VISIONS: Darcy Padilla

I 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.