I am one of the people that often write something at the AIDS Memorial Page on Facebok, when there is a photo and a story about someone that was lost to HIV/AIDS. It is just amazing that the photos and stories keep coming.
Yesterday there was a man, David Burress, who published a lovely post where he thanked all mothers and fathers that had shared their children´s stories on the AIDS Memorial Page. He wrote about them as being a blessing, and expressed his love for them, saying “you will always be a parent to us“.
I have read so many obituaries in the Bay Area Reporter from 1987 when I came to San Francisco for the first time, and until today. Often, very often, the deceased had extended families; there were friends, lovers, (cats and dogs), sometimes siblings, and only now and then a mother and/or father that was grieving.
This made me think about a woman I heard speaking in one of the sessions in the Volunteer Training Program I took at The AIDS Project of the East Bay, in 1987.
She was a counselor working with People with AIDS in a hospital. She told us a story about a young man who was very sick.
He was nearing death, and was calling for his mother. The staff at the hospital managed to find her and told her that her son was dying, and could she come? She told them that he could go to hell, and hung up on them.
This was something they obviously could not tell him, so the counselor told him that his mother was on her way. He didn´t have to worry, she was on her way.
In the end the counselor held him and stroked him as he was dying, saying ”Mommy is here, mommy is here”, and he died in her arms.
I have never forgotten this, and I have always wondered what happened to the mother, once she realized what she had done, and that it could never be undone.