It was August 7, 2009 ,when the doctor stood at the foot of the hospital bed and with a deliberation that was both efficient and compassionate, looked directly at David Hallman and his partner Bill Conklin and said, “Our diagnosis is pancreatic cancer, stage four.” In his thoughtful and deeply personal memoir, David Hallman narrates the sixteen days after Bill was diagnosed with terminal cancer and intersperses vignettes drawn from their thirty-three years together as a gay couple.
With poignancy, humor, and affection, David describes the excruciating intensity of caring for Bill during those final two weeks while reminiscing about the joys and challenges of their life together. During their lengthy relationship, both were deeply committed to social and environmental justice, loved the arts and traveling, and embraced faith and spirituality—values that were never more important to them than during the final days of Bill’s life. As David sat at Bill’s bedside, he shares how the memories of their great love provided him strength and helped him prepare Bill for the end.
August Farewell offers an intimate portrait of a loving relationship brought to an abrupt end and affirms the power of love in the face of adversity.