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Author Topic: 15th Anniversary  (Read 1232 times)

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Offline Lou-ah-vull

  • Member
  • Posts: 945
15th Anniversary
« on: December 29, 2008, 07:07:00 PM »
Today (December 29) is the fifteenth anniversary of my partner Michael's death of complications from AIDS.  It is always a bittersweet memory for me because I still miss him terribly but I also know much he suffered near the end of his life.  Back then, medications were not sufficient to halt the progress of his virus.  He was allergic to AZT a few months after diagnosis and was on a variety of then experimental meds, none of which really worked.  He struggled with MAC and CMV as well as a few bouts of pneumonia.  Ironically, simple bacterial pneumonia was the "last straw."  It is so different now with the medications we have, but I always resonate with those of you on here who do not get good results from their meds or are burdened with side effects or the problems of resistance. 

I certainly benefit from the wisdom of so many who have gone before me...including of course my beloved Michael.  I promised him that I would always remember him and I have.  At AMG last summer, I reflected to our group that our grief provides the means whereby we are able to remember and to hold present those we have loved and have experienced separation from death.  Thus, the word bittersweet... the memory is still sweet, the pain is still bitter.

This site and community has been both life-saving and life-enhancing to me since my diagnosis.  Michael would have loved a group like this, especially our once-a-year gathering. 

So on this bittersweet day, I offer my thanks to you and on Michael's behalf, his thanks to you for taking care of me.

Gary
Diagnosed Oct. 2005
10/05:  367 (26.2%), 24556 VL
01/06:  344 (24.6%), 86299 VL
04/06:  374 (22.0%), 87657 VL
05/06:  Began HAART 05/15/06, Combivir/Kaletra
07/06:  361 (27.8%), 1299 VL
10/06:  454 (32.4%), 55 VL
01/07:  499 (38.4%), UD
02/07:  Switched to Atripla 2/8/07
04/07:  566 (37.7%), UD
08/07:  761 (42.3%), UD
06/08:  659 (47.1%), UD
01/09:  613 (43.8%), UD
07/09:  616 (47.4%), UD
01/10:  530 (44.2%), UD
07/10:  636 (48.9%), UD
01/11:  627 (48.2%), UD
07/11:  840 (52.5%), UD
01/12:  920 (51.1%), UD
07/12:  857 (50.4%), 40
10/12:  UD
01/13:  710 (47.3%), UD
07/13:  886 (49.2%), UD
01/14:  985 (46.9%), UD
06/14:  823 (47.2%), UD

Offline Ric Wilke

  • Member
  • Posts: 573
  • I joined AIDSmed.com 10/2002.
Re: 15th Anniversary
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2008, 08:48:49 PM »
Sweet Gary,

Your dear Michael knows how much we love you and how much we would have enjoyed meeting the two of you as a couple.

We know that you will never forget the times that you two spent together and the connection the you still share with each other.  Love creates a special bond, one that lasts forever.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year.  With all our love, Ric & Thom
« Last Edit: December 29, 2008, 08:56:17 PM by Ric Wilke »

Offline leatherman

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,145
  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: 15th Anniversary
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2008, 11:19:49 PM »
At AMG last summer, I reflected to our group that our grief provides the means whereby we are able to remember and to hold present those we have loved and have experienced separation from death.  Thus, the word bittersweet... the memory is still sweet, the pain is still bitter.
How very sadly true.

Never did my Randy seem so close to me, in these years after his death, than this year on the 14th anniversary of his passing when I scattered Jim's ashes atop Randy's grave. Jim's passing brought back some bitter remembrances of Randy's passing; yet thinking so much about Randy also brought back many more sweet memories. I felt peace in my heart leaving Jim there in Randy's care that day. While part of my heart was breaking leaving my second long-term partner behind, another part of my heart was reveling in memories of my first partner.

I do take umbrage at the people that say that time heals all wounds. The wound from losing a partner never really heals; all time does is take the sting away. A decade after losing Randy, and long before Jim became ill and the similarities between their situations were noticeable, I was always surprised when a thought, someone's words, or finding a lost trinket would suddenly bring all that grief back to the surface as if it was only yesterday when I still had Randy with me. No, that kind of wound never healed; it just hadn't been hurting as much lately.

