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Author Topic: Survivors Pain  (Read 10389 times)

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Offline bear60

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Survivors Pain
« on: October 30, 2007, 01:14:16 PM »
I havent been through this many deaths since the early 90's.
Christine
Ron
now my Mom
all in the space of a few weeks.
It was like this in the ealy 90's, with deaths happening so often you hardly had time to dry your tears before the next one.  I remember feeling like an old man because so many friends had died.  Not unlike what happens when one is of advanced age and every time the phone rings its..."Now who died?"
But, now I am an old man. And it seems I have outlived almost all my friends. I am sad today.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2007, 02:39:26 PM »
Sorry you are sad Joel, and sorry about the loss of your Mother.   I completely understand how you are feeling.   I have had a lot of deaths in my "circle of friends and acquaintances" this year.   My friends from church Rodney and Linda, both died this year.

It certainly does make you feel old, and sad too.   I try to direct my mind to think about it as reminders, of how important it is to live FULLY each and every day.  Life is so fleeting.    When I was so ill and close to death in the 90's, and then "bounced back" with the protease drugs, I remember that just going outside was such a thrill, to smell the smells and feel the sun on my skin.  Somewhere, between then and now, I have lost that sense of wonder and amazement.  Deaths are a reminder for me to know how important it is to be fully conscious and aware of life every moment.   There is a reason why I keep on taking these meds, so faithfully.

Hugs to you,

Alan
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline BirdBear718

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2007, 09:19:06 PM »
It has been a few, short, difficult weeks - you are right.
It is easy to feel sad...and we should because we miss them...we miss what these people did for us.
They listened to us and they nurtured us and were kind to us.
It is sad when they leave. 

However, and more importantly, we have to find a way to continue.  It is hard...it's challenging.

For me, I am trying do live the way my friend wanted me to live.
I honor her by trying to practice the things she taught me.
Most importantly (to me), I remember -- I remember her.  I remember her struggles, her fight, and what she did to live.
I remember how she treated every day and found a purpose to carry on....and some days she was grasping at a straw to believe in that purpose....but she did it nonetheless.

Remember Christine, Ron, and your mother.  Honor them as well.

A hug to you.

Offline J.R.E.

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2007, 07:31:32 AM »
Joel ,

I feel your sadness and pain. I am sorry to read of your moms passing. I understand the "Survivors pain".

I lost my mother in 2002. It's hard to believe it's been just a little over 5 years. My older sister passed on, my younger sisters Husband passed on, Our very dear friend, Bonnie passed on due to colon cancer, and we had two friends recently pass on, Because of aids, and one from liver failure. All of this, within the past three years.

My heart goes out to you...



Take care of yourself-----Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 6/4/14,  t-cells are at 423, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 13% 

  
 62 years young.

Offline Robert

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2007, 02:05:00 AM »
Joel.

Rough times, that's for sure.  It's seems like I've lived this virus my entire life.  But I'm 57, so that's really not possible, is it?  I lost the last of my old friends 12 years ago.  My father died 10 years ago.  My mother 8 years ago.  I keep going on.   It's not easy, but I keep plugging along. 

I know it's not easy for you Joel. Just remember to give yourself the time and space to mourn your losses.  That's the most important thing you can do right now.

robert
..........

Offline anniebc

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2007, 03:40:44 AM »
Dearest Joel

The best cure for a sad day or an empty heart is to find people who needs you...look around you Joel the world is full of them..and a lot of them are right here.

Please don't be sad, because it makes me sad. :(

Hugs
Jan  :-*
« Last Edit: November 01, 2007, 03:42:17 AM by anniebc »
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline bear60

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2007, 09:06:45 AM »
Thanks Jan...I know that the people here are "the best" and you are so right....Thanks.
Alan, Ray, Robert, Mr Bird........Your thoughts are very appreciated.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline aztecan

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  • 29 years positive, 56 years a pain in the butt
Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2007, 09:48:28 AM »
Hey Joel,

I hate it when things come at you all a once and you have had more than your share of difficult times recently.

