The pain is unbearable.

by Gregg Maddox
(Glendale CA)

I was a cocktail waiter in a bar in New Haven CT and worked with Jim and Shelly Taylor in the piano lounge. I decided to move to LA in 1981. That's when I met Craig. He was a bartender and very handsome. I fell for him immediately. Time went on and in 1990 we became best friends. In 1992 I made my move and we had a very intimate experience. But, to him, we were still "just friends." In 1994 was the 25 anniversary of Stonewall. So I flew us to New York, stayed at the Regency,Went to Macy's. Bought a new suit, bought Craig a new pair of boots. Went to Sardi's and then Madison Square gardens to see Barbara Streisand. We were 22 rows from the stage. But he still wouldn't commit. We then went to CT to visit my mother. Then To New Haven to see a revival by Jim and Shelly. I insisted on stopping at a florist to buy Shelly a dozen yellow long stem roses. That did it. That simple act won his heart. Craig wasn't impressed by money, fame. Just the simple act of giving roses to a friend. He was committed to me. We returned to LA and a week later I was diagnosed with HIV. My viral load was 2 million, I had 1 T-cell and 69 white blood cells. 2 weeks later I ended up in the hospital with a temp. of 105. All his friends told him to get out now but he said no, I'm not giving up on him. I had 5 doctors working on my case and they told Craig to"pick me up in a box" because I wasn't going to make it through the night. He said "No God. You can't have Gregg.He's mine and you won't take him from me." Craig told me I would be getting out next Sunday. Wednesday came and a intern came in and looked at my chart and said he only has 59 white blood cells. We have a new medication that tricks the body into producing white blood cells. The next day my white blood doubled. Then doubled again. Craig still, against what the doctors were saying I would be getting out Sunday. Sunday I was scheduled for a spinal tap. I was medicated for the procedure. 15 minutes later a nurse came in and said "We've decided against the procedure and also there is nothing more we can do for you so you will be released today. As Craig depicted. The next couple of years were very difficult but eventually I got better. Life became good. I was getting healthy with the love of my life. Craig and I were together in 1994 and life was good. With extremely painful help from my doctors and Craig always by my side. Life became good and I became healthy. We were together every day for 18 years. When he bartended I sat at his station. When I dj'ed he would stand by my booth. We were one. Every decision for 18 years Craig was included. Life became perfect beside having this illness because Craig saved my life. We had 16 years of the perfect relationship. We were both devoted, loyal and passionate. Then in 2005 it started to go bad. Craig was screwed over by the owner and was fired. So we decided to start our own business. As upholsterers we got very busy. Life was good. The business was prospering and we were happy. then 2008 the bubble. burst. We went from 5 jobs a week and by the end of 2009 it dropped to 2 a month. 2010 came and Craig became depressed and suffered from anxiety. He started taking Xanax for anxiety and it helped. Nov. 2010 Craig had 2 seizures. He found out he had a heart that was working at 35%. He wasn't a good driver and got into 2 car accidents which made our car unusable. With the help of my family I got a new car and I told Craig not to drive it because it wasn't insured yet. New Years Eve day came and I was at the computer getting ready to take the car to have the stereo worked on when I got a call. Craig was feeling productive and decided to go to the auto store for a light bulb for the rear taillight. He side swiped a parked car and ran into a curb totaling our car and causing damage to the car he hit. This destroyed him. He felt he ruined my life. I told him it's just a car. It will get better and like I said a million times "we still have each other" and we were starting a new year. He became so distraught that he started drinking to the point he couldn't walk. I told him he's got to get a hold on this because I wasn't going to watch you drink yourself to death. Sunday night he asked for some money to get cigarettes. I gave him money and told him to put the change on the dresser. Jan 2, Sunday morning at 10 am I woke up. It was just like every wonderful Sundays we had for the past 18 years. I watched tv with Craig lying beside me still sleeping. Around 10:30 I counted the change and it was 6 $ short. I went to ask Craig why it was short. I shook his arm and it was cold and stiff. He was already in rigormortis. Called 911. They got there in 2 minutes. He was pronounced deceased. And they took him away. The shock set in. Disbelief despair sorrow pain destroyed and worst of all, alone.

Comments for The pain is unbearable.

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Mar 09, 2011
so very sad.
by: Rebecca

I am so sorry for your loss, what a tragedy, your life will never be the same. I know that all too well, because my brother took his life.

Depression it seems is what your loved one suffered from, my loved one suffered from it too. Depression becomes a disease that needs medical attention I think. I believe that if my brother had sought the proper therapy help for his depression then he may have not taken his life. Its so sad.

You did everything you could possibly do, your love was unconditional and was right by his side till the end... you can find some comfort in that because at least you don't have the regrets of wondering why you weren't there, but you were.

I wasn't there there for my brother because he lived in Texas and me in California. I didn't have the opportunity to be by side daily like you did, but I couldn't leave my job for that long.
That kills me, wondering if I could have made a difference had I visited? i will never know. I miss my brtoher deeply and my life just isn't the same...the pain is very much alive..
Take care of your self.

Mar 09, 2011
Talk to him,,,
by: Maxine

Hello Gregg...It's four months since since my Graham passed and I find talking to him a huge relief. Sometimes I write in my special journal, sometimes I just 'talk'. I reckon they are always near.

Sending you Love and Light

Mar 07, 2011
Yes it is at first...
by: Anonymous


You have been through so much. I know that the pain is unbearable. I have been there before you. I also was in a relationship about the same time as you. 17 years is along time to share your dreams hopes and aspirations with another. I miss not being able to just be myself with hubby. Oh I guess I am a part of what used to be now that it is 15 months two days ago. But we will never be the same. The only relief from grief is time. I know that it does not help you to hear that. You want to know how long you will be in mental and physical pain from your loss.

Things will get better for you, things will get worse. Some days you will not be able to function and ya know that is o.k. Do not try to push your way through grief. It's a long journey and you just need to roll with it and let your ? inner self tell you what it needs that day. The next day you will be different. Yelling at the people that you Love, little or no patience. You might just be plain pissed that your left alone.

Everyday is like a new twist that you did not expect. Certainly not some type of linear
progress. It's all survival skills. Instead of keeping from starving you will hunger for what you had and even admitting that they "died" is a big word to use. Passed is so much softer or left. He left me alone. No you know he wouldn't have done that for the world. None of this is what we would expect and we just need to take it day by day and sometimes one breath at a time.

Please continue to come here and "vent", a journal and/or artwork helps too. Look into hospice grief counceling they usually meet once a week for 6 weeks and it helps to know that others feel the way that you do.

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