December 2019, my husband, Brian, had a widow maker. He had a 91% blockage in his main artery. According to his chart, he was without oxygen for 30 to 45 minutes. He was struggling with many issues as a result of this heart attack. Brian joked about having died and came back. I told him he respawned with a shitty lag.
Brian and I were together for 14 years. I found out Brian was gay five years into the marriage. I didn’t say anything. I waited two years for him to come out to me, and later, Ray and Layla. Brian and I maintained an open relationship but remained married. Not just for the kids but for us. Brian called our relationship a beautiful mess. He felt guilty over me. Felt he hurt us and said he ruined everything. I told him that was ridiculous, that our relationship had transcended the burdensome cishetero definition of love and marriage, that outdated, oppressive concept of ownership. Our love evolved. I told him we unlocked a new level.
We had a beautiful relationship. I wish that for everyone. That you find someone with whom you can share a pure love and pure intimacy. I’m lucky, we were all lucky, to have known him and to have had the chance to make so many amazing memories with him.
Brian suffered from depression because of domestic violence and hiding his sexuality. He hid his sexuality for many reasons. He was afraid friends and family may not accept his lifestyle (and some have proven this to be true). He was terrified that in Trump’s America someone might discover his secret and become violent. He worried Layla might be bullied by peers for having a gay father.
I spoke with Brian’s doctor on Friday. He believes Brian died from an oncoming heart attack. This was later confirmed by the ME who said Brian died peacefully in his sleep from a heart attack he didn’t even feel. Brian’s heart monitoring app showed erratic heart rates for many weeks.
Brian was all he encompassed in his characters in gaming. A healer, a fighter, cover when you needed it. Maybe he didn’t have the best dance moves but he still danced. He listened. He protected. He fought hard for women who were victims of domestic violence. He took on all the life bosses. He was always down to finish the fight.
I’ve been sitting here these last weeks trying to understand his death. His healthcare team missed so much. Why? I thought of all the ways this dream of a country let him down. He worked so hard but sacrificed healthcare because it was too expensive. Even with insurance. I keep thinking had there not been a childhood wrought with domestic violence, had US healthcare not been a fucking joke, and if Americans could stop dictating what’s right and wrong based on religion he might still be here.
Brian was a beautiful gay man. I hated watching him struggle with this, and though it may be late, with this post, he’ll be free of the chains that dictated his life choices. Had those choices been made in his best interests, it might have meant a more peaceful life for him. He wouldn’t have struggled with stress, depression, and fear.
People don’t belong in cages or boxes. No one should feel they have to sacrifice the way Brian did. These things killed Brian. For all of you wanting an update on cause of death, that’s your answer. Stress and depression took a toll on him. And it didn’t have to be that way.
His heart literally broke. He’s not going to respawn this time. Check on your loved ones. Be a little kinder. You never know what battle another fights.
Let people love. Please? Is that really so hard?
We’re supposed to take care of each other.
Brian wanted to come out. He was a great man and will be remembered for all the love he gave to us all. Like many of you, I can’t imagine playing this game without Brian, but he’d want us to finish the fight. With a dance.
It’ll be difficult but…
…we’ll make it.
Originally published on Facebook: November 1, 2020
Thank you to everyone who donated to The Trevor Project in Brian’s honor.