met Steven Grisom in 1993, shortly before his lover died of
AIDS. Steven's biggest fear in the last year of his life was
that he would die alone. " I will probably die in some
stranger's care," he wrote in a letter to an aunt that
he never mailed, "without family... and friends--sad. All
the moral upbringing and all the goodness I've given means nothing
to no one... I'm in great pain physically, emotionally and spiritually...
alcohol is my solace... It stops my brain... I get some rest.
IT IS MY PAIN...THE HORROR...THE HORROR." His mother called
and promised to send for him, even though she did not agree
with his drinking and life style. Two weeks before he died,
he sent his mother a card saying "I want to come home Mommie."
There was no response. When he finally died three days after
moving to a hospice, the first person the staff called was me
and then a health care worker.