It does remind me of the survivor's pain we endured during the 80s and 90s. I hope things level out for you now and you being having more joy in your life.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline BT65

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2007, 06:57:18 PM »
Hey Joel:

I feel ya, buddy.  I had a dear friend, Bill H., pass away at the beginning of this year.  He went in to Rush Hospital in Chicago to have his spleen removed and died shortly after the surgery (he had AIDS).  I, too, remember the very frequent funeral of the 80's-90's, before all the advancement in meds came about. 

As you know, I lost my mum three months ago.  I still miss her so much.  She stuck by me through thick and thick.  I'm glad she's not suffering anymore, but that doesn't make me miss her any less.

I think we have days that are harder to get through.  But then I just cry and let the pain be the pain and go through it. 
Here for you-
Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline GoodMatchHawaiiRetreat

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2007, 01:38:59 AM »
Deepest sympathy and empathy on the loss of your loved ones. 
I do appreciate everyones suggestions on how to choose to continue this life.   I have lost so many loved ones that I often want to go be with them.
Life often feels empty, meaningless and lonely without them. 
I try to keep hope that there will be other close friends, even love in the future, but it is often extremely difficult.
Sometimes it's a daily challenge.

Offline ARMANDO

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2007, 08:55:36 AM »
i rememeber when i was diagnoised back in 1994 and i wanted so desperately to tell my mom,because you know MOMS ARE SUPERHEROES,they can make everytrhing bad go away.I KNEW that if i did ,it would have killed her inside,so i never did.SHE DIED A YEAR LATER.my father and i have never had a real connection so i never have told him and really don't see any point in telling him now!!MY FAMILY DOESN'T REALLY UNDERSTAND THIS DISEASE AND SO THEY DON'T LIKE TO TALK ABOUT IT.ALL OF MY FRIENDS HAVE NOW DIED.i find myself not wanting to make new friends,it's just so totally different these days.

Offline ubotts

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2007, 11:07:15 AM »
I have lost so many friends and a brother, and my lover of 10 yrs..
Mostly due to aids..some cancer, either way, sometimes I question myself ...
I believe I have survivors guilt...

For some reason they dont want us yet..... ???

I am so sorry for your loss..believe me , I know what you are going though first hand.
We are all here for one another...
Thank god for this forum...
We can vent, talk about things we cannot talk about in or RL..so we come to this
forum to vent, in doing so we find friends, which we all need..
Take care and my thoughts are with you..
Live Love Laugh and dance like no ones watching.
Laughter is the best medicine, so try to have a laugh everyday..Even if your not feeling your best, think about something that was funny at one time in your life and work with it..   :o)

Offline bear60

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2007, 02:46:52 PM »
Well, just to update this thread. .....................
I am feeling much better since my Mom's Memorial Service and putting her ashes in the ground. Much lighter.  In a physical way. Like a burden has been lifted. I think because she had not been doing well for about 5 years and was on a downward spiral, that I had become weighed down with grief even as she was still living. Now that she has passed it is a good thing. I can feel that she is happy now.
Any way, There is one more Memorial to go through.  Ron's Memorial is this Saturday. In Rehoboth Delaware. We are going to drive down with a neighbor of ours who was close to Ron also. (He's straight.)
Ron and his partner were my neighbors here in Philadelphia since 1982.  Last year they officially retired to Rehoboth and one year later Ron died.  He was only 53. Now, I dont know the details and I want to know.  He was in the hospital with pneumonia this past summer but I dont know any more. They say it was his heart. But I dont know.  Is it wrong to want to know.  I mean ....we were friends for 25 years. Is it wrong to ask his partner for details?
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline Robert

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2007, 02:10:55 AM »
Hi Bear....

It sounds like you're not feeling quite as old as you were a few weeks ago.  The burden of your Mother's dying has been lifted and now is the time to think of the good.  We're going into the season of sharing and celebrating, past, present and future.  Think of all that and just how good life is.  And keep that in mind at Ron's memorial.  To celebrate his memory you need to  share his life and death.  So, no, it's not wrong to ask those questions. 

Merry Christmas, Bear...

robert
..........

