In Memory of Steven DeVeaux
Today is the 27th anniversary of the death of my partner, Steve. He was 31, and I was 33, too young to understand life, except to know at a profound level that surpassed any prior experience I had that we were in love. His 2 year illness was a time of fear as we faced the challenges of an incurable disease whose name we dared not speak. Few were the friends with whom we could share the pain, even fewer the family to whom we could turn.
Living these many years longer than we expected his spirit of love remains a source of sustenance to me.
In the intervening years the world has become a little more accepting and hopefully those facing the same issues of sickness and death are no longer forced to hide or be ostracized in the way we were.
It took many years before I began living again instead of waiting to die, and it was his love that helped rescue me. It was selfless and unconditional, and even while racked with disease and pain, he offered me joyful love. From this example I was later able to develop a frame of reference to understand the sacrificial love of the divine embodied in the life of Jesus Christ.
This did not happen in one momentous epiphany. It was discovered over the ensuing years in the trail of undeserved acts of love from others until one day my heart despite being mired in depressionfelt inexplicably full. The collective experience of love in my life, added up to the unfailing love of my divine creator.
My recognition of this caused me to open up to Jesus’ message and claim the abundancy that living a life of love offers.
Today, I am able to appreciate death as a part of life, and I have no fear regarding an afterlife. My faith in a loving God is sufficient for all things to come. I am experiencing the joy of the eternal spirit of love, and know firsthand that a life lived in obedience to the commandment to love, begets a spirit that never dies.
The love I shared with Steven is alive to me. The spirit of Christ who overcame death through obedience to love also lives within me. He is my connection to our loving God.
There are visions to the right of a literal, legalistic, condemning God. There are visions to the left of no God. To those for whom any other place on the spectrum of belief is their reality, I wish them well in the pursuit of life according to their values so long as they are respectful of the legitimate right of others who seek a different path.
I claim the reality of my experience. And through the love of one flawed human being I was led to the love of one flawless human anointed with the spirit of the Creator at birth.
Thanks to them I celebrate God’s spirit of love alive in my heart. This is my reality. I claim it. And I am thankful for all whose love made it real for me, and especially for the love of Steven.