Tonight we said goodbye to a photograph

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by FreeState, May 18, 2009.

  1. FreeState macrumors 68000

    FreeState

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    #1
    I dont normally start threads here but thought this was important enough to post. This is why to many many people Marriage Equality is important. (This is not me - Im just posting the story)

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    Tonight we said goodbye to a photograph
    by Brubs

    Sun May 17, 2009

    If you really don’t feel like maudlin or depressing diaries, steer clear from this one. I am getting drunk, and I am angry and heartbroken for my friend, so don’t expect much prose or coherence. It will be what it will be. I need this out of my system, so damn be to diary etiquette or protocol.

    Tonight, surrounded by his family, my best friend Kenneth took his last assisted breaths in a hospital known for its “compassion and care” in the area. His family held his hands and whispered their loving goodbyes while the life slipped from his body and he went to his rest. A sudden heart attack claimed him.

    But someone was conspicuously absent…

    In the parking lot, Bob, his partner of 26 years, said goodbye to a photograph. It was a photograph of he and Kenneth on vacation celebrating their honeymoon 6 years ago after having been “married” in a ceremony that meant nothing more than symbolism to a society that was, at turns, benevolent about the whims of a few gay folk, yet smirking about his love for another person of the same sex. “Have your fake ceremonies, for what they are worth, but don’t get obnoxious and ask for anything actually bordering on legal or realistic.” society told them. But Kenneth & Bob took it, because validating it to one another was really what counted. But tonight, it ended up needing to mean so much more.

    Bob carried that photograph in his wallet as a reminder of his relationship and what it meant to him. Tonight, he said goodbye to a smiling face in a picture because he had no legal right to be present to say goodbye to his loved one in person. So Bob sat in the parking lot in the passenger seat of my car and wondered the fate of the man he had given his love and life to. He held the only thing at that moment Kenneth’s family could not take away from him – that photograph.

    The hospital, at the behest of Kenneth’s family, had banned Bob from Kenneth’s room, or seeing him in the hospital at all. 26 years treated as though they were mere passing acquaintances or work colleagues. Simply because Kenneth’s family could never accept their son’s orientation (NOT “lifestyle” as some refer to it).

    Tonight, a nurse sympathetic to Bob’s situation and in violation of the hospital policies, came to the car window and delivered the news to Bob that Kenneth was gone. And Bob said his goodbyes and wishes of love and peace to a picture. A ****ing photograph. Held to his chest as though he were holding his loved one in tears. Because that was all he had.

    His partner is gone and his partner’s family took away the dignity that Bob had a right to as Kenneth’s lover, confidante, and lifemate to say goodbye. His husband. There, I said it. HUSBAND.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/5/18/732663/-Tonight-we-said-goodbye-to-a-photograph

    ----

    It was updated with this blurb:

    "UPDATE:<snip>

    Some people have mentioned legal papers as a form of protection from this sort of thing. Yes, I agree wholeheartedly, as did Bob and Kenneth because they had them drawn up. But what happened last night revealed a chink in the armour regarding that form of “protection”. Bob did not have access to those papers, because he was with me and not at home. Long story, but Kenneth spent each Sunday afternoon with his family, but Bob was not welcome there, so he would spend it with my partner and myself. Kenneth tried, right or wrong, to straddle two divergent worlds – the one of his family and the futile need for their acceptance, and the one he created for himself with his husband and his friends. Kenneth’s sister was the one who called Bob to let Bob know that Kenneth was in the hospital, and for that we are grateful. There was no time, nor presence of mind under the circumstances, to race across Phoenix (a sprawling place for those who know) to get a piece of paper to wave in front of some administrator so Bob could be afforded his legal rights. It would have been too late anyway. It isn’t the hospital’s fault either. They are not there to referee family issues, simply to offer care. I am not angry with them, and I am certain Bob isn’t either."


    ----


    Stories like this are heartbreaking. I have no words for his "family".
     
  2. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #2
    Well, they deserved it. They hate god. :mad: :rolleyes:

    I've seen this happen to friends of mine too, even with legal papers. It's horrible. It's sickening to me that people don't understand the many issues surrounding equal marriage rights. But then there's the part of me that thinks they understand all too well, and think it's OK. :(

    Hoipefully, Bob and Kenneth have some strong legal papers as far as property rights go, or Bob could lose everything. Even if they did, the family could still contest it and take everything.
     
