Michael Dillinger
  • Male
  • New York, NY
  • United States
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At 12:30am on June 3, 2015, Steve Feldman said…

Dear Michael,

I was saddened by your loss of your partner of 17 years and was struck by the fact that, out of about 150 members in this large bereavement group of Gay Widows and Widowers, you and I seem to be the only ones actually in  NYC. My Love and I were partners for 53 years and married for 3 of those years. We married on the fiftieth anniversary of our meeting, in 2011, when it became legal to do so in NYS. You noted that your birthdays were a significant part of your story with Stacy. My Frankie passed, from Acute Myeloid Leukemia, on his actual seventy–fifth birthday. He was diagnosed nine month earlier and, after a false start with an ineffective oncologist for five months, we were referred to a miraculous group at Weill-Cornell Medical Center that offered us the hope, with a 50% chance of success considering his age, if remission could be achieved through Chemo by stem cell transplantation. He was literally weeks from getting that life extending or life-saving procedure. Compatible donors were located and ready to donate their cells. But his Chemo proved to be too successful and, by destroying his immune system, to qualify him fro transplantation, it made him too vulnerable to simple bacteria and funguses. So he died, not of Leukemia, but from simple germs that you or I could easily have fought off. We had a wonderful life, with an apartment in Manhattan and a second home in Upstate New York. Since retirement in 1999 we happily spent our lives in both places, year-round. I feel his death cheated us out of another 10 to 15 years that we saved and planned for. I do not know how to cope with the loneliness I face without my best fiend, partner, lover, and spouse. I hope that both you and I can find some sort of guidance in this Legacy/Gays and Lesbians Who Have Lost Partners  on how to deal with our loses.



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