One of the best LGBT bloggers out there is Joe.My.God. He is a creative and insightful writer who blogs about politics, culture, and daily life. Many of his posts are touching. One, in particular, has haunted me for the past two months. In the post entitled, Ashes Part 2, Joe shares some of his experiences with death rituals in gay culture. He writes:

Ask any gay man over 40 and he’ll likely have a couple of ashes stories for you. I suppose the fact that so many gay men are cremated, rather that buried, is a function of several influences. Among them are a lack of interest in religion, a disconnection from biological families, and in the early years, an unwillingness of funeral homes to handle the bodies of AIDS patients. And certainly, the cost of burial was/is a factor, as AIDS impoverishes almost everybody it touches.

I have friends who have the ashes of lovers, the ashes of roommates, and in one case, the ashes of a lover’s roommate. These ashes are sometimes prominently displayed in tasteful urns, positioned in places of honor. Sometimes these ashes are quietly stored out of sight in a closet or in a box under a bed, their caretakers unwilling to dispose of them, yet unable to cope with a constant visual reminder.

Read the whole story here.