Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mother Needs Comfort, Not Scorn, Over Loss Of Her Adult Son

Dear Tazi:

I am so overwhelmed with grief and anger I do not know where to begin. Please feel free to edit my letter so it makes enough sense to publish, because what wish to say needs to be heard.

I am the mother of a gay son. At least, I was until he passed away from complications of AIDS last summer, at the age of 42. Up until that point I was also an active member of my church, but due to some of the comments I heard people making when they thought I could not hear I left and have not gone back. The words were varied, but the theme was the same: People who die of AIDS get what they deserve for living immoral lifestyles, and are unworthy of the rewards of Heaven or the forgiveness of the Lord.

"Larry" contracted his virus during a careless and promiscuous period in his life, and accepted the fact that his personal behaviors led to his failing health. By the time he passed, he had come terms with his shortened life-span, and welcomed death as a release from the pills and the pain. He was a firm believer in God and I know that I will see him again in Heaven someday. For him, death was not a punishment. However, for those of us left behind, it is a wound that will never heal. I would like to make that point clear to those who would judge others. Those who they judge do not have to hear the hateful words being spewed. It is the survivors who suffer.

Thank you for letting me have my say, Tazi.

Missing My Boy

Dear Missing My Boy:

Your letter is both poignant and sincerely heartfelt, and I have printed it exactly as you wrote it. You have my deepest sympathies on your loss. In this day and age, there are few who have not witnessed or known someone who has had their lives touched by the specter of HIV/AIDS and the destruction it wreaks on individuals, families, and communities. You have my deepest sympathies on the loss of your son - and on the loss of your church community. I pray that it was only an ignorant few who felt the need to judge your son so, and not the voice of an entire faith community.

You are correct in saying "those who they judge do not have to hear the hateful words being spewed. It is the survivors who suffer" and it is my hope that all people will heed this thought the next time they seek to judge one who has passed. As for being "unworthy of the...forgiveness of the Lord", I would say that is not their decision to make.


I would like to dedicate today's column to the memory of a special friend of my Mommie. 831, JH. --TK

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