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Author Topic: How to deal with losing a partner to HIV?  (Read 2096 times)

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Offline mexican2

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
How to deal with losing a partner to HIV?
« on: October 25, 2012, 10:46:55 PM »
I'm 26 years old and poz siince August 2011. In my introductory thread I explained how I was ok with my diagnosis, but that my partner was having a hard time with HAART and side effects, so he stopped medication altogether.

He passed away last month.

I've been devastated since this event and I'm having an incredibly difficult time doing even the simplest things like getting out of bed in the morning. In fact, I quit my job recently because my mind can no longer focus on anything other than how much I miss and need him.
I was his primary caretaker during his last months of life, and this didn't bother me one bit, but I feel like I could've somehow done something more for him, and then he would still be here with me. Everything reminds me of him, whether I'm inside or out, or with friends, or with family, or watching tv. The thought of him never leaves my mind. I constantly keep thinking how he must have suffered in the end and I start crying, and how it's so unfair that he had to leave this world at such an early age (he was 21). I understand that death is a natural part of life and it can occur at any age whether HIV is a factor or not, but I simply NEVER imagined I would be grieving the love of my life at fucking 26 years old.

I've been told that grief can take many forms, and that I'm probably just going through a normal process, but I've lost all hope in the future, all I see is darkness, I have nothing to lose, and nothing to gain; and frankly, this concerns me because I don't wanna get to the point where I stop taking my meds or god forbid, start contemplating suicide.

He was my everything and now I have nothing.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 10:48:31 PM by mexican2 »

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 11,702
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: How to deal with losing a partner to HIV?
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2012, 11:13:53 PM »
I am so sorry you had to lose your love.
I am sorry you have to go through this sadness.

You are young. when you have healed, you will find another love. 

I am sorry, but I also think your bf's choice was pathological and sick. It was suicide.  He was a young man, and there was no reason he couldn't find a combo that presented less side effects than his first. How he died within a few months of stopping treatment is, also, for the moment, a mystery to us here.  But it is was it is.

I think you have been put through the ringer.  You were expected to assist in a suicide, of someone you love, and I can only imagine you are in utter shock!

I had a bf commit suicide when he was dying of AIDS.  In the 80s. When there was no hope.  I am rather angry at your bf's choice, in 2012, and I am very very sorry you had to participate in such madness.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 11:15:57 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline emeraldize

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,348
Re: How to deal with losing a partner to HIV?
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2012, 11:30:24 PM »
I'm 26 years old and poz siince August 2011. In my introductory thread I explained how I was ok with my diagnosis, but that my partner was having a hard time with HAART and side effects, so he stopped medication altogether.

He passed away last month.

I've been devastated since this event and I'm having an incredibly difficult time doing even the simplest things like getting out of bed in the morning. In fact, I quit my job recently because my mind can no longer focus on anything other than how much I miss and need him.
I was his primary caretaker during his last months of life, and this didn't bother me one bit, but I feel like I could've somehow done something more for him, and then he would still be here with me. Everything reminds me of him, whether I'm inside or out, or with friends, or with family, or watching tv. The thought of him never leaves my mind. I constantly keep thinking how he must have suffered in the end and I start crying, and how it's so unfair that he had to leave this world at such an early age (he was 21). I understand that death is a natural part of life and it can occur at any age whether HIV is a factor or not, but I simply NEVER imagined I would be grieving the love of my life at fucking 26 years old.

I've been told that grief can take many forms, and that I'm probably just going through a normal process, but I've lost all hope in the future, all I see is darkness, I have nothing to lose, and nothing to gain; and frankly, this concerns me because I don't wanna get to the point where I stop taking my meds or god forbid, start contemplating suicide.

He was my everything and now I have nothing.

Hi Mexi,

I'm so very sorry to learn of your loss. You're right, grieving has forms, or what's called stages. Do you have access to a grief support group near you? A counselor, one on one, if available for you would help as well.

If you send me a PM with your city, I'll see if I can hunt one up for you.  If you learn from or like to read, there are lots of helpful books about grieving. You played a key role in your partner's life and end of life. It's a role I call death escort -- to be loving and caretaking and grieving while the person is talking with you. I had the experience and can only urge you to turn the focus on yourself now.

So, as soon as you can, get some relief and support. If you need to, get your ID to prescribe a sleeping agent if you're not getting enough rest. If your clinic has a social worker, maybe he/she could get you started with some counseling.

Again, I am sorry for your loss of your beloved.
Em

Offline wolfter

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,539
Re: How to deal with losing a partner to HIV?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2012, 11:50:01 PM »

I've been told that grief can take many forms, and that I'm probably just going through a normal process, but I've lost all hope in the future, all I see is darkness, I have nothing to lose, and nothing to gain; and frankly, this concerns me because I don't wanna get to the point where I stop taking my meds or god forbid, start contemplating suicide.

He was my everything and now I have nothing.

My heart ached as I read your post.  I've never seen anything written here that so closely describes a period I went through after loosing my life partner. 

I went from a period of total shock and being on auto pilot for quite a while.  Like a giant numbness took overtook my entire body.  The comments from others sometimes just made matters worse, and I heard many of them.  The death of a partner in a gay relationship is perceived differently by society, and in most cases, our own families and friends.

I truly wish I'd have had a resource like this site as I experienced firsthand the bleak outlook you are currently sharing and I made horrible choices.  If I never say another thing that you agree with, believe when I tell you that is not the way to handle it.  Continue reaching out and share and express what you're going through.

I grieved way too deeply and too long without understanding what I was dealing with.  Nobody previously close to me could know as I isolated myself from them.  Just a work/home, repeat cycle.  I too had lost all hope for the future and felt total darkness.  I got to the point where I did quit taking my medication and I pray that you don't take that idiotic approach. 

