Death In The Family, May Be Up All Night

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    Apr 09, 2016 7:16 AM GMT
    What we feared and anticipated has happened: my husband's older brother died of a heart attack tonight around 1AM EDT in Boston. He turned 89 just 2 weeks ago. (And please, no petty corrections from southbeach1500 at this moment about how I technically don't have a husband, just a partner)

    Because that husband is very upset, despite this being not unexpected after a long series of medical problems, and he says he can't get back to sleep right now. We were awakened by the phone call from Boston. And then he was obliged to personally notify their sister who lives not far from us in South Florida.

    So I'm gonna stay awake as long as he does. Not hovering over him, but a room away, checking on him regularly. His own heart is not so great, a genetic trait that's appeared in every one of his family members and killed most of them.

    Ironically, he's scheduled for a routine cardiologist visit himself next week, if we're not in Boston for the funeral. A doctor he shared with his late brother, whom the brother used when staying at his South Florida vacation home. We'll likely be the ones to break the news to the cardiologist about his patient.

    Also weighing on his mind is the fundraising banquet he had singlehandedly planned for next Sunday, 4-17, for the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men's Chorus he co-founded. And whether the funeral will be delayed until next weekend as the family gathers from around the country, and if we'll be back in time to oversee and attend it.

    I told him I could remain behind and handle it, while he travels to Boston with his sister. But he said he won't go without me, since he can't deal with his family alone, despite him now being the oldest member and the titular head of the family.

    He claims I get along with them better than he does. A remarkable (if false as I believe) statement for a 100% Italian, Catholic family, that knows we're a gay couple. Still, they've always been warm & gracious to me, including his (now) late brother. I'll miss him, too. icon_cry.gif

    So some hectic days ahead. Gonna be coordinating flying to Boston when we know the dates, traveling along with the sister, and making lodging arrangements. We obviously don't know yet if any of the Boston-area family can put us up, with so many others arriving, or if we'll need a hotel, and rental cars, etc.
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    Apr 09, 2016 3:40 PM GMT
    i know you will offer the love and support that will make a difference.
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    Apr 09, 2016 3:52 PM GMT
    My sincere condolences to you both ,
    Take good care of him , the loss of a brother always is very hard to accept even if he was 89 years old .
    You both are in my thoughts .
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    Apr 09, 2016 3:59 PM GMT
    Condolences.
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    Apr 09, 2016 5:29 PM GMT
    So sorry for your loss.
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    Apr 09, 2016 5:35 PM GMT
    I'm sorry for your loss. My condolences.
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    Apr 09, 2016 5:53 PM GMT
    Sorry for your loss
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    Apr 09, 2016 6:08 PM GMT
    My condolences. Even an expected death is a shock.
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    Apr 09, 2016 6:44 PM GMT
    I'm sorry for your loss. Hopefully, you can both find some small comfort in the support of your RJ family.
  • mybud

    Posts: 11837

    Apr 09, 2016 6:52 PM GMT
    My sympathies for you, your partner, and family...
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    Apr 09, 2016 10:11 PM GMT
    Ex_Mil8 saidI'm sorry for your loss. Hopefully, you can both find some small comfort in the support of your RJ family.

    Thank you. These RJ responses mean a lot.

    The services and burial will be next Saturday. Tentatively flying up to Boston Friday, returning Sunday.
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    Apr 09, 2016 10:51 PM GMT
    So sorry to hear this. My best to you both.
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    Apr 09, 2016 11:08 PM GMT
    My prayers for you, your partner and family
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    Apr 09, 2016 11:13 PM GMT
    I'm very sorry for your loss and for your husband's loss. Is there a trusted member of the Gay Men's Chorus who can take over so you can both be with his family? He's fortunate to have you by his side.

  • Allen

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    Apr 10, 2016 2:34 AM GMT
    So sorry for both you and your husband. At least your husband has a loving and supporting husband like you at his side.
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    Apr 10, 2016 2:51 AM GMT
    PhoenixNYC saidI'm very sorry for your loss and for your husband's loss. Is there a trusted member of the Gay Men's Chorus who can take over for you both can be with his family? He's fortunate to have you by his side.

    We're not sure about anyone else doing his job. These guys are mainly interested in singing, not organizing and directing fundraisers. That's why I thought I might stay behind while he goes to Boston. But he says he really needs me with him, so I have to conform to his wishes.
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    Apr 10, 2016 2:54 AM GMT
    Allen saidSo sorry for both you and your husband. At least your husband has a loving and supporting husband like you at his side.

