Ericka Smith

I had never seen your mom upset! She was always level headed and kind when we messed up, nothing seemed to faze her.

Favorite memories of just sitting around the counter talking.

I’ve been thinking since I first saw you posted this and have absolutely not been able to make a decision about what to share. A lot of my favorite memories are the ones where we’d just sit around the counter talking. Drinking from those plastic cups we insisted on!

There’s one from when we were pretty young that always stands out to me – I was messing around (as was always allowed at your house!) but I went too far and broke one of Michele’s castles that lined the wall up by the ceiling. I was completely being careless, I think I threw a ball at it? And it BROKE. Big crash.

I had never seen your mom upset! She was always level headed and kind when we messed up, nothing seemed to faze her. So based on her immediate reaction I totally expected her to get really angry, to yell at me, or “not like me anymore” (kids lol).. But she didn’t. Of course. She just said “I need a moment” and left to her room. She came back later and I apologized and we talked it out.

Michele taught me so much over the years but that specific moment was an example I think about all the time.

Photo by Josiah Farrow on Pexels.com

On a lighter note – I can’t see llamas without wondering if they’re the evil spitting kind! And I fondly remember us all fighting every week for the front seat in the truck (so you could play ANY music you wanted). And doing fire drills to justify our obsession with burning things inside.

Kimberly Ann Bray, Karolynne DeSoto, and Shannon Ozog

Homecoming! We all got ready at the house and Michele curled our hair. I took this picture and said that I would tell everyone she was my mom. Lol. (Kimberly Ann Bray)

Not necessarily a specific memory, but just all of the moments that she was anyone and everyone’s mom/grandma. She has so much unconditional love for everyone in her life and always made sure we were taken care of. (Karolynne DeSoto)

Any time I got to spend with her and the rest of the crew at her house in Granite Falls. I still remember the night we all painted our own plates! Michelle always made me feel so welcomed and loved, even when I felt like an outsider, which I’m eternally grateful for and will never forget. (Shannon Ozog)

Andrew Nolan Carroll

I can thank her for starting my obsession with ice cube trays.

The ever classic quote

“If you guys wanna come over whenever you want, that’s fine with me, just make sure to call so that you don’t catch me in a towel, or worse…NAKED!!!”…

 I can go on and on and on. Off the top of my head the one i just thought of moments ago. I can thank her for starting my obsession with ice cube trays. And also donating a large portion of my current number of ice cube trays. Of which I will now cherish more than before!

“On Death” by Michele Plumb Stowell (1966-2021) Compiled by Nyasha Stowell from her Mom’s Notes

Yet as the mind experiences a sense of loss, the only thing I want for you is the resonance of great love . . . true love . . . evolved, altruistic, blissful and ecstatic love! I love you!

Now I have died- first know, it was just my body! I will always be near, loving you with even greater completeness. I will always be there to help with your sad moments, to assist with strength, when all seems lost. Right next to you. Not even a molecule of distance.

I will also be around when all is wonderful, happy, and filled with laughter, because I love the laughter!

If you want to honor me, I would suggest:

Watching a sunset.

Sunset behind the mountain

Cooking for someone.

Visiting a beach.

Giving food to the food bank.

Sorting out what you no longer need.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Reading the Tiffany series (Terry Pratchett).

Creating a dream catcher with an open center.

A woman holding a dreamcatcher

Moments of communion

Visiting the earth sanctuary.

Eating incredible Creme Brulee.

Walking, noticing the breeze.

Photo by Dmitriy Ganin on Pexels.com

Seeking your inner Truth.

Each person in my world deserves dedicated pages of gratitude. I don’t want that left unsaid. I am soooooo grateful for the experiences we have shared!

I am so in love with the moments of hell and the moments of heaven. If I had a magic wand, I would wave it over you so that the realization of that love could always be with you. Each person and each experience. So valuable. Although I’ve really enjoyed all of the crazy gatherings, the moments that pop out are ones of communion. I’m not talking about moments in church, but the greater experiences of connection: the tears when speaking about transitions in our lives, the quiet contemplation in a shared space, the lightning storm on the hillside.

Thank you. Thank you for being amazing. Thank you for showing and sharing your true self here and there. Thank you for being in my life!

I know that we cannot be separated by something as paltry as death. Yet as the mind experiences a sense of loss, the only thing I want for you is the resonance of great love . . . true love . . . evolved, altruistic, blissful and ecstatic love! I love you! The end (or is it just the beginning?)

255 How Michele handled her diagnosis – Debby

I can tell you this, Michele has been an excellent friend guiding me through acceptance and helping me come to terms with everything and even feeling like everything will be okay.

She was too busy helping me to deal with it, I don’t really know how Michelle handled her diagnosis.

I did talk to her on days that were harder than others after chemo or whatever and she had some ups and downs but I was the one that could not deal with her diagnosis. I can tell you this, Michele has been an excellent friend guiding me through acceptance and helping me come to terms with everything and even feeling like everything will be okay.

Dealing with diagnosis on smartphone. smartphone with hello .jpeg
Despite her diagnosis Michele has been there for me on the phone Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com

She never fails to be there when I need her even after I fall asleep while talking to her on the phone. I love Michele with all my ❤️ heart and feel just so blessed to have her as long as we do and so grateful that she is my friend.