I still go through days where the simplest thing reminds me of Bill and cry for a while.  I heard a memorial service and I heard some profound words.  It basically centered on taking those memories and instead of grieving over our loss and what might have been, holding those memories close and dear and being grateful for what was.  If you turn those memories into positive cherished moments, no one can ever take them away and they can become a great source of comfort.

Please continue reaching out, (I hated this platitude), but it really can and does get better. 

Take care and best wishes

Wolfie

Modified to sign my name :)
« Last Edit: October 25, 2012, 11:51:48 PM by wolfter »
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline britchick

  • Member
  • Posts: 435
Re: How to deal with losing a partner to HIV?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2012, 12:26:15 AM »
mexican2

Im so sorry to hear about your loss.Please think about some counselling when you feel ready as it will definetly help.

You are so very young to have experienced this heartache,but please be proud of yourself for the love that  you shared   and the care and support that you gave him.

Thinking of you.

Britchickx

Offline jkinatl2

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  • Posts: 6,007
  • Doo. Dah. Dipp-ity.
Re: How to deal with losing a partner to HIV?
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2012, 01:30:48 AM »
I am so sorry to hear of your loss.

Every time I see someone in this forum who has a partner, a parent, a friend, who has stopped talking meds I wonder when I will read something like this.

There really aren't words, are they? And nothing of any relevance seems to stick in times like this. As a LTS, I can honestly say that I empathize with you. I have literally been in your shoes; positive, scared, with a partner who I saw dwindle and die though I would have moved heaven and earth to save him. The horror you have been through cannot be overstated, and the damage it does to a person's soul is incalculable.

I know. Please trust me. I know.

Thing is, you are still here. You are stronger than you know.  Every day you wake up is proof of that. Every night you pull a sheet over your body is proof of that. Each breath you take, some days, is proof.

They talk about how young you are to experience this, and I agree, 25 is too young. Fuck, 30 is too young, so is 40 and forever. Your pain transforms you. Influences, alters everything from your sense of humor to your sense of smell.

I hope your counselor, and I hope you find one, tells you that it's ok to sit with your pain, to walk, crawl, writhe through that awful place rather than pretend it doesn't exist, or sanitize it so that people don't look at you funny. Your loss, your grief is a real place. Please do not ever think that anyone here will think differently if you vent your most horrible thoughts.

Also, people that might do that, haven't been where you are. Sadly, and in the most awful way, you are in a prestigious club. Populated, apologies in advance, by many people who are way older than you. But none of us have to dig too deep to find that hollow place that we barely mention exists, that we arrogantly think that we've boarded like "The Cask Of Amontillado".

This will take time, who knows how long, to go through. But please believe two things, even as the theories of linear time and gravity sometimes seem alien to you:

A) Please know that you are not alone. Not really, not ever.

B) Please know that you have to continue to care for yourself. Time, a construct or not, will hurt you if you try to exit sideways.

Please find a way, a map, a lighthouse, that will ground you for now. That will let you support yourself, take care of your physical body while your mind reels. You need to take care of your health, your life. Keep decent food on your plate, a roof over your head, the medical treatment you need to stay here with us.

Because like it or not, when you come out the other side (and I refuse to subscribe to any other alternative) you may well be a teacher, a sage. Sorry, that's the best life seems to offer as a reward for the hell you go through. You might find clarity once all the anguish and the beloved carbon of your life before this horrible mess burns away.

This all, all of it, will take time. Please be gentle with yourself, and patient.

But please remember to care for the body. The mind, the soul, it has it's own journey for a while. And if this all sounds too hokey, just disregard everything except my sincere condolences.

What happened matters. You matter.

If nothing else works, please believe those two things.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline OneTampa

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,203
  • "Butterflies are free."
Re: How to deal with losing a partner to HIV?
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2012, 06:18:48 PM »
I join the other Board Members in sorrow and condolences for the loss of your partner.

I know how you feel having lost my first long term partner of 15 years in 1988. To this day I am reminded of him at turns and I have sad and joyful memories.

Although it may be difficult for you to focus, you must take care of your physical and mental health as others have also advised.

Please know that we on Boards truly do understand and wish you the very best.
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline mexican2

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: How to deal with losing a partner to HIV?
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2012, 08:01:40 PM »
Thanks to everyone for the support and words of comfort. I feel blessed to have this place to let feelings out, it truly feels like the only place where people actually understand what I'm going through. I feel like my friends and family in real life and other online forums can't possibly understand what I feel like, and they usually end up making me feel worse so I just hide everything from everyone.

Thanks everyone, really, your words have made a difference.

Offline LongTimeSurvivor

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  • Posts: 194
  • I don'no...there may be Zombears...in theres...
Re: How to deal with losing a partner to HIV?
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2012, 08:57:21 PM »
Don't usually venture out of Long-Term Survivors but happened to glance in here. Over 20 years ago I lost the man I loved to AIDS. It happened very quickly. I had to deal with everything including taking care of his parents who arrived the day after he died not knowing he had died. I spent a year crying. Then I spent the rest of these past years reliving his death almost every day.

Do not wait till you're "ready" to see a counselor or talk therapist. Start now. I lost 20 years of my life as I slipped into deeper and deeper depression. I'm on 450mg of Bupropion and 20mg of Lexapro daily now. The psychiatrist who prescribed them for me said because of the length and depth of my depression, and being untreated the whole time, I will probably have to take my psych meds for the rest of my life. But that's a small price to pay to regain my sanity.

Believe me...you don't want to get to that point. I'd rather end everything then go back to that state of mind. So mourn your love but get help...now.
Of course it's important. It's an email...

 


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