his close friend Don Knutson, a San Francisco gay rights lawyer. Both men died of AIDS during the winter of 1990. Their ashes are poured into the water during a memorial service at Cherry Grove, a popular gay summer resort on New York’s Fire Island.
Children may be ostracized or harassed at school if a relative has AIDS, and they may not be able to understand what is happening to them or to their loved one.
As a result of the issues and pressures that PWAs must deal with, suicide is often given greater consideration than might otherwise be the case. A person diagnosed as having an end-stage illness may consider suicide because he or she fears an extended period of decline. A person already in serious decline may consider suicide because the pain, weakness, and hopelessness have become too much to bear. Such considerations may be tempered by the interventions and support of loved ones, by religious beliefs, and by fear of death itself, but the PWA considering suicide needs to feel that others understand why he or she is contemplating it.