Offline leatherman

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2007, 10:35:53 AM »
Gosh Bear,

There I was, over in my own thread, bemoaning my own survivor's grief (not survivor guilt) over losing my partner and pets, while you were here suffering from your own losses. I'm so sorry to hear that you lost your mom.

It does seem strange to keep outliving so many after being given a "terminal" diagnosis so many yrs ago. I've found that time doesn't really heal the wounds; but time does weaken and blunt the grief.

As I told my nephew the other day just after burying my dog, we all may be very sad today; but we've had so many more GOOD days with our loved ones compared to the relatively few BAD days at the end. After the inital grief eases, you won't have time to remember those few sad memories as you'll have all those thousands and thousands of good memories.

Best wishes to you through the holiday season and for next year,

mikie
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline komnaes

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2007, 10:52:33 AM »
Dear Joel, allow me to give you a big big cuberhug...

I have had a year like this.. and it's somewhat amazing to me to think that it was almost a decade ago. First my father, than my grandmother, all in a space of a month and then that winter our family cat Ugly (our last one, after he died my mum would not let us keep another one) had to be put to, er, sleep. I was only in my mid-20s then and that year I changed from a boy to a man...

As Christmas is upon us I hope you could spend the time remembering the good times, smiling at those wonderful memories you have shared with those that are no longer with us.. I know I will try to do the same..

Shaun
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline bear60

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2007, 02:19:07 PM »
Mikie, in a word, it just doesnt stop does it. Yes,  like you,  I have been going through a lot of grief and I hope to get beyond it.  I do MOST sincerely wish you peace.
Shaun, you are very kind.  Your words mean a lot to me.
.............................
So, to continue this thread. yesterday Kurt and Rob (a neighbor) and I drove to Rehoboth Delaware to attend Ron's Memorial Service.  The minute I saw George, Rons partner, I lost it. I was all tears. It is so hard to loose someone who has been part of your life for 25 years.  Ron was a special ed teacher in public schools and had the BIGGEST heart of anyone I know.  He loved those kids.  He did a hard job and suffered a lot. But boy did he love a good cocktail and a gang of men swimming nude in his pool down there in Rehoboth!!!!!!! It was a little Fire Island.  He loved to entertain and cook. He made the best stuffed cornish hen I have ever had.
The sad thing that I learned yesterday was this: he had had spinal cancer for almost 5 years and never told anyone.  Not even his life partner.  When he went in the hospital, George found papers from Jefferson Hospital diagnosing it.  Ron chose to ignore treatment and spend his time as he wanted it.  This is very hard for me to take and I am really getting upset just putting this down.  But it was his choice and I respect that.
So, now, I am aware that grief has been too much a part of my lfe this year.  Grief has defined my life this year. January thru March it was Jim ( our friend who died late December) and sorting thru, giving away, dispersing ALL of his worldly possessions.  His family did NOTHING.  Then Ron and my Mom in October.  Grief and more grief.  I really need a break and folks, honestly, I intend to take one.  If I dont I will really loose it mentally.
I am going to Florida in February for as long a time as I can.  If I am not around here as much ....you know why.  I care about all of you and love AidsMeds.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2007, 02:20:46 PM by bear60 »
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline BT65

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2007, 09:12:04 PM »
Joel, you're had a hell of a year.  I wish you peace.

Today I made some molasses cookies.  My mum used to make them every Christmas (except her last one last year).  I never realized all the work that she put into them.  Getting all the ingredients together, putting the dough in the frig for a couple hours, rolling it out, using cookie cutters to make X-Mas shapes, baking, cooling, frosting, decorating with red and green sugar.  Wow, I didn't make nearly all the cookies she used to make.  I remember it was an all-day event.  I hope mine pass for (almost) as good as hers were.   Just remembering........

Hey, Joel, another thing I did that helped me.  I sent a check to one of the local missions that feed homeless people to help feed them this holiday.  I sent the check in memory of my mum.  She was always feeding people.

