Wednesday, October 04, 2006
We are still dying. Young gay Black men. I know there is a lot of focus on the Black Woman in the AIDs fight. However, Black Men we are still dying. I started to get into the discussion on whether enough is being done in the fight for Black Men or why are Black Men still participating in unprotected sex? I decided not to go down that road. We've all heard it before and I don't think that the multitude of solutions are really solutions at all. In my opinion many of the so-called solutions to end AIDs are simply money making efforts by politicians, drug companies a means for non-profit agencies to create a money-maker. I will not to get into that subject as I admit I am not a scholar of the field at all.
However, one thing that I am very close to is loosing those who have died from this disease. I've heard people say that I have lost 20, 40, 50 or more friends to this disease. I'm not sure why the number of deaths means so much to some people. I don't know how many of my friends and acquaintances have died. I just know that they are not here. I've never counted and never wanted to. I think by doing that it would lesson their meaning to me.
I am writing this because another friend of mine just passed away from AIDs complications. His name is Terrence Evans.
How do we grieve for friends that die? In this lifestyle it is difficult to grieve in what one might consider the right way. The right way? That in itself doesn't sound right to me. We should not be grieving at all for these young men. They should be here with us. Yet they are not so we must grieve.
Back to my question, how do we grieve for them? I know I don't have the answer. Many of the people we know, we don't know their families. Most times when you hear of someone's death it is from another friend. So you ask your friend all the questions that you would ask if it was a family member privy to all the information surrounding the death.
When...? Where...? What...? How..?
We can all fill in the beginning of those questions.
If it is a family member that is the bearer of the news, you'll more than likely get all of your questions answered. This usually means that there was a true connection with their son, brother, father and knew of his lifestyle. If it news comes from a friend, in most cases there will not be any information other than he passed away. The What, When Where and How questions don't garner as much satisfaction.
The satisfaction of these questions lets you know that you now can claim a clear resolution in your mind. Thoughts of when you first met your friend immediately come to mind when you hear the news. Then thoughts of the mutual experiences you've shared. The next thoughts usually are thoughts of resolution. Knowing that your friend is really gone, that you were able to say goodbye at their wake or funeral.
When one isn't able to resolve the end in their mind. You have feelings that you will see them again even though intellectually you know you won't. Although we accept our friends death as true, how do we grieve if you are not a participant in the process of their final rest?
It's a sad feeling and it never goes away. This can not be healthy when you have experienced this so many times. Do we all need therapy or have we become numb to death? There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Acknowledge your grieving. If you are unsure how to grieve, The Caring Connections may be of help to you.
Good bye Terrence Evans I love you.