Trauma is a term we often hear talked about in communities of color and the LGBTQ community. There is an entire body of knowledge about how to support individuals who have had trauma. But what is trauma and how ordinary is it?Continue reading
I will have been with my partner five years this coming January. We have lived together for a year and a half. It has been a wonderful journey but our recent talk of marriage has me all stirred up. Continue reading
Whose life is this anyway? I went from living my new gay life with a sense of freedom, joy, and fun to caring for my wife who was dying of cancer, caring for my father who is dying of old age, caring for my son who found himself accused of hazing, and working with my siblings to clean up my fathers estate, which is a mess.
There has to be a better way to grow old.
My father, at 90 years old, is at the end of his life and can no longer do, what the health care industry calls, “the activities of daily living”. Dad can not walk unassisted; needs to be catheterized to pee; needs someone to wipe him after going to the bathroom; needs help dressing and getting up or down from a chair; needs to be held while he walks so that he does not fall. The last activity of daily living which he still can do is to feed himself, but even that function is rapidly fading. He is sleeping fifteen to eighteen hours a day. The one good thing about this part of his life is that he is not in pain and seems happy.
My grandfather was, what they used to call, a natty dresser. Natty is an old fashioned term for someone who is smart and fashionably dressed. My grandfather was always beautifully groomed. There are movies and photographs of him and my grandmother visiting our home for birthdays, holidays, and other events. He was usually dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and bow tie. He was a tall, thin man, who was mostly bald when I knew him, with gold wire rimmed glasses and a cane to help him walk.
What alters our sense of self? How do major life events make us feel less ourselves, and at times, have us lose sight of who we are?
Since before my wife’s death this past April, I began to live in the house that I had moved out of four years earlier, when I began my life as an out gay man. I had never planned to live in our house again. But that all changed as my wife’s health declined from terminal cancer.