Some background about me: I’m an Afrikaner, 50 years old, that discovered my homosexuality at age 30. I took early retirement at age 47. I am living on a farm in Langkloof, and just bought a place in Claremont, Cape Town. I studied M.A. in Religion Studies.
I met Deon twelve years ago! Wonderful, but typical artist mentality: very emotional, up and down. We had true intimacy (this is more than sex) and love. It was a monogamous relationship (yes, it is possible in the gay community!).
After two years, I realized that the relationship was stable and exclusive enough for me to propose (I never believed in marriage). It would give him security in many ways: financial, emotional and medical (if need be, I or he would make the decision to ‘switch off the machines’, not our respective families).
The marriage deepened the relationship
Deon was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in April 2015. He suffered tremendously, and the pain was unbearable. It was my privilege to look after him (I truly regard it as my privilege).
Those last two months were incredible. Heart-breaking, but special. I was his angel looking after him.
During the last two weeks of his life, I had to administer morphine every three to four hours, day and night.
This was very unpleasant. I increased the dosage and strength as the pain got worse. He tried to commit suicide by over-dosing on morphine (I suspect he did it to end his pain and reduce my heartache). This did not work, as he vomited it all out.
Eventually I had to help and assist him during his last day, which was the most difficult thing I have EVER done.
It has taken me three years to finalize my bereavement process
One of the most important lessons I have learnt, and I have learnt many lessons through this experience (perhaps I will write some more blogs), was this:
A gay relationship is as deep, significant and meaningful as a straight relationship! It is NOT inferior or LESS, because it is not ‘straight’. I had this perception that straight relationships work better than gay ones. That straight relationships are more ‘successful’ than gay ones. We are socialized to expect to get married to the opposite sex and have kids in order to achieve true happiness and success. I also had this idea that a penis is made to go into a vagina.
The deep loss and longing for him, proved me wrong. I now realize that our love was as significant and real as any other. I can also live with the knowledge that I had what most people desire: a deep significant relationship.
It sustains me during this time of finding my new life, friends and husband number two.
Written by Etienne van Rensburg via ‘Be a Guest Blogger’
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