I still can’t believe my brother is gone. We’ve been living with this for over a week now and it doesn’t seem real. I know that it is going to be weird for a good long time to come but I still want to fight back and say NO! Once it was determined that he was brain dead my parents started asking about organ donation. They really wanted my brother to live on in some way and impact someone else positively. Many tissue and blood tests were done on my brother to start the process and that is when we learned that he had HIV. This was a complete shock to all of us.(His wife ran to the hospital and got herself tested and thank goodness she is negative.) We don’t know when he found this out, if at all. It just opens up so many more questions about what he did and adds an additional layer of sadness to everything. His HIV status meant that he couldn’t donate organs and give the gift of life to another person and that makes me so very very sad. If he did know I know that he would have been devastated by the news but having HIV is not a death sentence. Many many HIV positive people live long, happy and healthy lives! My brother was one of the smartest people I know. He was an informed person. He listened to NPR, he read the newspaper. Part of me wants to believe that he knew his status because it gives some small kind of reason to what he did. I also wonder that if he did know, did he do this because he thought that he had given it to his wife too? I guess that it doesn’t matter in the end. It all still adds up to the fact that he killed himself, he took himself out of this life with us and there is nothing that can be done to change that.

I wondered if I should tell you all about his status internets. I wondered if it was too private a detail to disclose to the whole world. Then I realized that it doesn’t matter. It is not something to be ashamed of. If my brother knew and he felt ashamed then my not talking about it will just perpetuate that. I don’t care how he got it. There are plenty of people out there who would judge an HIV positive person negatively simply for being HIV positive. But you know what internets, those people are haters and I never care what they think anyway.


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