It’s very difficult to explain the sort of grief I felt when my mother called to tell me. He was my cousin’s best friend, whom I hadn’t seen in years. But I can still vividly remember fighting with him about who exactly would be playing the Little Mermaid in our games in kindergarten.
He never really came out to the community at large, but then again, neither have I. Most people know about me, just as they knew about him, but if it’s never said, it’s easy to pretend that it’s not real. But I know that he struggled with his sexuality, with his parents’ spirituality, and while I cannot and will not say that is why he struggled with drugs, I can say that I understand trying to escape to cope.
His boyfriend found him, and I’m told that they were happy, that he was trying to turn things around. Some years ago, it was a scandal when someone who went to school with my mother brought his partner to his father’s funeral. I hope there is no scandal here, that his boyfriend will be welcomed to grieve as any other family member, any friend would.
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