aids memorial


18 oktober 2018 door Rik Bokelman

Dit hartverscheurende Instagramaccount houdt dierbaren met aids in leven

Het is een van de meest hartverscheurende Instagram accounts die we kennen. The Aids Memorial is een account waarop mensen foto's en herinneringen delen van geliefden die zijn overleden aan aids.

Het is ook een plek voor mensen die aids hebben om erover te vertellen. Het zijn allemaal eerlijke verhalen van verdriet, liefde en vriendschap. 

Hieronder vind je 5 prachtige foto's van 5 mensen en de mooiste quotes uit de verhalen die bij hun foto's staan.

1. Baker werd 32 

Dit bericht bekijken op Instagram

🔻 Part 2/2 . “The next phase came when they had to amputate his foot because the KS had spread. In the hospital I held his hand as the excruciating “phantom pains” took over his body.
. Baker died. My best friend and my brother was gone at 32. He was a remarkable man. . Selling art was his passion -- collecting art was his dream. He was kind to everyone. He was so handsome that everyone wanted to talk to him, and he would spend time with each person that did; most of them were strangers and he would make them feel heard and important. . After Baker died, Rolf died too, then Bill, then John, then Jose, then 12 other friends, then my boss, my dentist, and my doctor. All dead. Gone. . I was overwhelmed with sadness, then guilt that I was alive. Depression set in. I got myself to a therapist and onto an anti-depressant. I knew that as sad as I felt, the gift of life was mine. Seeing Baker fight so hard for his life was a reminder that I had to fight for mine.
. Then came a medical miracle. If Baker could only have held on for 6 months, he could have received anti-retroviral treatment and still be with us. At the time I didn’t believe they would find something. I just couldn’t believe it. I think about Baker everyday. I think about Rolf and all the rest. Sometimes I think I still have PTSD from all the losses.
. Sometimes I still equate sex with death though I remind myself that this is a different time. I still weep when I walk by the new condominiums that have gone up where St. Vincent’s stood. I look up and remember those cinder block cells of rooms and the hallways packed with the gurneys of young men with skeletal bodies and KS lesions. I walk by the nearby NYC AIDS Memorial hoping to feel something. I don’t, except a sadness that the names one sees on other war monuments aren’t displayed here, the names of the lost. . Before I go to sleep and when I wake up I see this photograph of Baker, and somehow this comforts me. . I love you, my dear brother. You fought hard and with such dignity. You were so kind and sweet to everyone. You were brave until the end. I am so sorry the world was not kinder to you.” — by Richard Phibbs @richardphibbs

Een bericht gedeeld door THE A I D S M E M O R I A L (@theaidsmemorial) op

"Voor ik ga slapen zie ik deze foto van Baker. En op de een of andere manier troost het me. Ik houd van je, mijn lieve broer. Je hebt zo hard gevochten en met zoveel waardigheid. Je was zo aardig en lief voor iedereen. Je was dapper tot het einde. Het spijt me zo dat de wereld niet wat aardiger voor je is geweest." - Richard Pibbs 

2. John Hanning heeft nog altijd aids en leeft nog steeds

Dit bericht bekijken op Instagram

🔻 . “1995 -- 4 months before this pic was taken, my doctor asked what my plan was. I told her I was going to get better and get back to living my life. She said that wasn't going to happen, that I might have six months to live. . A year passed, then another, it was a struggle living with and overcoming the trauma of it all. I even thought about giving up and contemplated suicide. There have been bouts of depression and overwhelming anxiety. Time spent wondering why did I survive when so many people I loved did not. . A therapist asked me in '96 to make a drawing that would speak pictorially about where I wanted to be in a year. I made a collage instead and it served as a tool for projecting on getting to where I am today. . In 2001, I was working and everything seemed ok, but there was this strange sensation I started feeling in my lower body. I thought it was something I did at the gym and started seeing a chiropractor. It was actually avascular necrosis -- leading to bilateral hip replacement at the age of 40. All of this because when I had pneumonia (PCP) I was given a regiment of Prednisone and it slowly ate my hip tissue. I had worked so hard getting back to living my life and then this -- it was like I was dissolving emotionally and physically again. . After recovery from the ordeal, I decided to focus on my work. I felt like I needed a little reassurance and studied at Parson's and SVA, but it was the Creative Enterprise Ownership program at F.I.T. that was most beneficial. . Overcoming illness and moving on has taught me many lessons, most importantly to love myself. AIDS/HIV does not define who I am -- it's just a chapter out of this life I've lived so far.” — by John Hanning @johnhanning . #whatisrememberedlives #theaidsmemorial #aidsmemorial #endaids #neverforget

Een bericht gedeeld door THE A I D S M E M O R I A L (@theaidsmemorial) op

"Deze foto is genomen in 1994. Vier maanden voordat deze foto werd genomen vroeg mijn dokter wat mijn plan was. Ik vertelde haar dat mijn plan was om beter te worden en m'n leven op te pakken. Ze zij dat dat niet zou gebeuren, dat ik wellicht nog maar zes maanden te leven heb." 

