This senior gay man is tackling loneliness head on over the holidays and it is beautiful
An 80-year-old gay man in America has opened up about his struggle with loneliness, and how he values friendship over the holiday period.
Robert Brewster has always loved the December celebrations, but the HIV survivor no longer has many friends left to share festivities with.
Brewster lived through the HIV and AIDS epidemic of the 80’s, and he lost a great deal of friends to the illness.
Talking to NBC, Brewster explained that at Christmas he finds himself reflecting on lost friendships, but is working to change that factor in his life.
When asked how many friends he had lost to AIDS, Brewster couldn’t answer.
“Oh, I wouldn’t even dare try to say. If I put a number to it, it was many, many, many, many, and most of the people I knew, they’re all gone now. There’s not hardly anyone that’s still alive.”
The pensioner, who has lived alone in Manhattan for the past 20 years, is getting help with tackling the loneliness though. He has made friends through the Sage Friendly Visitor Program which pairs young and old people from the LGBT community together to provide friendships for seniors.
Brewster sees his good friend Jaime Davila over the holiday after meeting him through the programme.
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“Two years ago I called him, and he invited me over to the building’s Christmas party,” said Davila, who stopped by Brewster’s home for wine and cheese on a cold December night.
“So I came and we met and we instantly became friends and that’s been it ever since,” the 34-year-old added.
“We are compatible. We both are cancers, and we like a lot of the same kinds of things. And I just think it’s a good match,” explained Brewster.
The pair have grown a father-son relationship, with Davila bring boyfriends home for Brewster to meet. The two often go out to opera and the theatre, but they don’t mind where they are as long as they can hang out.
“I love to listen to his stories, and I love learning from him, but at the same time he learns from me, too. I help him out with his Facebook and with everything with the computer,” Davila said.
“I think it would be absolutely ridiculous if I didn’t have him, and I say that quite honestly. He’s just been a joy in my life,” Brewster said.