Leonard Cohen’s Last Message To Me: “I love your mother’s house”

thewall9One of the rewards of posting about Leonard Cohen at Cohencentric (and its predecessor, 1HeckOfAGuy.com) was the receipt of unprompted email from Leonard. While I was certainly grateful that he took the time to respond to my questions about a concert date, his contacts with other musicians, the provenance of a photo, etc, the ultimate treat was a spontaneous email from Leonard.

As it turned out, the last words I received from Leonard Cohen were in one of these spontaneous emails. It arrived a week or two before his death and consisted of only five words plus his signature initial:

I love your mother’s housequotedown2


My Mother’s House

A word of explanation is necessary. While most of my blogging is accomplished in service of Cohencentric.com, I also maintain a personal blog, AllanShowalter.com, which features — well, everything other than Leonard Cohen. It offers posts, for example, about Julie Showalter and her writing, Neil Ellis photos, A.E. Housman, the Duchess (aka Penny Showalter), broomcorn, my former homes in Oklahoma, northwest Illinois, & the Ozarks, David Mamet quotations … .

Anyhow, I had published a number of posts on AllanShowalter.com under the umbrella title of “DrHGuy’s Family Home Curios & Oddities Photo Safari,” comprising views of the doodads, antiques, gadgets, widgets, junk, tchotchkes, collectibles, curios, odds, ends, and much, much more that lined the walls and in the geological layers of miscellanea that arose from nearly every horizontal surface in my mother’s home in the Ozarks. The photo atop this post displays several specimens.

raodersA representative selection can be found at Living Room Exhibits, and links to all the exhibits are located at Summary Page: DrHGuy’s Family Home Curios & Oddities Photo Safari

Leonard’s Message

Leonard had an extraordinary ability to embrace folks on their own terms. While many have written of engaging with Leonard Cohen over metaphysics, musicology, Judaism, sociological phenomena, Zen Buddhism, poetry. or other, similarly weighty topics. Our conversations, on the other hand, were much more likely to deal with our families, future plans, mutual acquaintances, preferences in exercise programs, tales of his band members and backup singers …  A modicum of gossip and a few jokes were also commonplace.

So, at a time when he was severely ill and still in the midst of the coming out of You Want It Darker, his final album, Leonard Cohen was cruising the web. And, he landed not my blog about him but my blog about everything else but him and then took the time to email me to let me know that he liked the posts about my mother’s collectibles.

For the record, my reply was “I’m glad you like it, especially given that ‘the voluptuous feeling of simplicity’ wasn’t  mom’s decorating touchstone.”

Now, I believe Leonard sincerely enjoyed those photos of mom’s cabin in the Ozarks. But, I am convinced the reason he sent that email was that he knew I would appreciate knowing that he enjoyed those photos of mom’s cabin in the Ozarks.

Leonard once inscribed a photo,

to Allan

One of the greatest men alivequotedown2



lcautophotoBut, the comment of his I treasure most is “I love your mother’s house.”

And, I still check my email every morning for messages from Leonard.

6 Replies to “Leonard Cohen’s Last Message To Me: “I love your mother’s house””

  1. Vicki Woodyard

    I understand this, totally, Allan. Deeply moving to read. What a blessing and honor to have been in touch with Leonard as simply as you were. Just two guys hangin’ out.

  2. Josephine Hogan

    Dear Allan…

    I have tears in my eyes reading this post of yours about what Leonard wrote to you before he passed….!!

    I know Leonard Cohen fully appreciated and loved you as a dear friend as well as being truly grateful for all your amazing work on his behalf with your endless and informative posts both serious and at times full of wit.
    So well deserved Allan and Thank You as a Fan for your ongoing Posts.
    X Josephine Hogan

  3. Anjisan

    A strong image, you checking your email; transmits a deep feeling of loss. But lucky you that you had this amazing contact with Leonard.
    He sure will continue to speak to you and us in many ways. Not sure about email however ;-).

    Your mother seems to have put a lot of attention, love and creativity in her house, with what she had at her disposal. Collecting, ordering and displaying things must be in your genes!

  4. Linda Fish

    Thank you so much for sharing Leonard’s last words to you. I like her house, too!
    And, by the way, on my nightly excursions outside with my dog, especially when the sky is clear,
    I search for a bright wandering star. And wonder.

  5. doml

    Thank you,
    So deep in heart,missing so much, listening birds ,looking sky…and following your posts, carrefully.