I had never seen anybody die before.....
A month before I left home I saw a man collapse in front of me, I rushed up to him, immediately called the paramedics, he looked so old although i know now he was in his early forties, he was grey, his skin, his hair and his eyes all grey. I took his mobile phone to call the last number dialled to which a nurse at a nearby hospital answered. I asked for his name, this was no stranger to me, although I could not recognize him in his current condition, the man in front of me was a florist that assisted me with every arrangement I ever sent to my wife, he helped in the design of our garden and he was the florist for our wedding.
The nurse would not tell me what was wrong with him other than to warn me to take blood precaution, this meant HIV. As I hung up and was about to dial the paramedics again, he turned his head and looked into my eyes, he acknowledged me, and then right in front of me with his eyes locked on mine he died.
What struck me further was how the rain started to pour down, here was this man on a pavement, alone other than me, and now he was dead in the rain.
At the time i think I underestimated how profound an event this was for me, it made me feel so incredibly mortal, I had now seen death and it was far from those Hollywood productions, it was raw, cold, lonely and finite.
In the same breath it motivated me to want to live life, and all i want is to try and do it as whole and happy as I can. In order to do that I engulfed myself into a journey of self discovery and understanding which has lead me along a path where I am now faced with a T-junction in front of me. In under 5 weeks, I need to let both my boyfriend and wife know where they stand.
My shrink advised that I look at what i will be gaining and what I would be loosing by selecting either life's path that I am faced to choose, so this is what i will try to now do.
Should I choose to leave my wife, there is obviously the materialist things that I leave behind such as the home that I have custom built, furniture and the like that would need to be resolved, and of course the monetary wealth that would need to be divided on an agreed basis. I have no desire to not provide for the mother of my children and in a divorce I would want to do financially right by her.
Then there is the loss of totally free access to my kids, yes i would still get to see them allot, but it is not quite the same. I don't have the ability to just jump into bed with them on a night that I wish to,and there is definitely allot of special moments that I would miss out on. Today the joy on my son's face was evident, just because the whole family was in the pool together. I would leave behind a women that has proven her dedication to me, who has been a rock through most of my adult life. We have a history together, and she is probably the person who knows me better than anyone else in this world.
I would be leaving a person that I love dearly, respect and cherish, we share a unique connection and love that is evident to the people around us.
We all know that materialist reasons are not a basis for a life, so although I know this should not factor in, in the real world it obviously does, but I do not think this would be something i would not be able to overcome.
As I found when leaving home previously, my children are extremely important to me and i would never let them out of my life, although I might not enjoy the same quantity of time, perhaps the time I do spend would be more focused on quality and if their parents are happy and whole souls, this will surely make there lives more fulfilled.
I would also try my hardest to maintain a relationship with my wife, if anything she is my best friend, I often wonder if i am not holding her back from a more complete life, from a man who would undoubtedly be able to love her not just for her inner beauty and magnificence, but as a women as well. As I write this I tear up at the thought of another man loving her, and even though I may lack the ability to physically show affection, I have a deep love for her that I doubt she will ever truly know. My greatest pain in life is the inability to express this love and the ability to show her in a tangible manner how special she is.
I would give this up for the pursuit of a man with whom I find it easy to physically express myself, for someone who has opened my eyes and my heart in a way that I would never have thought possible.
He has been able to help me see that what I have repressed for my entire life, a part of myself that I have always seen as wrong, bad, dirty and dark is actually where my true beauty lies, because over the last few months I have felt like the caterpillar that crawled into the cocoon and came out spreading my wings as a butterfly. He has allowed me to unlock years of pain, and to seek for the wholeness and a inner happiness that I did not know existed.
Along this road I have learnt that we are beautiful in our imperfection, and that just because of our impurities and flaws does not mean that we are not still able to be good, he has taught me this and he has done it with gentleness and kindness
I pay the ultimate price to explore this relatively unknown life with him, and in turn the pursuit of a life as a gay man. I have parents to deal with, friends to explain too and whilst this is not simply changing lovers or life partners it is a total reconstruction of who i am as a person.
I do all this while taking a leap into total vulnerability unaware of the strength of the net that I would hope would catch me on the other side. And whilst I know that this should be a decision purely based on myself and with little expectations on him, it is he who I would ultimately be picking.
I am not sure that I am a gay man, I have tried to ignore that question and rather have tried to make this about people, and which person it is that I find myself feeling the most whole with. It is about choosing to live one life and ensuring that it is a honest life, not just with the people around me, but with myself as well.
To quote Nickelback, "each day is a gift not a given right", I don't know where, when or how I will take my last breath on this planet, all i know is that I hope that when i do that I have positively impacted others, that I have left a lasting impressions on my children and loved ones and that I lived doing the best that I could.
The Bridge of Sighs