Thursday, May 18, 2006
Remembering the sons.
My friend's son died two days ago. The dad is in his 70's, and he and I used to bicycle a lot together. The son was in his 40's. An agressive brain cancer finally overcame him.
I wish I could be with my friend today, but he lives many states distant from my home in Washington State.
In the memorial letter that the dad sent out he talked of his son as a fan of organic food and a champion of progressive causes. He hoped that others would carry the son's energy forward.
Reading the letter of this proud dad made me remember a very different funeral I attended in Nome, Alaska, at the Catholic Church. The funeral was for the middle aged son of a Nome family. This son was gay and had lived and died in San Francisco, far from home. After the service a friend of mine was sobbing (one of the only openly gay men in Nome at that time) I thought his tears were grief. Instead they were anger and frustration and all the emotion of being denied his own life. "They said he died of cancer. How could they say that? He died of AIDS. They never mentioned his partner's name once...I'm sorry," he apologized for his sobs, "but how can they do this to the memory of his life?"
Prayers today for my friend, and the family of my friend, and all who loved the son who has passed. During these crazy days of producing and publishing Straight Into Gay America, I sometimes feel more like a student of marketing than a student of justice. As I remember my friend and the death of his son, I remember again the gift of life and the ongoing tensions of how to be honest with our lives and with the memories that we create each day. I would like to be one who carries the energy of the son forward.
Blessings for the gift and the challenge, Lars