Sometimes I worry that my feeling are motivated by some sort of "survivors guilt"; but these were real people, who really suffered, and who left a hole in our lives and hearts by their passing. Acknowledging those "holes" in our lives, making sure these people are remembered, and still missing these loved ones, now that isn't anything to feel guilty about.

I'm sorry you had to lose Michael, and I understand your grief; but today, you have kept him "alive" by sharing your memories with us.

Have a Happy New Year,
mikie
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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

Offline Robert

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,644
Re: 15th Anniversary
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2008, 02:49:06 AM »

michael.

bittersweet memories creep into all of our lives.  thank you for reminding us of that.

robt
..........

Offline Dachshund

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,954
Re: 15th Anniversary
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2008, 06:05:12 AM »
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your partner Michael.

Dachshund

Offline Moffie65

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,755
  • Living POZ since 1983
Re: 15th Anniversary
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2008, 08:39:22 AM »
Gary,
Thanks for this bittersweet walk down memory lane.  You have clearly given us a peek into your devotion to your dear Michael, and you have every right in the world to celebrate/remember his life and the blessings he brought into your life.  Oh how wonderful it might have been that we might have met him in Montreal, yet the gods have decided that you are now responsible for carrying his memories to us.  Thanks for being generous, and thanks for letting us in on what must be at times, very sad memories.  We all know he was dearly loved.

Sincerely.
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,394
  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: 15th Anniversary
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2008, 09:25:33 AM »
Gary,

Bringing to mind those we have lost and the times we had with them is like catching a glimpse of spirits walking the halls of our memories.

These are not fearful specters.

Like memories of youth, they bring a warmth all their own, but always colored by an enveloping melancholy.

Thank you for reminding us and allowing us to share in your memories.

I'm very glad you were with us last summer.

HUGS,

Mark

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

Offline pozniceguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,176
  • Niceguy Dallas
Re: 15th Anniversary
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2008, 10:46:56 AM »
Gary, your remembrance at the AMG still resonates with me.... your devotion to your lost partner is about real love.....my working motto is  "honor the past but don't live there"  that doesn't mean to just forget the past  it means to  remember the good times and those precious moments that will always be with you..you seem to have done that very well..


Nick
remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
Le stelle la notte sono grandie luminose, nel cuore profondo del Texas

Offline Miss Philicia

  • Member
  • Posts: 24,013
  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: 15th Anniversary
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2008, 11:22:32 AM »
Gary, lovely post.  Congrats on your anniversary and it was always my pleasure to have met you.

David
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Lou-ah-vull

  • Member
  • Posts: 945
Re: 15th Anniversary
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2008, 12:06:16 AM »
Such wonderful heart-warming responses...I can't say "thanks" enough.  For some of us, this significant life relationship is "in the shadows" to most other people, so they do not fully grasp the enormity of our loss.  It was such a cathartic experience for me to attend Rick and Thom's wedding in Montreal a few years ago...I never thought I would ever see a legal gay wedding.  Not only that....they invited me to their breakfast table on the day of their wedding when they had a million other concerns than a partnerless man at an AMG gathering.  All of you I have met are special people...and we have an unfortunate, but still special bond....I believe something truly good can come from that.

Again, thanks for the kind words of support...they have helped immensely.

Blessed and joyful new year to all...please consider joining us in Boston in August.  You won't regret it!

Gary
Diagnosed Oct. 2005
10/05:  367 (26.2%), 24556 VL
01/06:  344 (24.6%), 86299 VL
04/06:  374 (22.0%), 87657 VL
05/06:  Began HAART 05/15/06, Combivir/Kaletra
07/06:  361 (27.8%), 1299 VL
10/06:  454 (32.4%), 55 VL
01/07:  499 (38.4%), UD
02/07:  Switched to Atripla 2/8/07
04/07:  566 (37.7%), UD
08/07:  761 (42.3%), UD
06/08:  659 (47.1%), UD
01/09:  613 (43.8%), UD
07/09:  616 (47.4%), UD
01/10:  530 (44.2%), UD
07/10:  636 (48.9%), UD
01/11:  627 (48.2%), UD
07/11:  840 (52.5%), UD
01/12:  920 (51.1%), UD
07/12:  857 (50.4%), 40
10/12:  UD
01/13:  710 (47.3%), UD
07/13:  886 (49.2%), UD
01/14:  985 (46.9%), UD
06/14:  823 (47.2%), UD

 


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