Memorial Day for Me

Posted by Cousin Butchie on Monday, May 30, 2016

Hello, Cousin Butchie!

Today is Memorial Day, and it's also very close to the anniversary of when my brother died from the complications of A.I.D.S. back in 1996. The new drugs didn't arrive to take effect soon enough.

I am still devastated by his loss. Mark was the most caring, loving, generous and giving men I have ever known. He was the kind of son my parents will remember with pride until their dying days.

Today we went to the cemetery to put flowers on his grave. It is Memorial Day in honor of those veterans who lost their lives in the service of their country. Is it wrong to include my brother in this time of memory?  The entire family gets together and we have a picnic style meal (what Mark always enjoyed) and we recall stories about him. It seems to keep the love alive.

Mark's Lesbian Sister

Dear Sister,

I know from my own experience that there is never a right or a wrong time to grieve and remember a loved one who has passed on. The hurt MAY lessen over time, but there's no hard and fast rules for feeling grief and loss. Sharing that love for Mark on Memorial Day is certainly acceptable. You need not answer to anyone about this. As long as you keep Mark's memory alive, you keep Mark alive and close to your hearts.

Since Mark passed away from A.I.D.S. you might want to contact the NAMES PROJECT/A.I.D.S. MEMORIAL QUILT chapter in your area. It is very therapeutic for a family to create a panel which can be added to the thousands of names of other people who have physically died of A.I.D.S. and are always in our hearts. Making a panel for a loved one for the QUILT is a wonderful way to remember him.

P.S.  On this Memorial Day, let's recall all of the men and women who have died in the service of this country, and let's also remember all the veterans who died never being able to let the world know that they were LGBTI and truly and silently served their country as well.


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