Some things still happen (even in Canada)

One of my church friends has lost her partner of 30 years. They are older lesbians and have never lived together (not being open about their relationship for many of those years) and never married. Her partner has been ill and in a local palliative care hospital. My friend was not at her side when she died at 9:30 this morning. Her partner’s sister has kicked her out of the hospital room a couple of days ago. I’m not sure if she tried to get the hospital staff to allow her in anyway, or what. Perhaps she was not in an emotional place where she wanted to fight.

M. found out by checking the messages on her phone just before the service started this morning. At least someone called. The minister prayed with her at communion. And friends in the church comforted her after the service. As she noted, at least she was in church when she found out.

This is what relationship recognition means. Recognizing M.’s grief as real and legitimate. And her love and support for her dying partner as real and legitimate. We’re on our way to this. But we still have a way to go.


5 thoughts on “Some things still happen (even in Canada)

  1. This is such a sad story. Judy Small has a song that tells a story like this (“No tears for the widow”). It’s a shame they weren’t able to acknowledge their relationship and live togehter – given time their families might have some to some degree of acceptance and included your friend in the last days of her partner. In the end, what they did lose was probably more than they would have lost by being more open.


  2. So sad that it’s that way anywhere, but especially in a place like Canada, where things are *supposed* to be better.

    On the other hand, David got a phone message from his mother last night which she ended with, “We love you guys.” So maybe in the end there’s hope.


  3. That is horrible! Sorry to hear about your friend’s loss and the undignified way she was treated by her partner’s family.


  4. I am sorry about the loss of your friend and for her sister’s cruel behavior. My stepmom has friends (a middle aged lesbian couple) who just went to Vermont for a civil marriage … after 30 years together. It is quite a trek for them, going to Vermont from here in the sunny South, but I feel gay and lesbian couples really need this legal protection, especially later in life. I hope society will be more fair about this issue in the near future.


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