I envy your going to Florida.  I hope you have a wonderful holiday, Joel.  Let's just take this time to remember the good times.  There were plenty of them.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline OneTampa

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2007, 09:10:04 AM »
Hello Everyone,

My sympathy and empathy also go out to everyone who has expressed their sadness and grief of losing a loved.  After reading the posts, I can tell you that I have experienced at least one of each your situations:  family doing nothing after a loved one dies, me going through my friend's personal belongings and selecting an outfit for him to be buried in, my friend keeping his cancer illness a secret for years (although I and no one else knew), having a long term friendship that spanned decades, the naughty and silly nature of my close dear friend that I will miss, the fierce regional cuisine that my dear friend could whip up like nobody's business, I can go on.  Talk about all of us here being wrapped in a patchwork quilt of common experiences of unbridled joy, friendship, love, pain, and survival.

I just attended a memorial service for my dear friend yesterday.  I spoke at the service. I am here to tell you, I was amazed and touched by the diverse gathering of people.  Some I'd seen before, others I met for the first time.  All said that they were grateful to have known my friend.  That is what is keeping me going.  Yes, I am still grieving, but through my tears I sometimes  (when alone) burst out laughing as I remember the wonderful and silly times we shared.

Best wishes and
a big tight hug to everyone.

 
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline CaptCarl

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2007, 07:52:29 PM »
Joel,
  I am sorry tohear of the loss of your mom. I know that when the day comes, I will have a great deal of difficulty handling it. As a long term survivor, I too understand how it can feel. Thankfully, it's been awhile since the passing of a lot of friends in a short period of time. The worst was in Oct. of '95. seven in one week,including my ex whom I'd infected. But we get through it the best we can. We can grieve the way we are comfortable with, pick ourselves back up and go on with our lives. People have asked how we cope with these things, and my response is awlays the same: We don't have a choice but to cope. To let it get the best of us is to start the downward spiral from whinch we may never recover. There is lot's of love coming to you from New Mexico especially with the upcoming holiday season that can make our losses seem so much more acute. Be well Mi Amigo.

Capt.Carl
The only thing I can do straight is shoot..

Offline bear60

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2007, 06:06:02 PM »
Thanks Carl, your words make me feel better.

It suddenly hit....that feeling of "Oh Yes this is what its going to be like". Kurt and I set up the tree last weekend and he got out the ornaments to decorate the tree on Tuesday evening. The first ornaments Kurt took out to put on the tree were the ones Jim gave us a couple of years ago...Jim our friend who died about this time last year.  Suddenly my eyes were filled with tears.  And the NEXT ornaments Kurt took out to put on the treee were the ones from my friend Bill who died about 5 years ago. I knew that Christmas was going to be bitter sweet. And I also realized that I wanted to remember these friends and putting the ornaments they had given us on the tree was a good way to do that.  Bill spent his last Christmas day with us and after dinner he asked that we turn off all the lights so he could just see the tree as if to burn it into his memory. We try and recreate the same tree every year so it is pretty much as it was that day for Bill. So I can very easily feel him next to me looking at the tree and thinking how beautiful it is with all the colored lights and sparkly ornaments.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline hudstar

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2007, 03:45:22 AM »
I havent been through this many deaths since the early 90's.
Christine
Ron
now my Mom
all in the space of a few weeks.
It was like this in the ealy 90's, with deaths happening so often you hardly had time to dry your tears before the next one.  I remember feeling like an old man because so many friends had died.  Not unlike what happens when one is of advanced age and every time the phone rings its..."Now who died?"
But, now I am an old man. And it seems I have outlived almost all my friends. I am sad today.

Dear Bear, Im sorry to hear about your mom
I returned to Melbourne from Sydney 5 years ago - in that time I lost all 4 grandparents.Last week, I returned from travelling the past two months to find my 60 yr old uncle died suddenly from a stroke and the funeral was the day after my arrival - he was my favorite Uncle . Im sad this occured and also sad that this happened so close to Xmas- my cousins are devastated. My father lost a younger brother. During the service, I too felt like I was reliving the 80's and 90's. I too have lived on where some of my mates, work buddies and potential b/f's didn't. I am still here to remember them where most have forgotten. I lived on because of antiviral pills yet these pills will never control my inner pain! Im glad you still feel for your friends, you must have been a great friend to them :) As for age, we all get older. Accept the process of life that we all go through. The reality is we did not die from this virus and possibly, we will die from old age like our parents and grandparents. Fill your life with adventure as long as you are able to - age does not stop you achieving. You will never forgot your friends and living on does not insult their memory. It is ok to be sad and it is natural to grow older.
Lincoln
diagnosed 1988
POZ personals - hudster

Offline Jeffreyj

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2007, 05:15:16 AM »
Bear, so very sorry for the loss of your Mom and the others.

