A Story of Love, Grief, and Community

James and DamienHave you seen SAGE’s new blog?  (It’s at http://blog.sageusa.org/)  The Huffington Post has, yesterday reposting “Moving on From Hurricane Sandy: One Older Gay Man’s Story of Love and Loss” (at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/damien-wade/moving-on-hurricane-sandy_b_2677278.html)

The article is about James McCormick, 72, and his partner David Maxwell, 65, a couple of five years’ standing.  James, a stroke survivor, was living safely in a nursing home when Hurricane Sandy hit Staten Island and drowned David in their home.  The balance of the article, written by James’ SAGE Case Manager Damien Wade, talks about how a variety of agencies, officials, and individuals have come together to support James and help him bury David.  Veterans Affairs not only paid for David’s burial (he was a Vietnam vet), but also paid for James’ transportation to the funeral and gave him the flag the Armed Forces and the President provided for David’s funeral.  Today it hangs in James’ room at the nursing home.

SAGE is currently working to arrange transportation for James so he can attend SAGE programming at the Staten Island LGBT Community Center.  Damien concludes,  “Hurricane Sandy changed James’ life.  It impacted us all.  In times like these, we are reminded of the power in our communities when we band together to help one another.”

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