December 27, 2008

December 27, 2008
Remembering to Check on Friends During the Holidays

It is great to have you join me for another day in my life. We are still in the midst of the holiday season here in the United States.

I know some of my friends are single, may not have any family living or that they are in touch with currently or have just moved to a new city. The holidays can be very lonely for some.

People with HIV and AIDS are more likely to experience an episode of depression with a marked increase during the holiday months.

So remember during the hustle and bustle of your holiday season to check in on your friend with HIV and AIDS and make sure he/she is doing well. It takes very little to make a huge difference in someone's life.

Unfortunately, some people do not reach out and choose suicide as their option. It happened recently to actor, John Costelloe.

John Costelloe, who played Jim "Johnny Cakes" Witowski on The Sopranos, the gay lover of a closeted mobster, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Brooklyn, New York, home. He was 47.

He took his life last week but was only now discovered.

"I was shocked when I heard, and it still hasn't really sunk in,'' friend and fellow Sopranos actor Joseph Gannascoli told the New York Post. "I never detected anything troubling about him. I enjoyed all the time I ever spent with him.''

Costelloe was currently starring as con man in an off-off-Broadway production of Gang of Seven.

Playwright Jim Neu said that Costelloe was a little off in his last shows but, when asked, he denied anything was wrong.

"If he wanted to reach out to people, we were right in front of him. I wish he did,'' Neu said.

So take a few minutes out today and check on your friend living with HIV/AIDS, cancer or other chronic illness. The cost: a little of your time. The reward: knowing you help make someone feel special.

Sometimes people just need to know someone cares. Simply just cares.

Because you are all special to me; wishing you health, hope and happiness.

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab