Our recent look at the AIDS crisis, especially the essays and lecture of Gregg Bordowitz, triggered a really powerful piece that a close family friend of mine once shared with me. Throughout high school I participated in the New York City AIDS Walk, an event coordinated by the GMHC organization. When I was a Junior, I had the ability to coordinate my school’s team, and with my older age and more experience working with the organization, my dear family friend Jerry decided to share his closeness to the GMHC with me on a more intimate level.

Living in New York City as a homosexual man during the AIDS crisis, Jerry lost many of his close friends and contemporaries at tragic ages, including two especially dear friends: Tim Melester and Charlie Whiteside. Each year I participated in the AIDS walk, Jerry sponsored me, and would make donations to the GMHC in their honor. My Junior year, Jerry sent me a heartfelt email, which included a link to a memoir that his close friend Craig Lucas, a talented and celebrated playwright, wrote about his boyfriend Tim – whose life was mercifully taken from him at the young age of 40, due to the AIDS epidemic.

An excerpt of Jerry’s email to me is posted below, as well as a link to Craig’s “Postcard from Grief” a tribute to Tim Melester. Please see the link below to a “Postcard from Grief”. It’s an incredibly powerful and touching work of art.

Tim was a surgeon at St. Luke’s and the boyfriend of our friend Craig Lucas, the playwright. Tim was a wonderful guy and wonderful doctor. Craig wrote a piece about Tim several months after he died. Here it is. It isn’t pretty, but it’s powerful and it’s worthy of sharing with anyone you care about who’s walking with you. Since you’re in high school, I think you could read it aloud for fellow walkers, or if you think they’d laugh at words like “f—” or “sex” then maybe not. It’s not titled “A Postcard from Grief” for nothin’. For me, I’d ask you to print it, fold it up and put it in your pocket when you walk. I loved Tim. He was wry, shy, charming, quiet (ish) loved books and my cooking at Fire Island. I’m happy…and suddenly choked with sadness…that I have this opportunity to tell you about him, about my friend, who was mercilessly cut down by AIDS in his thirties. He died at 40.

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