    Very kind of you and some other guys here to say that. But at the same time, I've got HIM at MY side. So it evens out.
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    Apr 10, 2016 5:01 AM GMT
    My condolences to you and your partner.
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    Apr 10, 2016 6:45 PM GMT
    duluthrunner saidMy condolences to you and your partner.

    Thank you. It looks increasingly like we won't fly out until Friday, and return Sunday, the funeral confined to Saturday. We had thought his sister might want to merge her travel with ours, all going together.

    But now she's talking about staying in Boston longer for other matters, which won't work for us. So we may travel separately, just the 2 of us, while she goes alone. Something she does a lot anyway.

    Suits us, because we need the time to disengage from all kinds of commitments, most importantly the big annual fundraiser banquet he's been planning.

    I'm kinda his Second in Command, Secretary, Graphic Designer for invitations & flyers, Chief Delivery Boy & Flunky, and Underwriter, and I keep telling him I can stay behind and run it. But he won't travel alone, now that we expect his sister to travel to Boston separately.

    He's even making some noises that he won't go at all now, infuriated that his brother's children never informed him of the death, nor the arrangements. We learned of them second-hand from non-family, like his brother's former bookkeeper, who became his travel companion in later years.

    But my husband (SB alert) always predicted there'd be vicious family infighting once his brother passed. I believed that then, and I'm starting to see it now. Another reason he's loathe to go to Boston, but of course feels it a duty to his brother. They had spoken on the phone just a few days ago.
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    Apr 11, 2016 1:35 AM GMT
    Mate, I'm sorry for your loss. Please take care if him and be there for he and his family. Hopefully, his older brother lived a great life.

    Cheers,

    Sean
  • Import

    Posts: 7190

    Apr 11, 2016 2:07 AM GMT
    Jeez a lot of death happeneing here on RJ. icon_cry.gif
    Snding my condolences.
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    Apr 11, 2016 2:27 AM GMT
    GTPSean saidMate, I'm sorry for your loss. Please take care if him and be there for he and his family. Hopefully, his older brother lived a great life.

    Cheers,

    Sean

    Thanks, Sean, I think he did.

    He was a Navy Seabee during WWII in the Pacific. A true hero. After the war he became a local police officer in a Boston suburb. Following retirement he entered real estate, and became a multi-millionaire. With vacation homes on Cape Cod and here in South Florida.

    But his last year was tough. Gradual failing health for the elderly isn't pretty. But he continued to live in his own home, and never had to go into any kind of facility. My own late parents dreaded that prospect, and were able to avoid it, as well.

    His younger brother, my husband (SB alert) is outwardly taking it OK. But I know him well enough that I can see he's upset & stressed.

    Based on traditional Italian/Sicilian rules the head of the family should now be my husband. But he lives in Florida, not Boston. And is gay, with no wife or children. Which disqualifies him in their eyes. We weren't even informed of the death by family members, merely by a former bookkeeper. The message was clear.

    My husband is still debating whether he will attend the funeral at all. Disrespect is a very big matter in that culture.
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    Apr 11, 2016 10:59 AM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    Based on traditional Italian/Sicilian rules the head of the family should now be my husband. But he lives in Florida, not Boston. And is gay, with no wife or children. Which disqualifies him in their eyes. We weren't even informed of the death by family members, merely by a former bookkeeper. The message was clear.

    My husband is still debating whether he will attend the funeral at all. Disrespect is a very big matter in that culture.


    It shouldn't matter what the rest of the family think, he should be there to say his goodbyes to his brother. You should never let petty family squabbles get in the way of something like that, it's not something you can ever have a second chance at. I can understand him feeling pissed off at them, but that's at them - and not attending the funeral to spite them is not the right thing to do.

    I'm sure you'll support him whatever decision he makes though.
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    Apr 11, 2016 11:27 AM GMT
    My sincere condolences.
    The "cultural disrespect" toward your husband from his Boston family, quite frankly, is disgusting.
    However, let the family appear to be the petty bigots, and you both attend the funeral out of love and respect for a sibling, not the cultural mistakes of an arcane hierarchy. Too easy to be damned for not participating, and there will never be a second chance to say good-bye. Godspeed and peace to all involved.icon_cool.gif
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Apr 11, 2016 9:21 PM GMT
    Bummer icon_exclaim.gif





    icon_sad.gif