I can relate to your feeling I think. Survivor pain, hell yeah. Not sure if that pain includes "survivor's guilt" but it doesn't much matter I suppose.

The good thing is you are aware of it. I think of my wife every day . She died in 1999, so I think the guilt of that causes me pain.

The good news is that you feel pain, so you know you are alive. But that feeling often finds itself in my gut, and in my heart.

I know my wife would insist that I move on with my life. Some days, her wish is the only thing that's saves me from going completely insane.

Keep feeling Bear, keep living. And like my grandfathers told me as a kid:

"It's a great life if you don't weaken."

Ain't that the bloody truth.


All the best...stay strong
Positive since 1985

Offline BT65

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #23 on: December 25, 2007, 08:18:56 AM »
Merry Christmas Bear-Bear:

I hope you're having a peaceful Xmas.  Last night at my church they had a wonderful Christmas Eve service.  I was in tears a few times thinking about my mum.  And all the people I used to celebrate with during this time of the year.  I suppose we can always have wonderful memories of the time we spent with each and every one of them to console us.  I believe they see us and are watching to see what kind of lives we live. 

You're a very gentle soul, yet a tough survivor.  I think we have what it takes to live as meaningful lives as we can.  Have a great holiday and know you're in my thoughts!
Peace-
Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline bear60

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #24 on: December 25, 2007, 02:42:05 PM »
Betty, I hope you have had a pleasant holiday. Mine has been, like yours, a time to remeber my family and friends that have passed on. From the ornaments on the tree to the cookies we baked, our holiday has been filled with memories from the past.  My Mom always tried to maintain traditions of baking cookies and making homemade candies, fruit bars, and popcorn balls.  I can never do as much as she did but I try to do something.  This year the gingerbread cookies and gingerbread men were my effort. Maybe next year we will make popcorn balls ...which I remember as being a lot of fun. What I cannot ever really duplicate, however, are her suet puddings.  Those old fashioned English Christmas puddings, served hot with a rum icing drizzled over it.  I think that tradition may have to die with her.  She did, at least, make a cookbook and have it "published" so that all the family would have her receipes after she died.
My friend Bill used to like to go to Christ Church for Christmas music on Christmas Day.  I may do that too.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline BT65

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2007, 07:28:50 AM »
Hey Bear-Bear:

I hope you had a good Christmas.  My sister who lives in Arizona has my mum's old recipes and at some point is supposed to put them into a "book" like you were talking about with your mum's recipes.  My mum always made molasses cookies on Christmas, which was an all-day event.  She used to make tons of them.  She would roll the dough, which had been in the refrigerator for a couple hours to firm up, and cut it with all these different cookie cutters.  Then after the cookies were baked, she would spread them all out on the dining room table to cool, then frost them and decorate them.  I made some molasses cookies this year, but not near as good as hers were.  All those things are mums did were quite the labors of love.  It's hard, isn't it.  It's like I'm feeling it more than I was when she actually died. 

Anyway, we keep what traditions we can going, the other ones we burn into our memory.  I do hope you had a very peaceful Christmas!
Peace-
Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline NCcoast53

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2007, 12:45:36 PM »
Hi Bear:

I'm so sorry for the losses that you've suffered.  You may not think so, but things will get better.  The old saying "that time heals wounds" really is true.  You see, in January 96, I lost my mother and my partner within two weeks of each other.  Six months later, I lost my sister.  I thought that I would never heal from the losses, but with therapy and time, the pain became less and less.  When I think of them now, it doesn't make me sad.  A smile usually comes over my face, because I'm thinking of the good times that I spent with them.  So hang in there;  this too shall pass.

