Now Comes the Night

This past week has been a rough one. Friends are having trouble with all sorts of bad things. I have my share of stuff too and stress over them is really bogging me down. Despite where I work and what I write, mortality isn’t something I think about every day. At least not in a conscious, personal way. Yet, a few things have happened that reminded me that I don’t live in the Darkworld where the immortals die mostly when they feel like retiring, giving up their bodies, and moving on to the Afterlife.

Two of the nicest people I know have had tragedies befall them. Both things happened rather suddenly. One friend had a spouse diagnosed with cancer. The other lost his partner. The devastation they feel is an emotion I’ve felt before and I have great empathy for them both. I’ve shed tears for them both. I hate that anyone has to go through this kind of pain. Yet, from it we tend to rise like phoenixes from the flames, the steel of our blades – our spirits – tempered and made stronger by the fire.  Cliche, I know, yet so very, very true.

In the case of my friend, author Jason Edding, I was reminded yet again of what may be a landmark case for gays. Greene vs Sonoma County is a story that put the GLBT writer and reader community in an uproar. Blogger Teddypig of the Naughty Bits decided to do something about it and All Romance eBooks took a leaf from the pages of his blog. I’ve tossed in my support by giving 25% of my net proceeds from my GLBT book Fire Season and Christmas Catch for copies purchased from ARe through the month of May.  My publisher has matched that. And then what happened to Jason brought the reality of this case into a startling focus.

When Jason’s partner died, he faced not only the loss of his loved one, but the loss of his home and belongings, his way of life. You see, they never made provision for Floyd’s passing. Now, in Clay Greene’s case they might have had that paperwork  in place, I forget, but either way, the county ignored his rights.  This could have happened to Jason too. I’m sure it was in the backs of the minds of all of us at MLR Press as we banded together to help Jason. No way was my friend going to be the next Clay Greene.

It does remind all of us that we should plan for the future in every conceivable way.  Gays especially need to protect themselves and their partners by pre-planning which is something that isn’t just about funerals but about all the things connected to a serious illness or death.  If something happens to YOU, where does that leave your significant other? Can they pay the mortgage? The rent? And even het couples, if they are unmarried, partners have no rights no matter how long they have lived together.

You might think this is a depressing topic for a Monday, but it’s not. It’s a timely topic considering all the stuff that’s gone on with people I know in the past weeks. Even Motley, who’s been driving back and forth from Corona to go to school…I reminded her that her boyfriend is not her next of kin and that she needs something in her wallet telling authorities who to call in an emergency.  The thought of something happening to her scares me. When she reassured me that she had something in her wallet I felt better. I can’t stop bad things from happening, but I feel better that we’ve made an attempt to put plans into place should that occur.

So I sent Jason an audio book of Notturno so that the silence in his home wouldn’t be so overwhelming.  I remember that silence well and I knew his need for a distraction from it. We’ve all been talking to him in Google Talk trying to keep his spirits up so he can deal with the new changes in his life as well as his grief. If you’re so inclined, feel free to stop by the post I put up on his site and leave him a message. The kindness of others, even strangers, has meant a lot to him. Showing him that he’s not alone helps immensely.

Before I get to Marcus I’m going to share the video I posted on Jason’s site. Just a little Rob Thomas this Monday morning. 🙂

Oh, it’s my favorite part of Monday now! I need a Marcus to sustain me! It’s going to be a looooong day I know. (I got up at 5 am. UGH.) *sigh* How pretty is that body, eh?

Before I go I’d like to invite you all over to my Lex Valentine blog on Wednesday when guest blogger, author Karenna Colcroft, talks about trust…and anal sex! *wink*

Have a great Monday!

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12 Responses to Now Comes the Night

  1. martymankins says:

    A sad story, but one that applies to all of us in some ways. Before my wife and I got married, we had signed and notarized legal docs drafted in case something happened to either of us. It was an assured way to know that either of us would have the power of attorney to take care of the matters of the other.

    What great friends Jason has. This outpouring is nice to see at a time of grief.
    .-= martymankins´s last blog ..Catching Up =-.

  2. martymankins says:

    A sad story, but one that applies to all of us in some ways. Before my wife and I got married, we had signed and notarized legal docs drafted in case something happened to either of us. It was an assured way to know that either of us would have the power of attorney to take care of the matters of the other.

    What great friends Jason has. This outpouring is nice to see at a time of grief.
    .-= martymankins´s last blog ..Catching Up =-.

  3. marot says:

    I am sorry for ur friend’s lose. Preplanning is a must for everyone. Change always comes slowly. Especially when it good change. Keeping the faith is step 1. A great rainbow will come after a hard rain.

  4. marot says:

    I am sorry for ur friend’s lose. Preplanning is a must for everyone. Change always comes slowly. Especially when it good change. Keeping the faith is step 1. A great rainbow will come after a hard rain.