254 Mother Earth – Indrayani

Michele is a friend and a Mother! She is our Ocean of Love who carries us when we need her like Kuanyin Bodhisattva. Power and gentleness.. all in One. In Oneness.

Mother earth in prayer
Michele is a mountain, rooted well into our Earth

Mother Earth
Michele is a beautiful flower because she generously shares her divine beauty with all. 
She is a mountain, rooted well into our Earth and her lush forests.

She is a tree that lifts us high and gives us shelter. 
A golden green leaf that gently floats down to rest peacefully by herself in meditation by the river. 
She is water that bends around whatever arises: strong, gentle, fluid, and full of life. 

She is a twinkling star bringing magic and laughter into our Universe.
Michele is a friend and a Mother! She is our Ocean of Love who carries us when we need her like Kuanyin Bodhisattva. Power and gentleness.. all in One. In Oneness.  

Mother Earth as air
She is air, life-giving

She is air…Life giving…Pervading the atmosphere with light and joy that blows in the wind…. 


Michele is strength, inspiring strength. She is a goddess with the spiritual strength of 10,000 Spartans. Without fear, she faces death with grace and fortitude. 

253 Loving Presence of Light – Amy

I love her dearly, and I’m so full of admiration and fascination at her youthful spirit and abundantly generous heart.

I have learned the incredible gift of loving presence with Michele this last year. Our four
hour phone conversations, ripe with laughter and thoughtfulness have been monumental in my life at this time.

bright light of a loving presence
The bright light of a loving presence

Michele continues to endlessly inspire me, help me to see things on a much broader scale and to appreciate all the little things sprinkled around where I’m currently standing.

I love her dearly, and I’m so full of admiration and fascination at her youthful spirit and abundantly generous heart. She selflessly continues to shine the brightest light despite the challenges and I am eternally grateful for being included in her journey. Happy happy birthday dear friend. I love you to the moon and back. XOXO Amy

252 Best Birthday – Jeannine and Dave

May the love, well wishes, and peace from all your dearest loved ones and acquaintances absorb into every quantum subcellular space inside your body, mind, and spirit surrounding you on your birthday -and forever!

Dearest Michelle,

Dave and I want to wish you the best birthday, celebrated with Kwami, your family, and friends!  God bless your big day and this upcoming new year of your life.

Making pudding out of pud enjoying kites at Ocean Shores
Making pudding out of pud enjoying kites at Ocean Shores

Amidst Covid 19 restrictions, and your cancer chemotherapy journey, this past year of your life has certainly brought many challenges.  And how do you handle it? You’ve turned it into an opportunity to creatively write your way through the rollercoaster ride with beautiful prose and poetry.  The artwork I’ve seen on Zoom in the background (when I facilitated the Anti-racism group and Kwami was a part),  looked absolutely amazing!  Gathering regularly with your family, prioritizing what matters most in life, you continue to make pudding out of pud!  I’m so impressed with you – and we haven’t even actually met in person yet!

May the love, well wishes, and peace from all your dearest loved ones and acquaintances absorb into every quantum subcellular space inside your body, mind, and spirit surrounding you on your birthday -and forever!

Our love and hugs,

Jeannine and Dave Dagget

251 Happy Birthday Miss – Kwami

And so another birthday filled with love
Ang joy and gratitude
Is here: Of yours…. And Sarah’s
And Arya’s and their children’s children
Fuse into one endless birthday of the four seasons.

Happy Birthday Miss

markings of critters on the sand photo by Kwami Nyamidie
Ephemeral markings captured for posterity

I am so glad to celebrate this your special birthday.
Last year we faced the possibility that every major life event might be the final.

Oh the agony and release of the terminal.
The last view of the Pacific Ocean waves crashing on the beach.


Reluctant goodbyes to the horizon we could not abandon.
Salty taste, heavy tired feet wrestling with glittering sticky sands that refuse to let us go.
Echo of the last seagull flying above us melts into Indrayani’s mystical flute.

Fine raindrops hide the story the faces tell.
Goodbye to mysterious critters that leave their ephemeral markings in the sand forever.
Thank you for a year of heightened focus,

Michele and Nyasha and Leon at the beach
But we had the blessing to go back to the ocean several more times. Michele and Nyasha and “Leo” Dandelion

Acute noticing of a sliding droplet on a green leaf.
Infinite color shades of flowers.
Rays of sunrise filtering through pine branches, fir trees and window blinds in winter.

The unspeakable message of silent eyes
Transport us beyond time,
Briefly.

Beyond pain, fear and death—briefly,
Across the portal to eternity
Where all is well.

Another stunning sun rise in spring quickens the heart
Other visits to the ocean
To fly kites, see horse riders and seagulls in the summer.
In the fall, dragon flies welcome us beside memorial trees at the Sanctuary.

We thought this might be Michele's last day at a beach. From right to left: Erik, Indrayani and Michele. Photo by Kwami
We thought this might be Michele’s last day at a beach. From right to left: Erik, Indrayani and Michele. Photo by Kwami
Memorial Trees at the  Sanctuary
Memorial Trees at the Sanctuary

And so another birthday filled with love
Ang joy and gratitude
Is here:

Sarah's birthday is near
We feared Michele might not live to see the birth of Sarah. But Sarah’s first birthday too is here.

Of yours….
And Sarah’s
And Arya’s and their children’s children
Fuse into one endless birthday of the four seasons.

Happy birthday, Miss.