I can’t believe it’s happened.
I’m so proud of you for putting up such a fight with your illness over the last year. Nobody I know would have been able to deal with it in the way that you did; having such a positive attitude with the most determination to overcome any ailment you may encounter. Right from the very beginning. I don’t think I’d have been able to handle it the way you did. That’s why I can’t and don’t blame you for wanting the pain, sadness and the unknowing to end. I don’t blame your family for the decision that was made to stop your medication; you'd have only wanted the same thing. I don’t blame you for deciding to leave with your dignity intact, pain free and with no worry of how to deal with any future repercussions. You’ve left us with your memory held so dear and your beautiful wife, children and grandchildren of whom you should be so very proud of. They’ve dealt with all of this so well, better than I thought; a credit to you.
You needn’t burden yourself with trying to keep upbeat when you feel low and keep a brave face in front of people. You have left hopefully knowing that we will all be here to look after your family and are able to rest easy in the knowledge that we will do our utmost to help out whenever we’re needed. I don’t think that would have even been a concern for you. Our family are and always have been there for each other. Even if we hadn’t seen each other or spoken in weeks, it never worries us. We don’t need to talk every day to know we can pick up the phone at any time. That’s just the way our family is.
I’ll remember Lanzarote, the barbecues, the family parties, Christmases. The way you were able to walk out into the swimming pool in front of everybody in a bikini top teamed with your swimming shorts to make us all laugh, the way you made yourself look like a member of the Jackson 5 at my mum’s 50th birthday party, and all the ‘spot prize’ questions you tested us on. I’ll affectionately remember you with a pint of beer in your hand, or stood in the back garden with a JD and cigar and the way you used to refer to yourself in a French accent as Philippe Flop. To this day, it still makes me laugh.
My all-time favourite memory of you is when we were celebrating New Years at Julie’s house in 2000. You had gotten so drunk, put on a gold wig and were playing a wok as a guitar to The Jam. I was on drums.
I’ll light a candle for you at our wedding. I hope you’ll be there to oversee the day. It won’t be the same without you making a silly joke and drinking JD with my dad and Uncle Mark but I can be certain that the day won’t pass without you being in mine and everyone else’s thoughts.
They say that He only takes the best ones and this is proof that it’s true. They’ve got a good ‘un up there with them now. We love you and miss you and our family won’t be the same without you. Your memory will always live on in our hearts.
All my love