What it's like to lose someone who you love so dearly to that dreaded disease AIDS.

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    May 26, 2009 7:27 AM GMT
    As I sit here and begin to type this, I still can't believe it is 10 years ago this week that I lost my younger brother to this dreaded disease AIDS.

    Patrick (Paddy) was one of the funniest and biggest cut ups a brother could ask for. You could be having the most miserable day and he would do something so totally off the hook and unexpected that you couldn't help but laugh and be put into a great mood.

    I still remember going through the motions when he first became ill and how everyone in my family (except myself of course) shrouded the whole ordeal in secrecy. As far as the general population knew, he had leukemia. Well, actually, he did have a form of blood cancer but it was brought on by the effects of AIDS not from any other source.

    Even myself, being in the medical profession, wanted to believed that this time it would be different and he would survive this nightmare.

    I remember going to the hospital with my other brother and seeing him in the isolation unit which is when even I came to the realization he was gravely ill (holding back the waterworks now).

    I had been notified by the unit supervising nurse that it wasn't looking good for him and my brother and I needed to get there as soon as possible.

    As we doned our protective medical garments (for his protection not ours) I was thinking about what I was going to say to him. How this would all end.

    The thing I dreaded the most is what he asked me next, "Anthony, do you think I'm going to die? Because I don't want to die."

    Of course, I did what I thought was the best thing to do and tell him that he would be just fine.

    With that being said, my brother and I held his hand, he on one side, me on the other and watched as he drew his last breath and left us forever.

    I love you Paddy and I always will.

    I know it sounds like a cliche guys but when you sleep with other guys unprotected you definitely sleep with everyone else they've slept with.

    Be smart...Please use protection...So there are no more stories like Paddy's.

    Peace.


  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    May 26, 2009 1:07 PM GMT
    How sad. I am so sorry for your loss. I have never lost any one of AIDS. But I can imaging how terrible that must have been. I hope you stay strong and remember your brother is in a better place. Hug from me.
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    May 26, 2009 1:13 PM GMT
    I am sorry for your loss. I did not lose someone due to Aids but did lose someone who had HIV (loss unrelated to HIV/Aids). Loss of a loved one is never easy.

    Part of the reason I openly disclose my status is so I am keep others safe from the disease when I didnt have people who remained safe with me. So I am right there with ya bout being safe and staying that way.

    My heart goes out to you!
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    May 26, 2009 2:08 PM GMT
    Sorry to hear of your loss

    I lost one friend in '88. Took years before it finally sunk in that he was gone.
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    May 26, 2009 2:23 PM GMT
    My late partner literally died in my arms of AIDS. I had a kind of nervous breakdown or something afterwards, took an intervention by gay friends a few months later to begin to snap me out of it.

    But it wasn't the AIDS itself that devastated me so much as his death itself, the reality of losing him. He could have died from anything and I think I would have reacted the same way.

    Still, HIV/AIDS has become my principal charity, as it is for my current partner, who's also an AIDS widower. Like you, we don't want more people getting HIV, and more dying.

    You don't mention if you do HIV/AIDS work, or make contributions. That has helped both of us cope better with our loss, I believe. Thank you for your story.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    May 26, 2009 2:40 PM GMT
    My heart goes out to you. I'm glad to hear you're honoring your brother's life. If it's any sort of consolation, as someone who is a member of the younger generation, it's stories like these that have always made me use protection and I thank you for continuously reminding us that we have to be careful.
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    May 26, 2009 7:30 PM GMT

    Thank you.


    zakariahzol saidHow sad. I am so sorry for your loss. I have never lost any one of AIDS. But I can imaging how terrible that must have been. I hope you stay strong and remember your brother is in a better place. Hug from me.
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    May 26, 2009 7:33 PM GMT
    Thank you for your warm wishes. I can totally relate to that. I know you and your current partner do amazing things with AIDS research. It was evident when Doug and I met you both.

    That had to be one of the nicest lunches of my life. Totally enjoyable.

    To answer your question, yes, I am active in AIDS related issues. How could I not be?

    Love,

    Anthony






    Red_Vespa saidMy late partner literally died in my arms of AIDS. I had a kind of nervous breakdown or something afterwards, took an intervention by gay friends a few months later to begin to snap me out of it.

    But it wasn't the AIDS itself that devastated me so much as his death itself, the reality of losing him. He could have died from anything and I think I would have reacted the same way.

    Still, HIV/AIDS has become my principal charity, as it is for my current partner, who's also an AIDS widower. Like you, we don't want more people getting HIV, and more dying.

    You don't mention if you do HIV/AIDS work, or make contributions. That has helped both of us cope better with our loss, I believe. Thank you for your story.
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    May 26, 2009 7:34 PM GMT
    lifefit1 saidAnd yes, I do what I can to support AIDS research. How could I not?

    Love,

    Anthony

    I thought you did, a rhetorical question to prompt you to say that, to remind others here that we should all do the same.

    We in the gay community are not to blame for HIV/AIDS, but it hits us the hardest, so I believe we have an interest in being in the forefront in combating it, and encouraging others to follow our example.
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    May 26, 2009 7:34 PM GMT
    Thank you.


    jpopenb saidI am sorry for your loss. I did not lose someone due to Aids but did lose someone who had HIV (loss unrelated to HIV/Aids). Loss of a loved one is never easy.

    Part of the reason I openly disclose my status is so I am keep others safe from the disease when I didnt have people who remained safe with me. So I am right there with ya bout being safe and staying that way.

    My heart goes out to you!
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    May 26, 2009 7:35 PM GMT
    Thank you.



    Blackguy4you saidSorry to hear of your loss

    I lost one friend in '88. Took years before it finally sunk in that he was gone.
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    May 26, 2009 7:37 PM GMT
    When I met Red Vespa and his partner for lunch one day, his partner told Doug and I a story about this young man age 22, who basically told him that young people didnt get AIDS it was for old people.

    You wouldn't want to have heard his reaction.

    Thanks for being mature enough to protect yourself.

    Hugs to you buddy.



    calibro saidMy heart goes out to you. I'm glad to hear you're honoring your brother's life. If it's any sort of consolation, as someone who is a member of the younger generation, it's stories like these that have always made me use protection and I thank you for continuously reminding us that we have to be careful.
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    May 26, 2009 7:38 PM GMT
    thank you.



    jprichva saidThere were so many.

    This is hard to talk about, even 20 years later.

    Every once in a while I'll put one of their names into Google, just to see if any of their other friends have left a remembrance or something, or just because I still miss them.

    Sometimes they have.
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    May 26, 2009 8:19 PM GMT
    Lifefit1,

    Very sorry about your loss. I have been to far too many memorials of friends taken by hiv.

    Use protection, get tested...

    Take care of yourself and those you love.