Losing My Best Friend to AIDS

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    Jan 08, 2013 3:42 AM GMT
    I already commented on this thread, but I forgot to mention that everyone should watch "We Were Here" whenever they get a chance. I watched it last night, and cried for most of its runtime.
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    Jan 08, 2013 3:45 AM GMT
    n8698u saidGood God. Why the hell did the pastor accept the funeral at all? To make a "statement?" GR! Awful!
    +1 growl icon_mad.gif
  • 2PecanDeBeurr...

    Posts: 302

    Jan 08, 2013 3:46 AM GMT
    Thanks, Scruffypup,

    I feel you...memories shared will be cherished

    Since living here in las vegas '92, two very close friends were taken by AIDS.

    Whenever I hear their "songs" flashbacks bombard me, glad we shared part of

    this life adventure. it is great to enjoy the moments that live forever as memories
    .
    j.c.
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    Jan 08, 2013 3:49 AM GMT
    SkinnyBitch said
    @Art - he was saving them up. When I read that part, I anticipated the reason as a dying friend did the exact same thing. As would I. To understand what's inside the head of someone in a situation where death is preferable is something most won't be able to do. That bottle is a precious saviour. I pose the possibility that his plans for the future were to make those present think he wasn't planning on using them, just to protect his ability to make his exit at the time of his choosing. Could be wrong, but that's the way I would be strongly feeling.

    I agree with that possibility, and realize what his plan may have been. But the empty bottle does not prove he carried it out. That may always remain a mystery.

    If he passed away without touching the bottle, then the hospital staff would have emptied it, and removed any other medications among his possessions before releasing them to the family. A similar thing happened when my Father died.
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    Jan 08, 2013 3:49 AM GMT
    Scruffypup said
    timshel saidAnd, because of attitudes back then, the dying were treated like garbage, funerals protested, god's cure, etc. at least those dying of cancer are able to die in peace and consolation.
    I can't even fathom...


    My cousin also died of AIDS. The pastor who preached his funeral, told the congregation "the man lying in this casket is burning in hell at this very moment. If you don't want to join him, I urge you to accept Jesus Christ as your savior". The family had no idea he was going to say this, and some of the family attacked him physically, but it was too late....he had disrupted the funeral and caused even more pain to everyone in attendance.


    I was worried this would happen at my uncle's funeral. Seated in the front row as a pall bearer...I asked myself that if the priest launched into any gay-bashing, would I be able to speak up and stop him? I was nervous wreck! But surprisingly, the priest gave a very nice, touching homily about life, living it and not fearing death. Never mind that everyone was crying non stop...it was actually very appropriate and poignant.

    The real antics started later at the wake.
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    Jan 08, 2013 3:50 AM GMT
    CityofDreams saidI already commented on this thread, but I forgot to mention that everyone should watch "We Were Here" whenever they get a chance. I watched it last night, and cried for most of its runtime.


    I tried watching that a few months ago...couldn't finish. Upset me too much. I was the same way with How to Survive a Plague. I just sat in front of my friend and cried.
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    Jan 08, 2013 3:51 AM GMT
    CityofDreams saidI already commented on this thread, but I forgot to mention that everyone should watch "We Were Here" whenever they get a chance. I watched it last night, and cried for most of its runtime.


    Watched it over christmas. Very good.
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    Jan 08, 2013 3:53 AM GMT
    CityofDreams saidI already commented on this thread, but I forgot to mention that everyone should watch "We Were Here" whenever they get a chance. I watched it last night, and cried for most of its runtime.

