Saturday, December 1, 2012


New Orleans - A collaborative effort between local and state government and area community-based organizations is spearheading a variety of events to help raise awareness of HIV and AIDS in our community. New Orleans currently ranks 5th in the nation for AIDS case rates among major metropolitan areas in the United States.
In honor of a relative who died of AIDS contracted from a blood transfusion during heart by-pass surgery.  To this day, the immediate family would not wish his name to be mentioned.  His funeral was private; the extended family was never told the cause of death.  We knew because when one family member went to visit him in the hospital and asked if he had a diagnosis, he laughed and said the doctor thought he might have AIDS, which seemed impossible to him at the time.  As best as I can remember, this was sometime in the 1980s. 


Russ Manley said...

The family's attitude fills me with more disgust than I can politely express.

Grandmère Mimi said...

The immediate family wanted the cause of death kept secret, but the extended family knew anyway. I've never quite understood their shame.

Porlock Junior said...

Shame is an SOB, isn't it? I've never quite understood it in the first place. Tempted to wax philosophical about this, but yesterday I ran out of philosophy wax, so just this:

There have been people who were ashamed that their ancestors were slaves; and there still are. How does this work?

Hell, I'm ashamed that my country did that to the ancestors. Wish I could trade shames, and they would react as matter and antimatter. But my shame, obviously, is trivial in comparison: a shame that's not really pain, over a vastly greater crime. How does this work?

Which almost sounds superior and scornful, when it's really sad beyond expressing.

PS: Weird. Once more I try to log in properly, and rediscover that blogspot will not accept my WordPress id -- illegal characters, forsooth! But this time it properly accepts my Google id, which became useless to me months ago because of certain Google policy changes. Weird.

tonip1 said...

Had a similar experience with a very dear friend who was gay. Family was in total denial about how he died. To this day it makes me very sad. We must never forget and never stop telling the truth.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Porlock, I'd trade shames with the people whose ancestors were slaves, too. When I hear the hootin' and hollerin' about freedom and liberty, it drives me crazy. The country was founded with the invidious institution of slavery intact, with human owning human, and we suffer the consequences still today.

The inner workings of the various internet services are beyond my ken. All I know is that I had to stop the spam. The next step would have been to enable comment moderation, which I'm quite reluctant to do.

Grandmère Mimi said...

At least one family member was in complete denial, and I believe she may have influenced the others. She visited me one day and asked if I minded if she smoked in my house. I told her I did mind, but she proceeded to light up anyway, saying, "Oh you won't mind if I smoke just one." I said, "I do mind. Please step out on the patio."