Death seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life lately. My mother died in August. The author of a blog I followed died. The fathers of two other bloggers died. A distant cousin died three weeks ago. Edwige died.
I’ve been thinking about Edwige’s death more than my mother’s death. I find this to be a little odd. Yesterday, a friend sent me two links about Edwige. One was an article in New York Magazine the other was a posting from a friend that described the last few years and days of Edwige’s life. I learned Edwige attempted suicide at Coney Island after losing her job and apartment. A friend flew her to Miami and arranged for rehab after she was discharged from the hospital. I also learned Edwige died of liver failure due to untreated chronic hepatitis. How tragic is that? A woman I remembered as being strong and invincible ended up being cracked and broken. All this made me incredibly sad.
What I can’t understand is why I am so troubled by Edwige’s death. I only knew her for the short time I hung out at the Starck Club. It was time when ecstasy was legal making nights at the Starck Club seem more magical than they probably were. I distanced myself from the Starck Club party scene when I found out I was HIV+. Later, Edwige left Dallas for a new adventure. I never saw her again.
The memorials I read online about Edwige all recounted how she left a lasting impact on the people she met. I have to say this is true. Edwige was a person you couldn’t forget. I hadn’t seen Edwige for almost thirty years but I was shocked when I learned of her death. I felt a huge sense of loss, more so than when my mother died. Perhaps this was because Edwige was a mythical sort of person while my mother was a difficult person in my life. Another reason may be that so many friends from that time in my life died from AIDS. Now another person from that era had died. Edwige’s death triggered the memories of those I lost in the 1980s. I recalled dancing at the Starck Club with Charles, Tom and my partner, Dale. AIDS claimed all three of their lives. Whatever the case, I take solace knowing Edwige was surrounded by friends when she passed. Edwige lived life on her own terms, and apparently, died on her own terms.