  3. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #3
    I'd be interested in hearing from those who are against equal marriage rights for gays. Do you really want this type of thing happening in your America?
     
  4. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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  5. bobber205 macrumors 68020

    bobber205

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  6. nick9191 macrumors 68040

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    #6
    That is ****ed up on so many levels :(

    Sorry for your loss.
     
  7. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #7
    This kind of crap has been going on for a very long time. You wouldn't believe how nasty people can be.
     
  8. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #8
    This requires copying and pasting in every anti gay marriage thread.
     
  9. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #9
    Yep- I agree. The sad thing is that this is actually quite a common occurrence.
     
  10. beatzfreak macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Yes it has. I lived in SF in the late 80s / early 90s, and when my friends, business associates, neighbors etc. began getting ill and dropping like flies around me, I was often asked to notify family members. They thought it would be better coming from a straight female. Some family members were amazing and I still have thank you letters from them. Some, not so much. I sat with many boyfriends / partners outside SF General while the families of their loved one said goodbye to a son they barely knew. It was heart-wrenching.

    I now live in NYC and still have many friends in SF who are living with AIDS/HIV. When they get sick, I get a call from their partner to call a family member and update them on his meds, because the partner isn't allowed in the hospital room or allowed to talk to the doctors. It really sucks!!!:(

    This why I am such an advocate for same-sex marriage.
     
  11. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #11
    Trust me- it won't make any difference to the anti-equal marriage rights crowd. I'm sure they see it as just punishment for a "sinful" life. Of course, they won't say so publicly as we've seen so far.
     
  12. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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  13. Eanair macrumors 6502

    Eanair

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    #13
    Disgusting.

    This needs to be a prime example of why equality is needed ASAP!
     
  14. FreeState thread starter macrumors 68000

    FreeState

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    #14
    I agree - I know I posted the article but even I cant read it without getting teared up - I've known to many people that have had this and similar things happen in their lives.

    Can you even imagine how powerful this would have been as an anti-prop 8 ad. Hopefully people will continue to get informed regardless.
     
  15. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #15
    I hope so too. Sadly, from the lack of response from our more right-wing members here, I'm not as hopeful as I'd like to be.
     
  16. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #16
    That's heartwrenching. And quite telling that none of our rather vocal conservative friends will come in here and say that the right thing happened that day at the hospital.
     
  17. bobber205 macrumors 68020

    bobber205

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    #17
    This has been filed into my head to use as a counter argument whenever some idiot says "marriage" is "sacred".

    People who support this crap had better be abandoned by the GOP asap if they have any hope of becoming a viable party again.
     
  18. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

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    #18
    How in the world can someone call a marriage between a woman and man sacred when there is a failure rate or neary 30%, so much for vows
     
  19. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #19
  20. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #20
  21. Ntombi macrumors 68030

    Ntombi

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    #21
    I was just about to post the same story. And they had all the documents that anti-gay marriage people claim is all that's necessary.
     
  22. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #22
    Why would anyone say that the right thing happened, it clearly didn't. These two apparently had the necessary documents drawn up, but why didn't they both have easy access to them? And I hope that there is some sort of action taken especially if it can be shown that the family knew of the wishes of the deceased man.

    It still doesn't change the fact that if the couple had taken the necessary steps to ensure that the documents were easily accessible to both men, then this wouldn't have happened. I fail to see how this should make me agree that two men should be married.

    The same thing can happen to me and my friends if I end up on my death bed, there are some that I can see my family trying to prevent from visiting me. If I was really concerned with it, I'd have the papers drawn up and given to one of my friends for just that reason. I'd certainly keep them as far from my family as possible.

    SLC
     
  23. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #23
    Why should you *need* papers? If your wife was in that situation, would you want to be spending your time trying to find your papers, or would you want to be at her side?
     
  24. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #24
    I think the point he was making was if you are not married you don't get rights. It doesn't matter male/female male/male female/female. Most laws say if you are not immediate family you can't do anything.
     
  25. gibbz macrumors 68030

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    #25
    This truly is a heartbreaking story. It is perhaps even more sad that our "great self improving" country really hasn't moved one step past its behavior during slavery and the civil rights movement. The U.S. has simply found another group to disparage, beat, kill, and deny rights to. How sickening. I am 25 and I hope in my lifetime that I can look back and say "Kids, can you believe my generation acted this way? I am glad we have changed."
     

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