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Thread: We buried my best mate today - and still there's something cheerful about it.

  1. #1
    Master thieuster's Avatar
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    We buried my best mate today - and still there's something cheerful about it.

    Last week, my best mate passed away at the age of nearly 64 yrs. What started as being neighbours more than 30 yrs ago, slowly turned into a friendship that has lasted more than half my life. Last Tuesday, this came to an end. He passed away.

    Early 2018 he went to his GP for some minor(...) problems. And within a few hours, he was in hospital, diagnosed with pancreas cancer. After this blow, he fought back and managed to overcome all sorts of 'hiccups' (his words) like chemo etc. He went into the hospital with a perfect physical condition and that was one of the main reasons, according to his doctors, that he recovered so quickly. Things looked better and we had fun making plans for his retirement. For him, that was working his garden, growing fruit and vegs, cycling, rowing, drinking a good glass of red wine and enjoying life, like he'd always done. But especially, he was about to enjoy the light of the day and the sun. He loved the sun. And we said: "We're going to be 90 one day and then we start thinking about 'what's next'!"

    About ten days ago, he couldn't come out of bed. Suddenly, he was too tired. The day before he'd been on his bike for two hours. When he woke up, he told his wife that everything in his body was painful. And not something that he was used to after a long trip on his bike. His wife called the GP and when he came, he diagnosed severe pneumonia! Before the GP left, my friend went into a coma and passed away last Tuesday.

    Today was his funeral. And of course, that was a sad and emotional thing. But there's something I want to share: I think that about 500 - 700 turned up at his funeral. The size of the crowd that came to his funeral swept me off my feet. His family had rented a restaurant on the grounds of an Estate for speeches and music. The Estate is a castle well-known to us as a 'watering hole' when my mate and I went cycling. The hall with the family and my friend's coffin, was far too small for the crowd. So we ended up in the garden of the estate. His funeral turned into a sunlit 'garden party with people in black' with the coffin in the centre of the garden. As if I stepped into a movie!

    Given the fact that he loved the sun so much, it was the best thing that could happen on a day like this. In fact, I think that he would have signed on the dotted line at once, had he been given a contract that would take care of fine weather on his funeral. This was one of the most memorable afternoons ever.

    His kids did a few speeches. One of them is one to remember: he had no bucket list. He had done what he wanted to do with his life. He had no loose ends and was totally happy. That's great. A great moment to review my own bucket list and how much I need that.

    My mate loved a good glass of fine red wine. Despite the fact that you didn't know him I would ask you to take a glass on his behalf, as we did this afternoon. Raising a glass for a nice guy who enjoyed life. I'm sure he would be chuffed by the idea that you're reading this and even more chuffed when he would know that you all enjoy a glass.

    Menno

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by thieuster View Post
    Last week, my best mate passed away at the age of nearly 64 yrs. What started as being neighbours more than 30 yrs ago, slowly turned into a friendship that has lasted more than half my life. Last Tuesday, this came to an end. He passed away.

    Early 2018 he went to his GP for some minor(...) problems. And within a few hours, he was in hospital, diagnosed with pancreas cancer. After this blow, he fought back and managed to overcome all sorts of 'hiccups' (his words) like chemo etc. He went into the hospital with a perfect physical condition and that was one of the main reasons, according to his doctors, that he recovered so quickly. Things looked better and we had fun making plans for his retirement. For him, that was working his garden, growing fruit and vegs, cycling, rowing, drinking a good glass of red wine and enjoying life, like he'd always done. But especially, he was about to enjoy the light of the day and the sun. He loved the sun. And we said: "We're going to be 90 one day and then we start thinking about 'what's next'!"

    About ten days ago, he couldn't come out of bed. Suddenly, he was too tired. The day before he'd been on his bike for two hours. When he woke up, he told his wife that everything in his body was painful. And not something that he was used to after a long trip on his bike. His wife called the GP and when he came, he diagnosed severe pneumonia! Before the GP left, my friend went into a coma and passed away last Tuesday.

    Today was his funeral. And of course, that was a sad and emotional thing. But there's something I want to share: I think that about 500 - 700 turned up at his funeral. The size of the crowd that came to his funeral swept me off my feet. His family had rented a restaurant on the grounds of an Estate for speeches and music. The Estate is a castle well-known to us as a 'watering hole' when my mate and I went cycling. The hall with the family and my friend's coffin, was far too small for the crowd. So we ended up in the garden of the estate. His funeral turned into a sunlit 'garden party with people in black' with the coffin in the centre of the garden. As if I stepped into a movie!

    Given the fact that he loved the sun so much, it was the best thing that could happen on a day like this. In fact, I think that he would have signed on the dotted line at once, had he been given a contract that would take care of fine weather on his funeral. This was one of the most memorable afternoons ever.

    His kids did a few speeches. One of them is one to remember: he had no bucket list. He had done what he wanted to do with his life. He had no loose ends and was totally happy. That's great. A great moment to review my own bucket list and how much I need that.

    My mate loved a good glass of fine red wine. Despite the fact that you didn't know him I would ask you to take a glass on his behalf, as we did this afternoon. Raising a glass for a nice guy who enjoyed life. I'm sure he would be chuffed by the idea that you're reading this and even more chuffed when he would know that you all enjoy a glass.

    Menno
    Will do. What a fantastic post and thanks for sharing this story.

    Sent from my LG-H870DS using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Master
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    Sounds like great way to remember him.

    Pete

  4. #4
    Master
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    I will raise one also. Sounds like a great guy and a great friend.