  5. SurprisedMom says:

    I’m so sorry for your friend. I hope he did make arrangements. I’m also sorry gay couples do not have the same rights as hetero couples do. The situation creates more grief on top of the grief of losing a partner. It’s not right. Planning for the future is scary because it makes you contemplate your mortality and makes you realize that one day you won’t be here. I know many people who have put off doing important things because of this fear. No one wants to think about dying, but we all do it.
    .-= SurprisedMom´s last blog ..Home Again =-.

  6. SurprisedMom says:

    I’m so sorry for your friend. I hope he did make arrangements. I’m also sorry gay couples do not have the same rights as hetero couples do. The situation creates more grief on top of the grief of losing a partner. It’s not right. Planning for the future is scary because it makes you contemplate your mortality and makes you realize that one day you won’t be here. I know many people who have put off doing important things because of this fear. No one wants to think about dying, but we all do it.
    .-= SurprisedMom´s last blog ..Home Again =-.

  7. One of the biggest reasons my new husband and I chose to get married rather than just continuing to live together was just what you mention here, Lex. We’re a hetero couple, but as just live-in partners, we didn’t have some of the rights that marriage gives us. He couldn’t even pick up my children from school without a note from me, even though we live in the same household. We’re in Massachusetts, which does seem to have more domestic partner rights available, but marriage still seemed like the best option to ensure that we’d legally be recognized as each other’s “person in case of emergency” etc.

    I feel great sadness for Jason, and for Clay, and for anyone who’s lost their entire lives through losing a loved one, or has had to watch a loved one suffer medical procedures they wouldn’t have wanted because their partner wasn’t recognized as having a legal voice in the person’s medical care. (When I had a hysterectomy last October, I had to argue with the hospital to be allowed to put my then-fiance down as the one to make medical decisions on my behalf if I couldn’t.)

    Pre-planning is necessary in all cases, as Kathryn says. It’s vital to have that paperwork in hand. And to me, it’s completely ludicrous that two people who have devoted their entire lives to each other are not allowed to have a say in their partner’s lives, and are left out in the cold when they lose their partner. It isn’t a matter of “gay rights”, it’s a matter of everyone having the right to survive the loss of their committed partner, regardless of gender.

  8. One of the biggest reasons my new husband and I chose to get married rather than just continuing to live together was just what you mention here, Lex. We’re a hetero couple, but as just live-in partners, we didn’t have some of the rights that marriage gives us. He couldn’t even pick up my children from school without a note from me, even though we live in the same household. We’re in Massachusetts, which does seem to have more domestic partner rights available, but marriage still seemed like the best option to ensure that we’d legally be recognized as each other’s “person in case of emergency” etc.

    I feel great sadness for Jason, and for Clay, and for anyone who’s lost their entire lives through losing a loved one, or has had to watch a loved one suffer medical procedures they wouldn’t have wanted because their partner wasn’t recognized as having a legal voice in the person’s medical care. (When I had a hysterectomy last October, I had to argue with the hospital to be allowed to put my then-fiance down as the one to make medical decisions on my behalf if I couldn’t.)

    Pre-planning is necessary in all cases, as Kathryn says. It’s vital to have that paperwork in hand. And to me, it’s completely ludicrous that two people who have devoted their entire lives to each other are not allowed to have a say in their partner’s lives, and are left out in the cold when they lose their partner. It isn’t a matter of “gay rights”, it’s a matter of everyone having the right to survive the loss of their committed partner, regardless of gender.

  9. Kathryn Scannell says:

    It’s not just gays that need to pre-plan, although we have more issues with it. A couple of years ago my mother had a massive stroke, and I was horrified to find that no nursing home was willing to accept her when the hospital wanted to discharge her because I had no medical power of attorney, and she was unable to speak for herself. Even though she’d been divorced since 1970, and I was her only child, that wasn’t enough. I had to promise the nursing home that I would go to court and have her declared incompetent so I could be named as her guardian before they would accept my right to make decisions for her.

    So it behooves all of us to think of our loved ones and make those kinds of plans, not just gay couples.

  10. Kathryn Scannell says:

    It’s not just gays that need to pre-plan, although we have more issues with it. A couple of years ago my mother had a massive stroke, and I was horrified to find that no nursing home was willing to accept her when the hospital wanted to discharge her because I had no medical power of attorney, and she was unable to speak for herself. Even though she’d been divorced since 1970, and I was her only child, that wasn’t enough. I had to promise the nursing home that I would go to court and have her declared incompetent so I could be named as her guardian before they would accept my right to make decisions for her.

    So it behooves all of us to think of our loved ones and make those kinds of plans, not just gay couples.

  11. Beth C. says:

    I just wish things were better for the gay community. They are getting equal rights, but much too slowly. Several states and countries do now allow marriage and even my state(WA)has the “Everything But Marriage” law where they get rights just as if married(and it does apply to het couples as well). Just wish the world didn’t have so many a$$es that try to ignore the issue, or worse, actively do harm.

  12. Beth C. says:

    I just wish things were better for the gay community. They are getting equal rights, but much too slowly. Several states and countries do now allow marriage and even my state(WA)has the “Everything But Marriage” law where they get rights just as if married(and it does apply to het couples as well). Just wish the world didn’t have so many a$$es that try to ignore the issue, or worse, actively do harm.