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The story ends here

Happier timesDuke passed away last night. He was worn out by being sick for so long. I love and miss him. He was a good man and a wonderful husband. I got an extra month with him that I didn’t expect. It was gift, having him wake up and communicate. He told me that he loved me, he wanted to come home.

I want to thank everyone who helped me, the people who sat with him, the ones who donated blood, the ones who tried to donate blood, the people who have been so generous to us financially. Those of you who prayed for him. Those of you who ran errands for me, who helped us in too many ways to post here.

At this time, there isn’t going to be a memorial service, I am too worn out. Maybe later when things aren’t so raw, we can get together and celebrate his life.



About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


  1. Teresa, I don’t read other blogs often, and have just happened upon this news. I send you a cyber-hug a good bit tardy. I hope things have begun to look up for you.

  2. I concur with Jennifer. This is the start of a new life for you. But not quite yet. There is grieving to be done. And healing. That takes time. If you feel the need to get away from Merida, you are always welcome in Barra de Navidad for a rejuvenating visit.

  3. Theresa, I am so Sorry for your loss, I can relate to loss this year myself and I know none of it is pleasant. But no one wants to suffer in a hospital and I really do believe there is peace when a love one passes under those circumstances. I know you both were connected on many levels and I also know that you will miss Duke very much, as will this community. As I miss what I have lost this last year, I can say it does help to take some time for yourself, and also know the Merida community is here for you. I must say it is one of the best things about being here. I completely understand that you wish to have some time to process, I did that with my dad, and It does help to focus on the good parts of a person’s life some time after their passing, Much love Rebecca

    • Rebecca,
      Wise words. The good stuff, especially the good stuff, about living with Duke is what makes me cry the most. I have regrets for the times I was stubborn, egotistical, and just plain hard to live with but mostly I miss just talking to him.

      I know how hard this past year has been for you, and I am so sorry you have gone through it. We both need to live in the present but it’s not always easy.


  4. We are so sorry for your loss. May memories console you and bring you strength in the days to come.

  5. So very sorry for the loss of your soulmate. May your memories comfort you.

  6. I am very sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. Be brave.

    • Shirley,
      Thank you. I am not brave, never have been, but I am stoic. One day at a time, or maybe just one minute. I know I will get through it, because I can’t see any other acceptable path.


  7. Dear Theresa,

    I’m so sorry to read this news. This has been a very difficult time for both of you. I know you’ve done your absolute best and given your all. Now is time to try to heal, and to try to take care of yourself too. I hope your own surgery went well. Just focus on getting healthy; I know that’s what Duke would want you to do. I wish there was more I could do to help. But you’re in my prayers.

    Con cariño,

    Kim G

  8. Dear Theresa,

    Please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of your loved one and know that I am truly sorry for your loss. I will keep you in my prayers. If there is anything I can do to help, you know all you have to do is contact me. Keep strong.

  9. Susan and I are so sorry that you and we have lost Duke’s presence in our lives. These past months have been so exhausting for you, Theresa. May you find rest and growing strength and health these next few months. I am so glad you were both able to be loving companions for each other during these final days. We send you our love and share in your loss.

    • Dear Paul and Susan,

      Thank you, for your kind words and for helping me out financially. I think I am still in shock these days, just wandering around and bumping into stuff. I need to wake up and go on, but maybe not just this moment. I am working on being present and mindful, it really helps.


  10. Damn. Double and triple damn.

    Duke was one of the first estadounidenses we met in Merida. A kind, thoughtful and gentle man he was.

    Let us know if we can do anything. If you have company from the States, I will happily cook for them. I’ll be firing up the smoker tomorrow, so let me know. It would be so easy to throw a couple of extra chickens on

    • Ron,
      I read your blog post about Duke and it really touched me.
      When I get back from my surgery, I will contact you and Kathy and we’ll try out some of the scotch Duke has been collecting.


  11. The story doesn’t end here, Theresa. You haven’t lost Duke; he’s just moved to a different plane. Or as Steve Cotton would put it, a major change of address. He will always be with you. And now you are moving to a different stage of your own life.

  12. Barry and I are so sorry to hear of Duke’s passing and your terrible loss. Our thoughts are with you and your family.

  13. I am sorry for your loss.

  14. Oh quierda I am so very sorry. There are no words. Be gentle with yourself. I continue to hold you in my thoughts and prayers. Vaya con Dios Duke.

  15. What a jolt. I write every day, but I have no words for this.

    I’m thinking about what a cool, gracious man he was, and how privileged I was to meet him.

    I just don’t know what else to say or think. My thoughts are with you.

  16. dear theresa,

    i can’t seem to find the right words to express my sadness at duke’s passing so i will simply say, you have our deepest sympathies. may God give you the strength to carry on as duke would have wanted you to.

    you are in our thoughts and prayers.

    teresa in nagoya

    • Hi Teresa,

      Duke once told me that he was selfish and wanted to pass first, because he didn’t think he could go on without me but felt I could go on without him. I don’t know how I feel about that now, but I do know that I have to just put one foot in front of the other and move on.


  17. Dear Teresa You fought the good fight with all your might . Tireless in the time of need , never wavering ,always caring . You are held dear in the arms of Duke…. He will never let you falter as another angel goes to heaven . He will guide you and protect you from above always
    Deepest sympathy

  18. Theresa my dear friend. Ira and I are very sad that Duke didn’t survive all the horrible things that happened to him. He was a kind and thoughtful person and we will miss him. Please let us know when you are up for visitors. This has been such a difficult and traumatic time for you. Please take care of yourself. Abrazos and love, Roberta
    We will be out of town from the 25th – 30th.

  19. Theresa,
    Please accept my deep sympathy…I know this has to be a hard time…I have followed your posts, from afar. I have known the struggles, of late. I wish I could’ve donated blood, as I am a blood donor, but now am in the US & it wasn’t possible, or I would’ve come from Isla to do so… You have been the best soulmate, I know…as I’ve read your caring, devoted tributes….your writing, your reflections & memory will get you through this. We will all have to go through this…for our loved ones, and ourselves…our time will come.
    Thanks for being so open to share so much; I have so enjoyed all your writings; you have a gift, and thanks for sharing.
    You have been so strong; take some time for yourself; I’m really sorry; I will look forward to your future writings. Take care of yourself. Honor your shared history. and when you are ready, I look forward to your new posts… -krisla

    • Krisla,

      Many thanks. I never feel like a strong person, I just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I do my best, most of the time, sometimes I falter, but I really do want to be authentic. I got all the blood donors that I needed for him, which was wonderful. I cannot imagine what it would have been like if they didn’t release the body because we owed blood/ the whole thing was surreal anyway.

      I will keep writing,it may be a little while because I have surgery coming up and then recovery, but writing makes me feel connected to people and I need that.


  20. Oh, Theresa, I am so sorry. Paul and I have you in our thoughts and will be hoping for you to get some rest now. Please take care and if you need to get away for a bit you are welcome to come stay with us. xoxo

    • Thank you Nancy,
      I am working on taking care of myself, fortunately, I have a lot of friends. Thank you for the invite, it may be awhile, but I would love to see Mazatlan and visit you two.


  21. You have been strong and did everything you could. Duke couldn’t have asked for a more loving and compasionate partner. You have respected his wishes. I will miss him as well.

    • Carol,
      I don’t know what I would have done without you taking my 5 am phone calls almost every morning. You did the perfect thing by just listening, then sharing your own experiences, and then we talked about the cats which was a nice touch of normalcy.


  22. I am so sorry to read this news. Take care of yourself and know that we are thinking of you and wishing you all the best. Hugs sent your way.

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