I watched him die.

(9AM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

I watched HER die.  I watched my lover, my boyfriend, and now, only lately, what I have come to understand that those words are a sham, my husband, die. in 1997.

I was denied access to his belongings by the hospital.  I was denied the final choice on the disposition of his remains, by the crematorium.

My mother was a homophobe.  In February, I watched him die.  I got called by the hospital, because I had to have rest.  I had no emotion, hearing the words, he had died.  I sobbed, great, wracking sobs, with no emotion of any kind, in them.  In February, February 23rd, he died.

My mother was a homophobe.  But a kind one.  On December 9th, 1997, she died.

She could not understand why I could not just try a woman.

She loved animals, and finches, and hamsters.  Killed them, too, with great wracking sobs, when they were in pain.

She died of cervical cancer.  She died in agony.  She died, with her last words to me, about how if I gave a shit about her, I would not get AIDS .. as if I was a prostitute, rather than trying to rebuild my life out of pain.  Her last words, about my brother, were about how neither of them gave a shit to visit her.

I watched her die.  I held my hand to her temple as she took her last breath.

This is how I feel now.

I am in pain.

I am lonely.  But I am strong, also.

I have recovered.  It has taken me 11 years.  But I am strong, again.

I am the Phoenix.  And the Phoenix is angry.

The Phoenix burns.  The Phoenix does not feel pity, or remorse, or fear.

It burns.

Do not speak to me of humor, or acceptance.  I have passed through those.  I have passed through the sun, and come out unburnt.

I have passed through my stage of humanistic acceptance of life and its vagaries.  I have passed through pain.

I had a husband, not a lover, not a boyfriend.

You took that away from me.  

I have no sense of humor about this, no.  I will never have.

You can mock me, but I will not be mocked.  I have a pain that will take my death to resolve.

I am death.  But I am also the Phoenix.

And the Phoenix will not be mocked.


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  1. But you will not take my resurrection from death away from me.

    I am the Phoenix.  Embodied fire, breath of fire.  And if you do not like it, too bad.

    • RiaD on August 15, 2010 at 1:33 pm



    • jamess on August 15, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    you’re on the road to recovery, AndyS.

    life has far too many painful chapters …

    yet life still waits, to be written.

    peace and good memories to you.

    • Xanthe on August 16, 2010 at 2:06 am

    thank you for sharing this with us. So painful to read.  So sorry Andy.

    You are the phoenix, we all are.

  2. I salute you. I grieve for you. I have no more words of my own, I am artless… but I am reminded of this… perhaps it is of some support for you as it has been for me… though my hardships seem small compared to yours or hers…

    Still I Rise

    You may write me down in history

    With your bitter, twisted lies,

    You may trod me in the very dirt

    But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

    Does my sassiness upset you?

    Why are you beset with gloom?

    ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

    Pumping in my living room.

    Just like moons and like suns,

    With the certainty of tides,

    Just like hopes springing high,

    Still I’ll rise.

    Did you want to see me broken?

    Bowed head and lowered eyes?

    Shoulders falling down like teardrops.

    Weakened by my soulful cries.

    Does my haughtiness offend you?

    Don’t you take it awful hard

    ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

    Diggin’ in my own back yard.

    You may shoot me with your words,

    You may cut me with your eyes,

    You may kill me with your hatefulness,

    But still, like air, I’ll rise.

    Does my sexiness upset you?

    Does it come as a surprise

    That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

    At the meeting of my thighs?

    Out of the huts of history’s shame

    I rise

    Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

    I rise

    I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

    Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

    Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

    I rise

    Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

    I rise

    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

    I rise

    I rise

    I rise.

    Maya Angelou

    Rise again – risen and fire-tested, phoenix-friend.

    • melvin on August 16, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    and disrespected. After a while it becomes rather tiresome.

    It is easy to become .  .  .  . hard, cold. This has to be resisted as much as possible. (.  .  .  said the saint. I can’t deny being a little jaundiced myself, listening to the squawks and yelps of people ready to stick me in a concentration camp with all their idiotic little problems)

    • Edger on August 17, 2010 at 3:07 am

    that I’ve not commented in here before now, Andy. Your essay is very moving and powerful, and hits very close to some things that have happened and are happening with my family this year.

    Take care, man…

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