solace, as always, in my garden. I know you have said before when others have suggested it that you are allergic to animal fur, but have you thought of getting a dog with hair not fur? We have a Havanese now & they do not shed. Perhaps a breed like this - you can search more on the net - would be a great companion for you? We could not live without a dog or a cat! They bring so much joy & love to our lives. Take care, dear Janet!

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  6. Hi Janet- so happy to see a post from you as I have thought of you often. I still read your blog over and over- so much loveliness and inspiration. Thank you so much for that.

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  7. Hello Dear Janet,
    So happy to read your post today. I think of you so often, and wonder how you are doing. I also read your posts over and over, as I have shared with you in the past.
    Thanks for letting me know that you are surrounded by loving family and friends.

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  8. So good to hear from you again. This post did not sound morose at all. It was beautiful and heartfelt and honest. I have been married to my husband for almost 38 years and I can't imagine losing him and how it would feel. Like you, I actually like being alone (I'm an introvert) so I don't think I'd be necessarily lonely, but I would miss my HIM more than I can fathom. My heart goes out to you.

    I did lose my oldest son at age 21 in 2009. So I have that kind of loss. That has been sometimes unbearable, still. After all these years. I'm sure it will be that way until I take my last breath.

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  9. Janet, how wonderful to hear from you. Anything you post brings so much joy to me and I am sure to many. I hope and wish that hearing from us brings you a little strength and encouragement. We love you.
    With gratitude,Liz

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  10. What a blessing to have been married for 40 years. That is something you can't get over quickly. Thanks for checking in.

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  11. Hi Janet,

    I was just on your blog the other day seeing if there was any activity, any possible recent comments on the last post, maybe a post I missed somehow. It really is good to hear from The Gardener's Cottage today. What has been the most refreshing is that you are real, you share honesty. I know every time I have read the comments through the years, so many of us say the same, that the beauty and wisdom, humor and sadness -- the truth you have shared has meant something meaningful to each of us for whatever part of our life path we too are walking. So thank you for having this platform for so many to come to and read and be part of ... and for the many excellent recipes you have shared.

    10 Million people -- W.O.W.!!

    Warmly,
    Shelley

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  12. This April, on the 20th, will mark 15 years since my much-too-young hubby passed on to the next realm of existance. We only had 8 years together ( he was only 42) but they were years lived fully and with no regrets. It took me a full three years to learn to be OK with quiet Saturdays, simple Sundays, and family birthdays where one person is so obviously missing. Dideon's book, along with C.S. Lewis's A Grief Observed were my go tos during that time. A reading from a medium helped(!) as did grief therapy and a place on the internet called Camp Widow. I have read you blog for many years, and it's good to see you still have beautiful fresh flowers on your table-that, to me, is a sign of embracing life. Three years was a big turning point for me, I hope it is for you, too.

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  13. It's delightful to see you posting, and you are not morose. My husband died a year before your husband and I find myself in a similar situation. Enjoy your loved ones and give yourself the grace to dwell in this season of your life. There is no right way or wrong way, just the way that works for you. Blessings to you.

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  14. Janet, Sending hugs , xoxo, Susie

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  15. Yes, I agree with all the other women who commented. You must take the time it takes for you to grieve and that may never end but hoping you do continue to spend time with your loving family. It would be devastating to lose my husband of 25 years even though we are quite independent with our differing interests, we still rely on each other's company, of course.
    Take good care of yourself, and know all your readers, like me, are so happy to get this latest post from you as we all have wondered how you feel.
    XO

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  16. I realized that your husband had died, but I did not know that you were together so long! that is a long time to share a life with someone and then have him gone. I am glad that you are loved by many people. I hope as time passes that you find more joy in your life. I will be thinking of you.

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  17. Dearest Janet, this is your time to do what feels right for you, and the still and quiet and Anderson’s lovely voice is what’s right in this moment. Thanks for thinking to pop in today.
    Hugs and love, Mary xxx.

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  18. This is such lovely posting of your thoughts, Janet. It was not at all morose moreover real and truthful for its mention and, therefore, not sidestepping of shock and
    sadness and the passing of time. I can't believe that it's been three years since Larry died. Anniversaries can feel like moments frozen in time and at the same time your need for stillness and ritual speaks to the comfort of just 'being', so another side to stillness.
    Thanks for writing. You captured the mood of the turbulent times we're living in as well as your personal sense of things for you and what helps. Beautifully expressed. You owe us nothing but we're grateful to hear from you like this.

    Keep well.

    E xo

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  19. Janet,
    So nice to see you are still here, with the blogging community and your avid readers. I sure miss your inspiration in all things home, but completely understand. I lost my sweet husband of 48 years last August and my salvation has been making improvements to my little home.
    xo,
    Karen

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  20. Have missed you so much! Glad to hear from you.

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  21. Hi Janet, so nice to hear from you! I do miss reading your blog regularly, I got so much inspiration from it. But I'm glad to hear that you are surrounded by love, that's the main thing, isn't it? Stay safe and well! xxx

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  22. The world has changed so much, in so many ways, since I first found your lovely blog, years ago. Is it just me? But the things I used to watch on TV no longer appeal to me. And I find myself turning Anderson on in the evening, too. I wonder if he knows the impact of his calm, soothing presence? I recently gifted The Year of Magical Thinking to a friend. I too am in a new chapter in my life and enjoyed seeing your update.

