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Author Topic: Losing a friend  (Read 7190 times)

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Offline AlanBama

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  • Posts: 3,670
  • Alabama: the 'other' 3rd World Country!
Losing a friend
« on: June 30, 2006, 06:43:13 PM »
I was shocked to learn that my good friend and co-worker from my days as an Auditor, Mary, died this morning.   She had cancer of the stomach, and did not live one year from her diagnosis.

I'm now 15 years out from my 'death sentence', which was originally handed down in 1991 (hear that Dr. D?   I told you I didn't have to die just because you said so!).  It feels so strange, I don't know how to describe the emotions I go through at losing someone that I was not 'supposed' to lose, when I should have been the one to go first.   I really had made my peace and was fully prepared to die, but I always kept fighting and praying and hoping for a miracle.  I got my miracle, but so many others did not.   I guess what I'm trying to say is that when I learn of a death like this, it stirs up that old 'survivors guilt' in me.

I'm taking comfort in the great memories I have of Mary, and our years of working together.   She was my favorite co-worker, and she and I worked together better than anyone I ever worked with in my life.  We went on lots of trips together.....eating out at some hick town Georgia restaurant, me white and her black, and getting all kinds of evil looks.....She was a deeply religious person, but never ever tried to impose her beliefs on anyone else.   She knew I had AIDS, and she still loved me anyway.

"Mary, you're free now....you'll never have to do another audit again.   Rest in peace, dear friend"

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 Joe K

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  • 31 Years Poz
Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2006, 06:50:35 PM »
Dear Alan,

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss.  No matter what our fate, the loss of those around us remains a very final reminder of our limited time on this globe.  I also understand the guilt aspect, but I doubt that is what Mary would want you to feel, upon her passing.

You have described her as a person that was generous in her spirit and caring and people like that never resent the good fortune of their friends.  It's a fitting tribute and I do understand your being torn.

Life would be so much easier if we didn't have to become so emotionall vested.

And we would be bored to tears.

Mary, may angels sing you to your rest.

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2006, 06:57:20 PM »
remembering the good times, that's beautiful. ... y'know death is truly the great equalizer, as someone once said, or wrote.[?] in 200 years everyone who'se alive now won't be. and maybe the other side is so grand (beyond words) that we'll wonder and laugh about the fuss we made about "staying here" in the first place.. stay strong. you're alive - be happy - be loving. life is a mystery. rest easy. {hug}

Offline cubbybear

  • Member
  • Posts: 510
  • Joined August 2005.
Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2006, 07:01:50 PM »
You really describe her as a wonder and lovely person Alan, I'm sorry to hear that she had passed.
There's a bear in there!
Positive since 2000
Diagnosed 17/9/2005 CD4 35 VL 293,000
Meds 23/9/2005 Sustiva/Truvada
Currently CD4 232 VL Undetectable

Offline Basquo

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Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2006, 07:07:30 PM »
I'm so sorry you have lost your friend.  Perhaps you could write a letter to her family, telling them how much she meant to you?  I'm sure it would me so much to them.  Peace be with you.


Offline Teresa

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Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2006, 07:12:57 PM »

Im so sorry for the loss of your friend. She sounded like a truly wonderful person.

Hubby HIV+ 5/5/06
  %: 26.7
 VL: <20
Atripla (started it 8/24/06)

Offline Life

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  • Posts: 2,389
  • Member 2005
Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2006, 07:53:33 PM »
Oh Alan, are we just sensitized to the living and dying equation of our lives?  Are we taking into account what emotional termoil we have all been through?  Are we now (if not then) closing any open & unread chapters we left during our rebellious periods?   I don't know.  Not this early in the game for me.   As we get older, we are going to see more and more people move on and out of our line of view.  Be sure you say what you need to up front  I make that a point but I always have and even more so today.   Being gay,  sometimes our best friends are our best family.  Me and William in the past year have lost some "best" family and are in the process of loosing more.   Does that mean we are "cheating death?" because of our status.  No.. No not at all.  We are all going to get to that point someday..  Celebrate knowing Mary as i celebrate knowing Janie.  Celebrate the fact she was placed in your life and you are forever changed by Mary...   That's the good stuff... That's what means something...  Your such a warm and caring person - -  I would expect no less from you sweetie...   God Bless and continue to "feel".   

« Last Edit: July 03, 2006, 10:31:32 AM by Eric »

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2006, 08:19:47 PM »
Alan, I'm deeply sorry for the loss of your friend. Please except my condolences.


Offline ademas

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Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2006, 08:29:34 PM »
oh, man, I'm so sorry, Alan.
Mary sounds like she was a very special person, indeed, and I'm so sorry for your loss.

Offline J.R.E.

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  • Posts: 7,540
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2006, 08:37:20 PM »
Hello Alan,

My deepest sympathies go out to you, on the passing of your friend.

 (((HUGS)))    Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 20mg of Atorvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Amlodipine Besolate 5mg-- Updated 9/24/2017

Diagnosed positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of 9/18/2017,  Viral load remains <40
CD 4 @358 /  CD4 % @ 13

 65 years young.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2006, 09:02:59 PM »
It's sad to read about your friend Mary passing away, Alan. My condolences. It sounds like you had one of those very special friendships that is a blessing when it comes along. I'm sure she felt the same about you and is looking down keeping watch on you. Though tears may come sometimes, you will also have some wonderful memories that will always stay with you.