John leeft nu, jaren later, nog altijd. 

"Het vechten tegen deze ziekte heeft me vele lessen geleerd. De belangrijkste les is dat ik geleerd heb om van mezelf te houden. AIDS/HIV bepaalt niet wie ik ben. Het is slechts een hoofdstuk uit het leven dat ik tot nu toe heb geleefd." 

3. "Mijn zoon Mason klaagde nooit" 

Dit bericht bekijken op Instagram

🔻 . “My son Mason was 19 years old when he was diagnosed with AIDS and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). His ID DR was able to determine that he probably contracted HIV around the age of 14. Mason later admitted that he knew when —he had met an older man online. . Mason later told his Grandma that he always felt like he had the flu but he never complained. That was Mason . . . sweet, kind, a pleaser. His friends told me that he was always there to cheer them up, the life of the party. He had a contagious laugh and the most beautiful blue eyes. He had a glimmer in his eyes like he knew something the rest of us didn't. He was smart and funny. He helped his Great-Grandparents with their groceries, mail, and garbage. I remember my little boy with the nicest hands to hold, always a little sweaty. . Mason was hospitalized for the last time on February 9, 2016 after he had moved to Las Vegas. He had been there less than a year, hadn't seen a doctor, and stopped all medication. His CD4 count was 3, he had three different types of pneumonia, his body was covered with Kaposi's sarcoma lesions. . It was later discovered that the lesions had moved into Mason’s tracheobronchial tree and stomach, he was dependent upon life support. He had lost the use of his legs from PML and was slowly losing the use of his arms. He weighed 80 lbs. . Mason fought until March 20, 2016. The nurses said he was tenacious. He never complained. Needle stick, after needle stick. Surgery, after surgery. Spending days without visitors because his dad and I couldn't stay the entire time (we live in KY so we flew back and forth). He never complained. . Mason passed on March 21, 2016 at 12:35 in Las Vegas as I read him Harry Potter and his Dad read Twas the Night Before Christmas. . Mason still has the nicest hands I'll ever hold.” — by Amy Christine @amyz72 . #whatisrememberedlives #theaidsmemorial #aidsmemorial #endaids #neverforget

Een bericht gedeeld door THE A I D S M E M O R I A L (@theaidsmemorial) op

"Mijn zoon Mason was 19 jaar toen hij aids kreeg." 

"Mason vertelde z'n oma dat hij zich altijd voelde alsof hij de griep had. Maar hij klaagde nooit. Dat was Mason.. lief, aardig, een pleaser. Zijn vrienden vertelden me dat hij er altijd was om hen op te beuren, hij zag het leven als een feestje. Hij had een aanstekelijke lach en de meest mooie blauwe ogen. Hij had een glinstering in z'n ogen, alsof hij iets wist wat de rest niet wist. Hij was slim en grappig." 

"Mason vocht tot maart 2016 tegen aids. De zusters vertelde dat hij vasthoudend was. Hij klaagde nooit."

Op de foto: "Mason overleed op 21 maart 2016 om 12:35 uur in Las Vegas terwijl ik hem Harry Potter voorlas en zijn vader hem voorlas uit 'Twas the Night Before Christmas'.

"Mason heeft nog altijd de meest zachte handen die ik ooit zal vasthouden." 

