Brian May, Queen's band member explained Mercury's message in his last video as 'he actually says a kind of goodbye.'
Editor's note: This article was originally published on November 25, 2022. It has since been updated.
It has been more than 30 years since the legendary Freddie Mercury passed away. The last video he shot with his band members six months before his death was the song "These Are The Days of Our Lives." He knew this was going to be his last video and he ended it with this message for his fans: "I still love you."
In the last frames of the song, one can see a skinny Mercury, with sunken cheeks raising his face toward the sky with the spotlight on his face. He looks down for a moment, then looks into the camera and whispers his last words. Brian May, Queen's band member explained that video as "he actually says a kind of goodbye," according to Auralcrave.
Mercury died at the age of 45 after he was diagnosed with HIV in 1987. But he kept it a secret from his family and friends except for a few he considered close. He stopped doing tours and public appearances. The last appearance was at the BRIT Awards, in 1990. His bandmates knew how Mercury was suffering despite not knowing about his exact illness. May, his bandmember told Express in 2017, "The problem was actually his foot, and tragically there was very little left of it. Once, he showed it to us at dinner. And he said, 'Oh Brian, I'm sorry I've upset you by showing you that.' And I said, 'I'm not upset, Freddie, except to realize you have to put up with all this terrible pain'.”
However, about 24 hours before his death, on November 22, 1991, Mercury decided to make it public. The press release read, "Following the enormous conjecture in the press over the last two weeks, I wish to confirm that I have been tested HIV positive and have AIDS." Mercury said that he didn't disclose this information earlier "to protect the privacy of those around me." The press release added, "However, the time has come now for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth and I hope that everyone will join with me, my doctors, and all those worldwide in the fight against this terrible disease."
freddie mercury you will never be forgotten, you beautiful magnificent flamboyant life changing soul 🖤 pic.twitter.com/BSAQiadXJE— kelsey ⭐️ (@444kelskurt) November 24, 2022
He had spent his final days battling HIV and AIDS at home being cared for by his close friends. It was mainly Freddie's partner Jim Hutton, ex-girlfriend Mary Austin and chef, friends Joe Fanelli and Peter Freestone, and fellow star Dave Clarke who used to take turns so that Mercury was never alone. Mercury told Express, "I don't want to be a burden on anybody else. I would like to feel I went without being a burden." And that's what happened, none of them really thought of him as a burden.
Speaking about making his illness public, Freestone said that he had "never seen him so relaxed." "Because the secret was out. There was nothing to hide or worry about. So he could prepare himself. It was such a huge relief to just let it out." In his last week the star just stayed on his bed and "was never alone," said Freestone. "We did twelve-hour shifts. I would sit on the bed holding his hand so if he woke up someone was there. We chatted in easy conversations about friends or gossip. The last time I saw him was on Friday night, November 22."
Throughout Mercury's life, he used to joke that he would never grow old. He famously said; "I've lived a full life and if I'm dead tomorrow, I don't give a damn. I've lived. I really have done it all."