Peace,
Dallas

Offline bear60

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2008, 12:52:30 PM »
2008. 
There is something about being a Long Time Non Progressor that is wonderful and horrible at the same time.  While I do not get sick, I just keep getting more news of the passing of fellow HIV positive people.  This time from a friend who moved out to Los Angeles about 10 years ago.  His partner Ed died this past year, 2007, and he is bringing some of Ed's ashes back to New York City where they lived for a time in the 1990's. He is going to sprinkle Ed's ashes into the Hudson river. I think this is what Ed wanted.  It's wonderful that my friend has been able to carry out his partners last wishes.  He will be coming to Philadelphia on Monday and we are planning a dinner party for him. 
I first met this guy in 1983 or so through my friend Jim Morris ( who died a few years ago in the same way Heath Ledger died: accidental overdose of prescription drugs).  My former partner Paul ( who died in 1995) and I helped him move to Brooklyn Heights in 1985 or thereabout to take a job with a big advertizing agency in New York City.  As with all corporate jobs....his went the way of downsizing etc.  So he and his new partner moved to LosAngeles to be where his Mom lived.  His Mom and my Mom both died this past year. So not only is he mourning his partners death, he is mourning his Mom's passing.
Its going to be interesting to see how I/we handle this bittersweet reunion.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline BT65

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2008, 05:17:33 PM »
Joel, I think it will be good for you to get together with him.   There are very few of the original people I knew in the early 90's.  In fact, I think there are only three.  All the other ones have died.  And I've only been able to stay in touch with one of them.  I agree about what a good idea it is that can carry out his lover's last wishes.  I'm trying to think of where I want my ashes sprinkled at. Hmmm.......  Now I have to go ponder that. ;) 

Oh, by the way, it was great to talk to you the other day.  I hope to talk again soon.  I want to call you sometimes, but I hate to think I'm bothering people.  Anyway, good luck with the reunion and take care of yourself.  It will be a time of "group" healing.
Peace~
Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline bear60

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2008, 02:05:33 PM »
Here it is Tuesday and I am recovering from the whirlwind that came through my house last night. 
I had planned a dinner party for a friend whom I hadnt seen in almost 10 years. He came over with Lois our dear lady friend.
Gosh, this guy is almost my age ( 63)  and has so much energy! Even with losing his job and being on disability, he has studied massage therapy and seems to be into the "healing arts" as he put it.
He immediately diagnosed my back problems by seeing me walk. He was here at our house no more than 10 minutes, met the kitty and then announced that he needed to give Kurt and me massages. He even had his bag of massage oils and such with him!! So he wisked Kurt off to the bedroom where he performed some magic on Kurt and then announced it was my turn.  I was not about to turn down a massage and was interested in seeing if he could do more than my therapist in relieving my lower back issues. He did very well.  It was a good massage.  I do feel some relief from the sciatic pain I normally feel.
Then the four of us had dinner and he talked a lot about Jim (our mutual friend who died a few years ago from a drug overdose).  Since he was not able to come to the Memorial Service we had for Jim, he had many questions. I gave him a set of photographs that Jim ( who was an artist) had taken in New Orleans. He carefully examined the art work of Jims that I had hung in my house. He shed a few tears while talking about his Mom's passing and scattering the ashes of his lover into the Hudson River. We shared a very special dinner that Kurt had prepared.
But his energy just blew me away.  He has not changed much since 1983 when I first met him . Oh he looks older but not as "old" as I would have thought.  He has Hep C and has had some health problems.
He left us with invitations to come to LosAngeles for a visit.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline BT65

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2008, 03:15:18 PM »
Well, Joel, it sounds like you all had a wonderful time, a healing time.  I'm so glad. 
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline bear60

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #31 on: January 29, 2008, 03:28:05 PM »
Thanks Betty.
You sure hit the nail on the head with that.  "Healing" was what the evening was all about.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline ARMANDO