4. Clair werd geëxcommuniceerd 

Dit bericht bekijken op Instagram

🔻 . “Clair Harward (June 20, 1959 - March 16, 1986) was a Mormon man who died of AIDS in Ogden, Utah. He was 26. . In 1985, Harward who had been diagnosed with AIDS, went to speak with his Mormon Bishop. Penitent and facing his mortality Harward sought out his Bishop (the leader of a local congregation in the Mormon Church) for spiritual guidance during his darkest hour. . What happened next made national news: Bishop Bruce Don Bowen told Harward not to return to Church and excommunicated him. Harward later told the press that his family and friends had abandoned him, that he had no money, and could not work. He stated, “There was just so much guilt. I was going nuts and I was convinced I’d go to hell if I didn’t [speak to the bishop]. I wanted peace of mind.” . Bishop Bowen confirmed that the Church did not excommunicate Harward because he had AIDS, but because he identified as a homosexual. According to Bishop Bowen, the Church believed homosexuality to be “an abuse of God’s gift of procreation” and he reiterated the belief of sexual relations outside of marriage as a “sin second only to murder in seriousness” and therefore an excommunicable offense. . Bowen said he advised Haward to “shun homosexual friends and activities” and assume personal responsibility. Harward said that his friends offered him "solace and free place to live" but that Bowen “ask[ed] me to be alone” when he needed his friends the most. . After the story ran, Harward became the face of AIDS and of the institutional homophobia in Utah. . His story is neither the first nor the last example of the Mormon leadership banishing people they consider to be undesirable from membership. . His story illustrates a tragic time in the life of many gay Mormons who died young and often without the support of their families or their church. . Harward died alone at St. Benedict’s Hospital in Ogden, Utah on March 16, 1986. . Harward is pictured alone except for the framed photograph hanging on the wall behind him. The building in the picture frame appears to be the Mormon temple in Ogden, Utah, suggesting the ever-present influence of the Mormon Church in the lives of people in Utah.”— by @jsethanderson

Een bericht gedeeld door THE A I D S M E M O R I A L (@theaidsmemorial) op

Clair Harward kreeg in 1985 de diagnose aids. Toen hij zijn bisschop uit de Mormoonse Kerk om hulp vroeg, kreeg hij dat niet. In plaats daarvan werd hij een tijdje later door de kerk geëxcommuniceerd. Officieel niet omdat hij aids had, maar omdat hij homoseksueel was. 

Clair zei daarover: "Er was gewoon zoveel schuld. Ik werd gek en was ervan overtuigd dat ik naar de hel ging als ik niet zou spreken met de bisschop. Ik wilde vrede ontvangen." 

Toen de media zijn verhaal oppikte zou Harward het gezicht worden van de homofobie in de Amerikaanse staat Utah. En dat is wat deze foto zo bijzonder maakt. Op de foto zie je op de achtergrond een foto aan de muur, waarop de Mormoonse Tempel te zien is.

Van de kerk mocht hij zijn (homoseksuele) vrienden niet meer zien. Zo was hij in de moeilijkste tijd van z'n leven niet omringd met de mensen om wie hij zoveel gaf. 

Hij stierf alleen.

5. Ken Meeks overleed aan aids nadat zijn afbeelding de World Press Photo won

Dit bericht bekijken op Instagram

. . Ken Meeks was a doctor and member of the board of directors of the @gmhc who died of AIDS on September 26, 1986 in San Francisco. He was 44 years old. . Meeks, a graduate of @keanuniversity, received a doctorate in social sciences from @ballstateuniversity. He was an assistant professor of economics at @gwcofaurorau from 1975 until 1982. . In 1986, @Life magazine ran a series of pictures by Alon Reininger depicting the AIDS epidemic. He met Meeks, a friend of Larry Kramer’s in 1985, at his wedding. Reininger later recalled: . "I did not want to do just a story about Ken Meeks. Ken was a character in a bigger story. He knew that I was taking his picture in a broader context. It just happened that I took a picture of him in one particular situation that struck a raw nerve with a lot of people.” . Meeks whose skin lesions were the result of Kaposi's sarcoma, an AIDS defining illness, died 3 days after the picture was taken. . The picture — ‘Ken Meeks, Patient with AIDS, Being Cared for by a Friend, San Francisco, California’ —was subsequently named World Press Photo of the Year. . 📷 © Alon Reininger/Contact Press Images . #whatisrememberedlives #aidsmemorial #theaidsmemorial #neverforget #endaids

Een bericht gedeeld door THE A I D S M E M O R I A L (@theaidsmemorial) op

Ken Meeks was een succesvolle man. Hij had een doctoraat behaald en was assistent van een economie professor. Toch werd zijn leven overschaduwd door aids, zijn dromen en ambities eveneens. Hij zou uiteindelijk aan de ziekte overlijden. 

Alon Reininger fotografeerde Ken en won met die foto in 1986 de World Press Photo Award. "Het gebeurde gewoon dat ik deze foto nam en uiteindelijk zoveel mensen door de foto geraakt werden."

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