A World AIDS Day Tribute

Note: Reposted from December 1, 2016 and, here, revised

Wayne Roberts Abernathy (December 21, 1950-March 20, 1995)

Wayne. Numbered among the 1st generations of martyrs slain

by a killer, then, by most, barely known,

tho’ still, by some, bravely named.

Wayne, with mind and heart, soul and spirit,

weathered the firstly gradual, then rapaciously fleet

and inexorable descent into death’s shadow.

Yet neither cursing nor clenching closed his eyes to the looming dark,

he gazed fast at his Lord’s (his greatest Love’s) Light;

Whose promise of eternal keeping

he spent no moment doubting.

Tho’ some – e’en family and church,

oft misunderstanding and unaccepting –

questioned, given his “lifestyle” choosing,

which he boldly, surely knew

was no more his free electing

than any other manner of God’s creative bestowing.

In this, aye, verily, Wayne, in his dying,

damning not the imposing, yet impostering dark,

loved, longed, lived into Life’s unbounded Light

and now forever walks by blessed sight.

© 2021 PRA


2 thoughts on “A World AIDS Day Tribute

  1. Dear Paul,

    What a breathtakingly beautiful expression of your love for Wayne, who must have been an amazing brother. I wish I could have known him. Your heart clearly still carries the living pain of his loss and the tragic injustices that surround it. And yet, that faith – his and yours – unshakeable and quiet in the midst of all pain and all grief. Thank you so much for sharing this affirmation today. You will be even more in my heart today than normally.

    Much love,



    1. Thank you, my dearest sister Karen, for the kindness of your care to and for me. And for Wayne.

      His death made two things most real for me…

      Foremost, grief never ends. It can and may transform…evolve; appearing and being known in manifold manifestations, but it does not go away.

      And I bear this 26 years and counting lament – that all the people I have met and have come to know since Wayne’s death did not have and have not had the pleasure of knowing him. For Wayne was…is a far, far better human and man — in the incarnate grace of his active compassion for others, especially the least, the last, and the lost — than I ever will be.

      Love and peace to you, Ted, and Emilia,


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