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #32 on: January 30, 2008, 08:32:04 AM »
i was reading your previous posts and i know exactly what you are talking about .I am the last one left of a group of about 25 guys all of whom were hiv +.I too lost my mother a while back.HER death and my hiv positivity led to an attempted suicide.I vividly remember shoving the sleeping pills down my throat,throwing up and then forcing the rest down my throat.i was in  so much pain at the time .A  boyfriend at the time rushed me to the hospital,they had to have a security guard  help open my mouth because i  was not cooperating.THINKING back i know that this was just a cry for help but it still haunts me to this day!!SOMETIMES i think its great that i have survived this long and other times i think that its a curse from GOD.MAYBE  i've listened to much to all those bible toters saying that this disease is  from GOD and that we are all going to die beacuse we deserve it.MY family all know of my status except for my father.WE dont discuss my situation at all and i think thats the worst part,it's almost like they are afraid of the disease or afraid of the reality that i will die soon.ANYWAY ,i just wanted to share these feelings,maybe someone out there is going thru the same stuff.

Offline achim-martin

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #33 on: January 30, 2008, 09:10:06 AM »
Being 47 years old now, I too have experienced some close deaths. At first it was devistating, now its - well, a burden I have learned to cope with.

First big help was my mum! When she died with 54 years of age (non-smoker!) of cancer, i noticed that by starting to cry in the middle of the city. Physically I noticed her death! Half an hour later I got contacted by my lover that she had just passed away. Then I had contact with her...thats a longer story, but I have proof she was with me. Stayed in touch with her for a year before she left. We both agreed, that we would meet in some decades again anyway and that it wouldn't be THAT tragic to wait and see.

Quite a few members of my family have died since then. I know they are still there or have moved ahead to some place we just don't know... But I am certain, we will meet again. Its all about energy and a cicle we're in. Death is not for real!

I'm a down to earth man, not an esotheric or so, but I believe we'll all BE. And we don't get lost...and there isn't a GOD in person or so to watch for us, but we all are the energy that creates GOD. We're all bound together, not alone. We transfer from one place and state of mind to another - thats all. And its GOOD, too.

Grieving always takes a year or even more, just let it be - its natural to feel afraid, angry etc. There is nothing to be ashamed of, and its important to know: we're all going through this period. The fact to know, the lost beloved person is still there, and better off now - gives some comfort.   :)

Offline bear60

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #34 on: February 10, 2008, 12:58:40 PM »
Its February and time to pack to go to Florida. I opened up a closet that has been used primarily for storage to find a few things I wanted to take with me, Oh God.......more mold. We had a problem with damp up until this past year and the walls in this closet had become mouldy and had affected some things stored in the closet.  Sooooooo.....here we go. One thing leads to another to another.  I cleared out all the stuff stored in there which included: all the tax preparation materials from 1983 to 1996. This includes receipts for car repairs as well as groceries, I mean EVERYTHING! All my paid bills and cancelled checks! Soooooooo.....I set up a shredder and went to work.  Bills and checks and cards got shredded.  The difficult part was shredding all of the hospital bills for Paul, my partner who died in 1995. Also his drivers licence and his other ID got shredded. I kept the letter from the hospital offering condolences., as well as his will and his death certificate.  The last two boxes have to wait till we get back from Florida.
And the goal here is what? To pack to go to Florida.  Now I am in there with a bucket of water, bleach and a spackle knife.  I got the mold cleaned up and scraped the loose paint off, let it dry and then put primer on everything.  By this time I am having a full blown anxiety attack because it looks like this isnt going to be done by the time we leave for Florida. Or will it....today I am putting a coat of paint on the closet and tomorrow everything goes back in that I'm keeping.
But what about packing? Yesterday Kurt and I went out to get me a suitcase that the damn airlines will accept.  I guess American Tourister from 1968 will not do it.  Dilemma: spend 40 60 80 or 100 dollars on a set of bad luggage.  All the high priced stuff was like 5 pieces and included something big enough for a body.  I settled on a modest size suitcase with a couple other pieces included for 40 dollars.  I am fully expecting it to come apart and strew my clothes all over the damn East Coast.
I hate flying so much.  I just hate driving more, or we would be driving. When we went to North Carolina for my Moms Memorial in December, we rented a full size car to drive. I am not comfortable sitting in a compact for that distance.  The older I get the more aches and pains I have.  I take Ibuprophen almost every night just to maintain an acceptable level of pain.  If it werent for massage and acupunture, I would just die.
I have not been able to post anything in the Memorial Forum yet because I am so upset by the thought of writing an obituary, I cannot bring myself to compose the post.
But I am packed to go to Florida.
edited for spelling
« Last Edit: February 10, 2008, 04:23:10 PM by bear60 »
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline sharkdiver