    +1 for those who wonder what it was for those who were in the thick of it in the eighties, it helps explain it. Both Scruffy and Cash are strong, sympathetic, empathetic, and inclusive. We all can learn from both of them and their experiences. As a proponent of speaking up against any anti-HIV comments or threads on here, I am deeply moved by both of them.
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    Jan 08, 2013 3:54 AM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    SkinnyBitch said
    @Art - he was saving them up. When I read that part, I anticipated the reason as a dying friend did the exact same thing. As would I. To understand what's inside the head of someone in a situation where death is preferable is something most won't be able to do. That bottle is a precious saviour. I pose the possibility that his plans for the future were to make those present think he wasn't planning on using them, just to protect his ability to make his exit at the time of his choosing. Could be wrong, but that's the way I would be strongly feeling.

    I agree with that possibility, and realize what his plan may have been. But the empty bottle does not prove he carried it out. That may always remain a mystery.

    If he passed away without touching the bottle, then the hospital staff would have emptied it, and removed any other medications among his possessions before releasing them to the family. A similar thing happened when my Father died.



    Yeah, I'll never really know for sure if he took those pills are not. But considering a family member slept in the chair with him that night, I have a feeling she packed his things up and not a nurse. Especially since the nurses had no idea he had been hoarding the medication. I'd like to think he did take his own life, as he would have known some control as well as been pain free in his last hours.
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    Jan 08, 2013 3:54 AM GMT
    it breaks my heart reading your story...hugs.
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    Jan 08, 2013 4:25 AM GMT
    Scruffypup said
    timshel saidAnd, because of attitudes back then, the dying were treated like garbage, funerals protested, god's cure, etc. at least those dying of cancer are able to die in peace and consolation.
    I can't even fathom...


    My cousin also died of AIDS. The pastor who preached his funeral, told the congregation "the man lying in this casket is burning in hell at this very moment. If you don't want to join him, I urge you to accept Jesus Christ as your savior". The family had no idea he was going to say this, and some of the family attacked him physically, but it was too late....he had disrupted the funeral and caused even more pain to everyone in attendance.


    This makes me sick. Something quite similar happened to my family a few years back. How someone can be that bad and stupid to say such a thing...

    Sorry for your loss. It was a very moving story.
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    Jan 08, 2013 4:46 AM GMT
    Best thread on RJ, ever.
    Thank you Scruffy
  • MikeW

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    Jan 08, 2013 5:25 AM GMT
    Thank you for the story, Scruffypup. Someday, I'll tell the story of my nephew's death (complete with my bitch of a sister, his mom, trying to exorcise the demon of homosexuality out of him).

  • O5vx

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    Jan 08, 2013 5:51 AM GMT
    Wow this story actually made me cry.
  • FRE0

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    Jan 08, 2013 5:58 AM GMT
    Scruffypup said
    timshel saidAnd, because of attitudes back then, the dying were treated like garbage, funerals protested, god's cure, etc. at least those dying of cancer are able to die in peace and consolation.
    I can't even fathom...


    My cousin also died of AIDS. The pastor who preached his funeral, told the congregation "the man lying in this casket is burning in hell at this very moment. If you don't want to join him, I urge you to accept Jesus Christ as your savior". The family had no idea he was going to say this, and some of the family attacked him physically, but it was too late....he had disrupted the funeral and caused even more pain to everyone in attendance.


    I well remember that attitude. Some "Christian" clergy said that gay stood for "Got AIDS yet?" There were banners that said, "Thank God for AIDS." For the most part, such people have been silenced.

    I can think of several guys I knew who died of AIDS, but I didn't know about it until after they died. Fortunately, HIV is no longer a sure death sentence, but the problems of it and the the necessary drugs to control it should not be minimized. I feel fortunate that I was spared, partly because of my aversion to anal sex, partly because of my limited sexual activity, and partly because of pure luck.

