Monday, September 03, 2007

Sad News

Josh Ruderman, RIP
1/4/58 - 9/2/07

Dave's brother died last night after battling HIV and AIDS for more than two decades. He had had full-blown AIDS for at least 15 years, and we are pretty sure he was infected in the early '80s. So it's something of a miracle he lived as long as he did.

I'm really glad he did, because he was able to watch his beloved nieces and nephew grow up, and to be there for his father when he was dying. And by living with her, he allowed his mother to remain in her home for several years after Dave's dad died.

Josh had been sick all summer. He was diagnosed with lymphoma and had been in great pain and in and out of hospitals. He was taken by ambulance this past week -- apparently Riley, one of his dogs, was very upset when they came to move him and had to be restrained. (Poor Riley, who was still grieving the still recent loss of his canine brother.) We had an inkling but you can never predict these things. So when they moved him into the ICU yesterday morning and put him on a respirator, I think Dave and Judy and I were all surprised. It felt so sudden!

When Dave and I heard that development we came down immediately. Thank god. We got here at 8:30 last night, just in time. The hospital called at nine to say Josh had had a cardiac arrest and they had revived him, but they suspected he was neurologically compromised. Dave and his mom went to the hospital immediately and were able to authorize a DNR order. Josh died peacefully at 11 pm, about an hour after the docs turned off most of the machines and the medications.

I have a photo of him with Lily that I'll post when I can find it. It was about six months before Dave's dad died, and they are clinging tightly to each other and laughing. It's great. Gay uncles are the greatest, Dave's cousin Rebecca said to me, and it was the truth. Lily loved to sit on his big leather sofa watching I Love Lucy reruns on his enormous projector TV. He's left her his Lucy DVD collection.

It's weird to be here, no dogs barking, no Josh telling them to shut up and Lily picking Riley up and carrying him around the house, no hanging in the kitchen gossiping about family and talking about the state of the world. No Lucy reruns on the TV, no more overblown Thanksgivings with two turkeys and a ham for a dozen people, in case anyone goes hungry.

I will miss him for these things, and more.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Long Island Association for AIDS Care.


  1. Dave, Sasha and Lily--so sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with you. Kim, Farhan and girls.

  2. Sasha...what a special post. It's wonderful that we can all share our memory of Josh with each other. We are all missing him. I love you all.

  3. Dave, Sasha, and Lily -
    You are in our prayers. Sorry for your loss.
    Joyce, Isabelle, Aidan, and Conor


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