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2008, 11:42:41 PM »
Have a wonderful time

you certainly deserve it my friend!

Sharkie

Offline leatherman

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2008, 12:31:11 AM »
I hate flying so much.  I just hate driving more, or we would be driving. When we went to North Carolina for my Moms Memorial in December, we rented a full size car to drive. I am not comfortable sitting in a compact for that distance.  The older I get the more aches and pains I have.  I take Ibuprophen almost every night just to maintain an acceptable level of pain.
I do hope you have a nice trip!

Usually my family can spring for a plane ticket for me at Christmas time; but things didn't work out well this past holiday. Luckily, a local friend has family in SC, so I'm going to ride along for the weekend to visit my family in NC. I haven't actually driven back home since 1994, right after my partner passed away, all alone in a Geo Metro. It was a terrible experience. It been nearly 14 yrs since then, and I'm older and ache-ier, I sure hope this ride is more bearable. LOL

The difficult part was shredding all of the hospital bills for Paul, my partner who died in 1995. Also his drivers licence and his other ID got shredded. I kept the letter from the hospital offering condolences., as well as his will and his death certificate. 
...
I have not been able to post anything in the Memorial Forum yet because I am so upset by the thought of writing an obituary, I cannot bring myself to compose the post.

I still have a couple of boxes of Randy's paperwork and various mementos that I just haven't been able to ever get rid of. Even after throwing away so much to move in a year ago with my current partner, I still kept that stuff. Now it's just packed away in a different closet. sigh.

Although I have written about Randy on my personal website, I too haven't been able to write up anything for the memorial forum. I want people to read it and know the Randy I knew; but so many of my memories are still tied up in my grief and loss - even after 14 yrs. After nearly a dozen attempts to start writing, it'll still be a while before I'll be able to compose something appropriate in his honor.

mikie
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline bear60

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2008, 11:36:52 AM »
Mikie
Its amazing how we deal with paperwork. As if it had a bit of the soul of the person who had passed away embedded in it. If its important for you to keep some of Randys paperwork, whats the harm?  Keep it. Its comforting to have it.

When Paul died I stored all of his business records and finally got around to throwing all that away about 3 years ago.  I had forgotten about this folder that sat up on a shelf in my closet. So when I pulled it out I had to remember why I had saved that.  Oh right, I might need his hospital records and paperwork in case of an insurance glitch. Well, 13 years later I guess there wont be a glitch. So it had to go.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #38 on: February 11, 2008, 09:01:32 PM »
Joel,

Big hugs to you my friend, and you are not alone in feeling the pain....I don't know if that helps, but it's the truth.   I am feeling a lot of pain over losing my friend Kevin so recently, and it hits me at the oddest times and hits with such gripping intensity...it is almost scary.

I hope you are able to have a great vacation, you certainly deserve one.

Hugs,

Alan
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline aztecan

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #39 on: February 11, 2008, 11:25:24 PM »
Hey Joel,

I used to have to force myself to throw out anything. I am getting better about it these days.

I hope you enjoy Florida. You certainly deserve it.

So, you hate to fly and don't like to drive. How about taking the train? I always like to travel by train when I can and they are much less picky about luggage.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline bear60

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Re: Survivors Pain
« Reply #40 on: February 22, 2008, 12:22:05 PM »
Mark
Right. Well, I love the train but its actually more expensive than taking the plane. And I am ok once I get thorough the security and on the plane.
We have returned from Florida.  It was good to get out of the house and out of Philadelphia.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

 


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