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  23. It's so good to hear from you again, Janet. I think of you often and miss your posts. Can't even imagine what it's like in your shoes, but sending prayers of continued healing and more happy times ahead. Thank goodness for family. Remember that you have an extended family out here always.

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  24. So glad to read your words again, Janet. I read your posts over and over and get new things ever time. So good to have you back.

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  25. I was very happy to see your post this morning Janet, like others, I have taken inspiration from it over the years. I was so surprised that it has been three years since Larry has been gone. But then time goes by so quickly these days as I get older, whether things are good or bad. I am glad you are well and have people who care for you in your life. Even at this advanced age I am still struggling to make peace with being alone, to embrace the positives and not descend into loneliness and feeling sorry for myself. Each day I try to practice gratitude, even write down the many positives in my life. that's me. I hope you will continue to share your journey as you make your way. I hope that does not sound too selfish. Wishing you all the best.
    Darby

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  26. Lovely thoughts and sentiments. It's good to see you.

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  27. So happy to see your post.....always, always, always thinking of you....xo Janie

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  28. I missed you so much that I read your entire blog recently (for the second time!!!) 😁 I think of you often and your little corner of Redlands. I very much agree with you regarding little routines. I'm finding that I need them more and more (as the world becomes increasingly inhuman). Love from England.

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  29. Hello! Lovely to see you here again (I've checked back a LOT). I missed you and your little corner of Redlands so much that I read your entire blog again ~ twice! So much good info in there ~ just wish I could apply it consistently. Anyway, Janet, have a good Springtime. Love from England.

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  30. I can relate, so very well. Keep finding the smiles.

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  31. Thank you Janet for contacting us. The spring garden on top of the coffee table is just beautiful.

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  32. Hello, Janet! Glad to know you are getting along okay. My mother died the same year as Larry, so it's a bookmark year in my mind. We were really close. It does not seem that long, time goes by so fast. I check by here from time to time hoping you posted something new.
    Sincerely, Debra of SENC

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  33. I am so glad for your post. I think of you and wish you peace.

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  34. I lost my husband - in Sept 2020 of Covid. We too were married 40 years - I always thought we were "special"...the kind of love that most people dream of...all thru the good times, hard times we were a team. I am 62 now - alone but oddly not necessarily lonely...it's a strange place to be. I moved to a small place on the water where I have found a wonderful peacefulness. Last month I lost my Mom and the world became a little smaller again. I hope I don't come across sad and lost - I'm not...just more guarded? I work for a design store 2 days a week and love meeting new people- helping them make their homes beautiful. I'm glad you posted an update. Our lives seem parallel. I pray many sweet blessings for you. ~ Pam Atki

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  35. Don't you love Anderson Cooper!! If you haven't already, listen to his Podcast with Vladimir Duthiers about Anderson's new book on his Vanderbilt family...very good.

    Love your posts, and look forward to them. Thank You!


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  36. Hello friend. It was so good that I happened on your blog today; had suddenly had a thought of you and I'm glad to know you're 'still' there but am so sorry for what you've been through in three years. There's no way I can imagine this kind of adjustment/re-adjustment to a life. I do recall my great-aunt saying to me after her husband of 68 years passed, and this is when she was age 85 (they'd been together-inseparable since their teens; very-early marriage in the 1920s; was always just the two of them as they never had children; like enjoying golf together, they also shared the same job/business, so weren't even separated in the workplace, not even once) ... "It is quiet. Even as an old man, he was always crashing around and banging things, doing things, making man noises; and now there is silence in this house." She didn't want the quiet.

    I'm so taken by your comment about Anderson Cooper. I feel precisely the same way and I try to never miss his reports on TV. He needs to be a regular part of my day. I like his face; I like his voice. He is such a HUMAN man; seems to be a deep-feeling person. Now, I'll probably think of you when I listen to him, both of us benefitting from his 'presence'.

    I'm glad you have a wealth of friends and family. Thanks for checking in to let your caring readers know about you ... I always wish you well, dear Janet. I have learned a lot from you over years of your blog; you've been such an inspiration with food, healthy living; wearing great clothes; collecting; and interior decor; but also just sharing your thoughts on lots of topics, including your quest for simplicity; and living with dignity and mindfulness; you've provided calm here. You write very, very well. I hope you're enjoying some spring gardening in your lovely yard around the gardener's cottage. Your bulbs in the pot on the coffee table are gorgeous.

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  37. Thank you for the update. It’s so good to hear your voice. - Deane

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  38. I am so happy to hear from you. I am happy to know you are alright. Your expressed feelings are echoed by many of my friends. I know you are loved but do you have joy in your life? What are you doing that feeds your soul or makes you laugh? I know you have created a beautiful, thoughtful home, a lovely garden, you delight in a classic vintage or antique piece, you are a creative cook and love nice clothing and love a good bargain. I miss hearing about these things. I hope you are enjoying your quiet time creating beauty that gives you joy.

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  39. So wonderful to hear from you and read your post! I have missed your words and photos and always look for them - hoping to perhaps see photos of your garden! Yes - small things and gentle routines help me too!

    Cheers! Jan at Rosemary Cottage

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  40. I am so glad but not surprised you are surrounded with love. From your friends, family and 10 million (wow!) readers -- including this one!

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  41. My best friend lost her 59 year old husband to covid last June. No children so she is indeed lonely but adjusting.

    I recently read your four organizing posts. It is amazing how perfectly simple your home is.

    I've missed you!

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kindness is never out of style.

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