Big cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline Biggums

  • Member
  • Posts: 199
Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2006, 09:30:47 PM »

Sorry to hear about Mary.  She sounds like a real quality lady.  Our condolences buddy.
44 year old gay man .......just broke up with the only man I've ever really loved.

You can love completely without complete understanding.

Offline TedEBearNC

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  • Posts: 263
  • ~Cuddly~
Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2006, 09:55:40 PM »
Alan, I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend.  Sounds like she was one in a million.


Member since March 2004

Offline Ric Wilke

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  • Posts: 573
  • I joined AIDSmed.com 10/2002.
Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2006, 10:34:54 PM »

May Mary rest in peace.  Please remember her when she was well.  She will live in your heart forever.

Hugs man, Ric

Offline AlanBama

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  • Alabama: the 'other' 3rd World Country!
Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2006, 11:06:45 PM »
Thanks to all of you, for the sympathy, love and support.   It means a lot to me, and your words have given me much comfort this evening.  I've shed quite a few tears today.

Mary leaves behind two small children, and that also makes me incredibly sad, since I lost my own Mother when I was 8 years old.    Creighton, I intend to take your advice and write a lengthy letter to her family, explaining just how much she meant to me and what an impact she made on my life.

With love,

« Last Edit: June 30, 2006, 11:44:18 PM by AlanBama »
"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 Nadine

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  • Member since: August 2005
Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2006, 05:49:23 AM »

I am very sorry to hear of the loss of your friend Mary. You are in my thoughts.


Offline Cliff

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Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2006, 07:59:25 AM »

I'm sorry for your loss.  Cherish the memories.  And I know her family, children especially, will appreciate the letter.


Offline Jody

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Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2006, 10:02:25 AM »
Alan...I'm saddened by the loss of your good friend Mary, she was special to you, a good person and non-judgemental...May you cherish your memories together, you are such a fine person, I'm sure she appreciated her time with you.

"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world".
 "Try to discover that you are the song that the morning brings."

Grateful Dead

Offline Sae

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  • Joined June 2005
Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2006, 11:42:02 AM »
Alan, I am so sorry....

The hug will have to wait until Montreal.


Offline purpledragonfly

  • Member
  • Posts: 149
Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2006, 12:00:36 PM »

I am sorry to hear about your good friend Mary. I know how hard it is to loose someone you are very close to. Know that she is not in pain anymore and is happy. I think it is a good idea to write a letter to her family and let them know how much she ment to you.
I will pray for you, and her children, you all are in my thoughts today.

Love Wendy

Offline JohnOso

  • Member
  • Posts: 817
Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2006, 12:10:16 PM »

Funny how we meet up with people in our lives that have such a profound effect on us, isn't it?  Thinking of you today and of all the "Mary's" that have been in my life.

(ok, as a gay man, that last line was kinda humorous...)

Thanks for sharing your memories of your friend with us.

Take care,

Offline bear60

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,105
Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2006, 04:51:10 PM »
I too am sorry for your loss.  I am in a position to relate to "loss" since so many of my friends have passed away.  It never gets easier...but I have learned that remembering them in "good times" is very very much better than remembering them when they were sick and dying.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2006, 04:04:25 PM by bear60 »
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline zephyr

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    • Zephyr L.T.N.P. Foundation, Inc.
Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2006, 06:01:32 PM »
Alan, sweetheart,

Please accept my deepest sympathy for the loss of your good friend, Mary.

As I know the depth of your kind heart, and the sweetness of your soul, this is a terrible loss for you, and is affecting you deeply.

My arms are around you, as are my wishes for healing as time goes by...

With love,

"It is character that communicates most eloquently."

Offline jkinatl2

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  • Doo. Dah. Dipp-ity.
Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2006, 07:44:57 PM »
Alan, I am sorry to hear of your friend's passing.

By posting this thread, you have introduced her to people who did not know her before. And in that gesture, you have kept her spirit alive. Thats a great friend.

"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 livingpositively

  • Member
  • Posts: 369
Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2006, 10:37:15 PM »

You are such an amazing guy.  Not only in this thread, but in so many others...your emotion just pours through the computer screen as if you're sitting right here telling your story.

I'm sorry you're hurting.  I hope the good memories make your healing easier.


4/6/07   CD4 450, % 23, No VL
2/19/07 CD4 487, % 26, VL 47,500
1/4/07   CD4 357, % 27, No VL
10/3/06 CD4 500, % 26, VL 18,000
7/6/06   CD4 530, % 29, VL 83,800
4/6/06   CD4 555, % 28, VL 13,000

Offline AlanBama

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,670
  • Alabama: the 'other' 3rd World Country!
Re: Losing a friend
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2006, 11:29:29 PM »
Thank you all, dear family, for the love and support.

This is something I would like to be read at my own memorial service someday; I'll post it now for my friend:

"Crossing the Bar", by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
         And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
         When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
         Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
         Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
         And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
         When I embark;

For through from out our bourne of Time and Place
         The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
         When I have crossed the bar.

"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


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