Life Reset

Saludos (greetings) from el isla del encanto (the Island of Enchantment, Puerto Rico, USA).

I have been here since 15 December 2021 and will stay through 12 January 2022. Why so long and what am I doing?

I needed to get away on dates that will be very difficult for me emotionally.

Christmas Day 2020 was the last day my husband was in our house. He was miserably sick with an infection of his internal organs. He got the infection because his body was so weakened by pancreatic cancer treatment.

I had to bring him to the hospital the day after Christmas because his need for care was way beyond anything I could do for him at home.

Because December 2020 was still when the Covid-19 pandemic was raging (which it still is), I was prohibited from visiting him. Not until December 30 when his doctors wanted me present to authorize or discuss further invasive treatment. My husband had become unable to communicate, so as his designated Healthcare Proxy under his Advanced Medical Directive, it fell upon me to listen and make decisions.

After listening to seven doctors give me conflicting advice, and on my own assessment of my husband’s condition, I knew that there really would not be any chance of recovery. I confirmed that when I spoke with my husband as if he could hear me, and heard responses “home” and “out”.

Thus on 31 December, New Year’s Eve, I had to tell them to stop further treatment. I arranged for my husband to be transported to a hospice facility near our home.

His condition slowly degraded, but he was not in pain and was as comfortable as possible. I was able to stay with him in the hospice facility all day and all night for his last night, until he died on the morning of 5 January.

These three dates — 25 and 31 December and 5 January — are dates that bring strong memories to mind. I did not want to be in our house on these three dates. I guess one could say that avoidance of “grief triggers” was the beginning of this trip.

The second reason I am here is to honor my husband’s last wishes to scatter his ashes upon the Caribbean Sea.

We visited Puerto Rico in February 2020, and it was during that trip that I coaxed my husband into floating on a flat, calm, sea.

During October when my husband was discussing plans with me on what to do with his body after he died, he asked to be cremated and scatter his ashes in two places: at home in a garden in our back yard, and on the Caribbean Sea which as he said, “is the only ocean I can swim in.”

The third and actually most important reason I am here is to “reset myself.” I have been in mourning for a year. While I have kept busy by serving my community as a vaccinator and also renovating my house, I have been more-or-less in a state of suspended animation.

2022 will find me working on figuring out my new life. My “life reset” is in full progress.

I am fortunate that I own my house and do not have a mortgage. I have no debt at all. I am comfortable and can live on my pension and savings. I also receive lifetime health insurance benefits. I am grateful that I do not have to worry about having to work any more. I like retirement!

Life is short: reset for the next chapter of a positively productive life!

1 thought on “Life Reset

  1. BHD – I’m sitting in my office, going over a few year end items; and I went through some old bookmarks… it directed me to your page again. As I went through your photos, I found the section dedicated to your husband, and eventually to this page. I am so very sorry for your loss – and that it had to come at such an awful time of year when many are already struggling, and for such substantial dates as well. I hope you are resting and finding some peace & tranquility on the island. Be Well, Stay Safe.

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