I would not be gotten into a schoolhouse until I was eight years old. Nor did I accomplish much after I started. I doubt if I had gone to school six months in all when my father died. I was fourteen at the time.
My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.
There’s no greater feeling than people coming up to me and going, “Man, my father was dying, and we went to see Rush Hour, and it was the greatest night we had in years together. We sat in that theater and we laughed for two hours without stopping. That was just a great memory that I had before my father died.”
My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.
My father died and left me his blessing and his business. His blessing brought no money into my pocket, and as to his business, it soon deserted me, for I was busy writing poetry, and could not attend to law, and my clients, though they had great respect for my talents, had no faith in a poetical attorney.
You know, my father died of cancer when I was a teenager. He had it before it became popular.
I was very attached to my family when my father died. I was 19. I was about to go live with my father right when he died, so it was very intense.
In families there is always the mythology. My father died when my kids were quite young still, and yet they still tell his stories. That is how a person lives on.
I was raised in the Baptist church… but I didn’t really have a real committed experience with Christ until my father died.
But I remember the moment when my father died. I wasn’t a very committed Catholic beforehand, but when that happened it suddenly all felt so obvious: I now believe religion is our attempt to find an explanation, for us to feel more protected.
I was 16 when my father died, and I had a choice to come back and live in his house or I’d stay at the school. But I felt if my father wanted me to go to that school when I was 5, there must have been a reason – and I understood that reason when I was a teenager, because that school became the only place where I was safe.
When my father died of AIDS, I knew I had to do everything in my power to prevent others from going through what he endured. I support AmFAR which provides funds for cutting edge AIDS research so we can find a vaccine and a cure.
The importance of heart health became very real for me when my father died of heart disease seven years ago. Having experienced the loss first hand, I am inspired to do everything I can to break the cycle and prevent families from losing loved ones to this preventable disease.
I was never honest. My father died, and I had never said to him, ‘I’m gay.’ I knew what I was, but I had to pretend not to be that to avoid the beatings.