Today I went with one of my closest friend of 30 years to finalize funeral arrangements for his partner, his spouse. It never occurred to me when I posted the sad news on my facebook page, that it could be presumptuous that he died of Aids/HIV. I simply don’t think that way, I only wanted to let their friends know (as per Harry’s request) that Ralph had passed, and share the immense love and commitment they had for each other. What amazes me is that it is 2012, and there are still homophobics in the world. I stayed away from churches for years because of condemnation and what I feel/felt was an anticipatory persecution of gays. I in no way believe that God, who we are all a child of, created children to be “a sin”. I have recently started going to church, and am learning much, and enjoying it, but my position on this will never change. Being gay is not a sin, being born a homosexual doesn’t mean that God made “mistakes”…. Sorry if you disagree with me, trust that you will never get me to change my opinion on this topic. I request that you reframe from any negative comments if you disagree with me, please, out of respect for my many gay friends, and a wonderful man that we shall bid goodbye to on Friday.
I find it sad that so many felt the need to “hide in the closet” out of fear (and safety in some places) that others would find out. I don’t look at people that way, nor do I see color. I remember when I had said something about disliking Obama and his wife because I heard her say “For the first time, I am proud to be an American”…. That angered me. Someone I know asked if I was a racist, I said, “A racist? Um, no… why would you ask such a question?” He replied “Because you don’t like Obama”. With all innocence I said “Obama isn’t White?” I really do not see people as different races! Enough said.
It was a surprisingly good day for the weighted tasks that were in store for today. We laughed, we cried, we do what people who love each other do….support each other.
The funeral for my friend Ralph is Friday. I am ever so grateful that it wasn’t a day later, as I am leaving for a painting convention….(stalkers or thieves beware…someone is staying at my house while I am away!) I want to meet Ralph’s family, share stories, and let his friends and family know how much I loved him, what a good person I thought he was, and how he will never be forgotten. I want to celebrate his life.
My friend, Harry is doing fairly well. I still think he’s in shock a little as no one knew death was imminent. There were many moments of tears, and upon walking into the funeral home, I held Harry’s hand. It reminded me of doing so with my youngest sister when we were leaving the hospital where she had just been told she was going to die.
Grief is by far, the hardest trek I have embarked upon in my life. Cancer was nothing compared to grieving the loss of my “second mother”, sisters, and former fiancee. If you pray, I would like to request that you keep my friend Harry, and Ralph’s family and friends in your prayers. Their loss is enormous, their burdens heavy at this time.
We ended today with a late lunch at Applebee’s which at one point in my life, I was not able to go there as it brought back so many memories of the restaurants we always seemed to eat at when my youngest sister was ill. Today, as we toasted Ralph with our unsweetened tea, I looked around and saw new surroundings, they have changed their decor to more local pictures. It hit me, life goes on. My life has gone on since losing so many that I have loved and whom have passed. I remember early into my first loss very close to me, how can the sun still rise and set? How can birds still sit on a branch chirping when my heart has been ripped out of my chest? I have, however, since learned that what seemed cruel to me then, becomes the silver lining for all of us. Life does go on. I have grown into a newer stage of acceptance.
By the time I got home I was exhausted. Strangely enough I didn’t expect to be because everything sort of “fell into place” today, yet it was an emotionally draining day regardless of the laughs and good memories that we reminisced on.
I said to my mom today “I think people who read my blog or who are on my facebook think that I may be a drama queen”. She asked why. I said well, in the past month I have shared about burying my sister, a former lover named Ron with whom we were still friends, and now Ralph. My mom, never mincing words, which is something I’ve learned to respect in her and appreciate about myself, “What the hell do you care what people think?” Yup, good point mom!
Our time here is so short. Ralph’s and Harry’s relationship reminds me, of rescuing and adopting Lilly. I couldn’t imagine my life without her, it was as if she was always here, and likewise Ralph with Harry. Both of them wonderful, very benevolent, kind hearted and good men.
I’m headed to a much needed nap…I hope you all had a nice day.