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Main Forums => In Memoriam => Topic started by: RobbyR on November 23, 2015, 07:30:19 pm

Title: For Lawrence
Post by: RobbyR on November 23, 2015, 07:30:19 pm
I need to add a tribute to a friend who sadly died of AIDS in 2007. I was going through a very self destructive period & hanging out at the bars almost every night, getting drunk, hanging with mostly toxic people, & in total denial about my health & my HIV status. I knew in the back of my mind that I was probably hiv-positive, but I just couldn't face it, & my heart couldn't take the pain any more, so I drank & did drugs. I also suffered from severe anxiety and I drank a lot because of it. But during this time, I met some nice people, some bright lights who helped me in their own way get clear about my health and to start taking it seriously and face up to things. One of these people was Lawrence. I actually don't know or remember his last name, but I remember his good heart and friendly nature.

During my time at the bars, I'd go outside after the city passed the smoking ban and smoke in the outdoor lounge area. He was often out there and always chatted me up, we had some lovely chats about anything and everything. I was in a very awkward phase and didn't have much self confidence let alone about talking to guys. He was a very attractive guy, shaved head, beard, beautiful eyes. He had a lovely soft spoken, but hilarious side. I think he and I were kindred spirits. We just hit it off as friends really well. I think he sort of saw me as a younger brother looking back. He always made sure I wasn't alone at the bar or anything.

Anyway, about a year later, I started noticing that he wasn't at the bar at all. He just stopped coming. I then heard that he was seriously ill. I was pretty devastated about hearing that, but I didn't ask any questions, I just hoped to see him again, and well.

Sadly, it was not to be. I did see him again, but several months later. I almost burst out crying when I saw him. I still tear up thinking about it. He was skin and bones, and looked just terrible. I just wanted to hug him. But he seemed very out of it, he actually came to the bar a few times even in that very ill state, one of his friends had brought him. Looking back, it was obviously his last goodbyes that he was making, he knew he was dying. It didn't occur to me that it was aids. I thought maybe cancer or something.

But a few weeks later, I heard that he had died. From aids. I cried and cried. I had never known anyone who had died from aids before. It hit home. From what I heard, he had just gotten it and just not known he had it for a long time, and then he had gotten full blown aids and it was too late  :( and he died of some type of opportunistic pneumonial infection or blood infection I think.

Anyway, it really hurt, still does. But I wanted to let him know wherever he is that he did not die in vain and because of his kindness to me and his untimely death, it affected me so much that I got serious about my health, I faced up to getting tested for hiv and thank god I did and it wasn't too late for me and I got treatment and have done well. But in many ways it was the shock of a friend's death that made me face up to things and get treatment. So for that I wanted to say thank you Lawrence, for being a sweet spirit & wherever you are, RIP and party on!  :-* Xoxo
Title: Re: For Lawrence
Post by: RobbyR on November 23, 2015, 09:06:17 pm
I've been wanting to post this tribute for Lawrence for some time, feels good to get it out. He touched me in so many ways & is still helping me even to this day. He and me were both in a dark place when we hung out, back in those carefree crazy times, but he always had a smile & sassy remark for me but was so sweet & caring when not many people cared. The bar actually had a lovely memorial tribute service to him after his passing, and there was a benefit drag show in his honor. He was a special guy. He really showed a lot of class & dignity, he went on his own terms & amazed me by his strength. I still think about him a lot but his illness and death from aids was the reality check I needed to go get tested & finally face my fears (I had denied my status to myself and I was scared that if I got tested it would be too late for me too). Lawrence's death inspired me to seek the care I needed for hiv and also to quit drugs once and for all. I hope he knows this wherever he is.
Title: Re: For Lawrence
Post by: Theyer on November 24, 2015, 05:31:55 pm
Moving story  , hope your self confidence is improving along with your health , sounds like that's what Lawrence wanted.