DJ_Lauderdale saidThanks for the input Bob.
One of the more troubling undertones to the story is what Chris and Richard had to say about the gay community, and their feeling of abandonment and isolation. In their biggest time of need, there wasn't a lot of support. That's scary.
Fortunately my own experience was the opposite. Most of which I've related here before.
When my first partner suddenly developed dimentia literally overnight, I realized we had never drawn any protective legal documents between us. And now with his mind gone it was too late. The doctors initially allowed me to be involved, because I was important to them as a source of patient history, when my partner was raving & incoherent.
But after 3 days his doctor said they had a problem with my continued involvement, lacking any legal standing. So I contacted a close friend, President of our State's Equality. He in turn put me in touch with the biggest law firm in the State, and specifically an attorney who specialized in GLBT cases.
She got a judge to issue an emergency decree making me his guardian. What normally took 3 months was done in 3 days. Setting a precedent in that State for gay couples. From that moment I was legally completely in charge of his care, and now the doctors dealt with me alone. Which they were good about.
When he died 6 weeks later (he had incurable PML, a fatal AIDS disease) my friends helped me make the funeral arrangements, including a huge memorial service. I couldn't have gotten through it without them. But then I had an emotional breakdown.
I wouldn't leave my home office, sleeping and eating there. I refused to enter our bedroom, or the rest of the house. I had the groceries delivered to my door, and ate out of cans. In April the Christmas tree was still up, and all the other decorations.
Finally my gay friends came over and did an intervention. They cleaned the kitchen, which hadn't been touched since New Years's Day (Miss Havisham, for you Dickens fans), and made me take down the Christmas decorations. I began to normalize and live again.
Maybe these 2 guys didn't get much support from their gay community. I dunno. But *I* did. It's one of the reasons I love to live among LGBT. I've never been let down, in a time of need.