    Even the most horrible things can have a positive aspect, including HIV. In spite of all its horrors, it has somewhat changed the attitudes of gay men to favor relationships as opposed to casual sex. Let us hope that when a cure is found (and I hope that a cure will be found) that the emphasis on relationships will endure.
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    Jan 08, 2013 6:08 AM GMT
    Thank you for sharing this scruffy. This was moving and transparent. Thank you. It's great to be able to see your heart in this way.
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    Jan 08, 2013 6:19 AM GMT
    As a young man who moved to San Fancisco in 1989 I was immediately befriended by many men in the Castro who have since passed on due to the crisis of that time. It was a crazy time full of much misinformation, fear, anger but most of all incredible love. There's not a day that goes by that I don't thank God for those strong, fearless men who gave their lives so valiantly that today's generation of young men do not have to experience those times. From ActUp, to health care professionals to local politicians and businessmen, everyone in that community at that time were united in a cause that they understood little about but new they had to give their last breaths to fight so that the next generation could just live and love without fear.



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    Jan 08, 2013 6:22 AM GMT
    Wow, that was sad Scruff but I appreciate you sharing your personal feelings. Moving story. That was a rough time with many who lost their lives. I'm sorry you lost a good friend. It's great that his memory lives on via his friend! Big hug.
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    Jan 08, 2013 6:24 AM GMT
    LeftofCenterus saidAs a young man who moved to San Fancisco in 1989 I was immediately befriended by many men in the Castro who have since passed on due to the crisis of that time. It was a crazy time full of much misinformation, fear, anger but most of all incredible love. There's not a day that goes by that I don't thank God for those strong, fearless men who gave their lives so valiantly that today's generation of young men do not have to experience those times. From ActUp, to health care professionals to local politicians and businessmen, everyone in that community at that time were united in a cause that they understood little about but new they had to give their last breaths to fight so that the next generation could just live and love without fear.





    Beautifully stated!
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    Jan 08, 2013 6:28 AM GMT
    Your friendship with Ken is one many wish they could have. He'll always be with you. Thank you for sharing that with us.
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    Jan 08, 2013 6:46 AM GMT
    Thanks for posting your sad story . It brought to mind again memories both sad and good of my friends who have died of AIDS.
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    Jan 08, 2013 7:08 AM GMT
    Wow, that was heartbreaking story. Thank you for sharing.
  • metta

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    Jan 08, 2013 7:52 AM GMT
    Thank you for sharing that. Big warm hugs to you!
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    Jan 08, 2013 7:59 AM GMT
    People who come into our lives become a part of us. With all the ups and downs of friendship, there are always indescribable ephemeral connections which keep us together, despite space and time. Its clear that you and Ken had a deep friendship which lives on, after his passing.

    I have a similar friendship with my best friend from middle- and high-school. We grew up in the 80s too, and our past time was watching horror movies: Hallowe'en, The Exorcist, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc... but the original Friday the 13th was our favorite. We knew all the lines, we'd watch it over and over on VHS late into the night, until the recording was so degraded that I had to rent it again and re-record. There's so much water under the bridge, and I won't detract from your memorial here, but long-story-short, he died a few years ago from an AIDS related opportunistic infection. It was sudden and unexpected.

    To this day, every Hallowe'en I dress up in something completely gorey - Carrie at the prom, Freddie Krueger, various zombies, a Julius Caesar stabbed 13 times, the shower scene in Psycho, Leonidas from the 300 movie - anything drenched in theatrical blood. Its my tribute to him. You can see in my profile pics this year's vivisection stripper bunny rabbit. I also volunteer at an AIDS organisation in his memory, and they (the staff, volunteers and beneficiaries) have become a sort of family to me.

    Anyways, I'm glad you have "Planet Claire" and "I'm Taking a Ride With My Best Friend" to mark your friendship. Keep it close to your heart. Every life has meaning.
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    Jan 08, 2013 8:06 AM GMT
    Oh my goodness. What a sad yet beautiful story.
    A warm hug goes out to you from Montreal, Scruffy.

    I was watching "Up" tonight late with my brother.
    We were thinking of our mother, who passed away just over a year ago.

    If she could say something to us like your old friend would say to you, it would be like what Ellie wrote to Carl:

    "Thanks for the adventure. Now go start a new one!"