  5. #5
    Craftsman
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    What a send off and he obviously had many friends. No red wine to hand but sat outside watching the sun go down and I raise a glass of cider to your friend.

  6. #6
    Master raptor's Avatar
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    Cheers to him

    Lost my mom from pancreatic cancer

  7. #7
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    I will respectfully raise a glass of fine Bordeaux to your friend tonight. A first name you can share, maybe?

    My condolences Menno.
    Memento Mori

  8. #8
    Sorry to hear your news but a lovely post.
    Lost my mum to pancreatic cancer. It's a bad one

    Andy

  9. #9
    Grand Master Velorum's Avatar
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    Sad but uplifting.

    I don't drink but I will toast him with a cup of tea as I look out over the garden with the last rays of todays sunshine fading away.

  10. #10
    Craftsman
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    One of my oldest and closest friends died about 10 years ago from that awful disease, he didnít even manage to get to 40.
    Iíll say condolences and raise a glass.

  11. #11
    Master mr noble's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear and read, what an amazing turn out though, and brilliant that the sun shone for him.

  12. #12
    Condolences to you and your friend's family. I lost my dad to pancreatic cancer late 2017; 8 weeks after diagnosis.
    I will raise a glass of red to your friend and your friendship. They say the sun shines on the righteous.
    Last edited by RichS; 25th February 2019 at 18:48. Reason: grammar

  13. #13
    Master thieuster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    I will respectfully raise a glass of fine Bordeaux to your friend tonight. A first name you can share, maybe?

    My condolences Menno.
    Leo was his name (short of Leonard)

    Now, cooking dinner for the family, the sadness kicks in. Had to wipe off a tear, I tell you. The ceremony itself this afternoon was overwhelming uplifting and it more or less 'pushed away' the sadness. The response here is -as always when it comes to this sort of sad matters- very positive.

    They say the sun shines on the righteous.
    I hadn't heard that before. For all the years I've known him, I can safely say that he was really a righteous person. Who else can be buried in Northwestern Europe on Feb 25th with the sun basking on the coffin and the thermometer hitting the 20C?

    Cheers to Leo.

    Menno
    Last edited by thieuster; 25th February 2019 at 18:58.

  14. #14
    Craftsman
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    Thanks for sharing Menno - a suitable 'toast' will follow

  15. #15
    Master pinpull's Avatar
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    Lovely post and memory of a great friend - condolences, and raising a glass to him this very moment


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  16. #16
    Master
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    Nice post Menno, very apt that I had a glass of red in my hand while reading your post. I am glad your pal died a happy man and at piece with himself. May I wish all his family my condolences and good health for the future



    Paul

  17. #17
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    It's sad to hear of anyone dying at 64...but it sounds as though he was lucky in life.

    Having just opened a bottle...here's to Leo.

  18. #18
    Glass in hand: 'Cheers, Leo'.

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  19. #19
    Master spuds's Avatar
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    Great post about an evidently great friend and great man....

    Cheers to him and you both.

  20. #20
    Cheers 🥂

  21. #21
    Grand Master Griswold's Avatar
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    Condolences to you and to your friend's family Menno. Partings are always sad, but remember all those happy times in the sunshine, and smile as each one comes to mind. My toast to Leo will be with a wee dram of a rather nice Islay.
    Best Regards - Peter

    I hate being bipolar, its brilliant.

  22. #22
    Grand Master
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    Clearly a life well lived and rounded off with sunshine,thanks for sharing and condolences.

  23. #23
    I can't raise a glass tonight however I shall do so tomorrow, your beautifully written post makes him sound like a great friend and decent fellow.

  24. #24
    Journeyman
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    Life is certainly fragile and this is yet another reminder, seize the day.

  25. #25
    Master vagabond's Avatar
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    Cheers, toasting a life well lived. 👍

  26. #26
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    A wonderful and uplifting post. Clearly Leo was a man loved my many. Perhaps the greatest thing anyone can hope for.

    You have my condolences.

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
    Friedrich Nietzsche


  27. #27
    RIP Leonard.

  28. #28
    Cheers Len, and, by proxy...thank you.

  29. #29
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    That's about as uplifting as a story can be, given the circumstances. I'd say he was as lucky to have you as a friend, as you were to have him.

  30. #30
    Master Maysie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thieuster View Post
    His kids did a few speeches. One of them is one to remember: he had no bucket list. He had done what he wanted to do with his life. He had no loose ends and was totally happy.
    Menno
    What a fantastic and moving line to read.

    The day sounds like it was a really nice send off.

  31. #31
    Master wildheart's Avatar
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    RIP Leo, sounds a character losing close friends is very painful. I've lost far to many. So pleased the sun shone for him and the masses turned up to show their respects.

    Last month we buried one of my golfing buddys JB he was 72, he passed away with septicemia because he hated the Doctors ( a course of anti biotics would have saved him), he died on his own in bed, we only found him because he had not been up the golf club for a week.

    Life is to be enjoyed now, not when we are ninety (the few of us that will get there), enjoy the sunshine folks, today I am at the dementia alliance supporting their cause. We never no what around the corner!

  32. #32
    Condolences.

    If it helps to cheer you up, I had a friend who died at 69.




    He suffocated.

  33. #33
    Master
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    Pulveris et umbra sumus.

    You will always have the memories of him.



    B

  34. #34
    Master Tazmo61's Avatar
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    Great to hear many turned up to show their respects . You have my sincere condolences .

  35. #35
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    So sorry for your loss, Menno. That was a lovely tribute.

  36. #36
    Master
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    It was my father's funeral yesterday and even though he was 78 it was sudden.

    Like your friend he loved the sun and at 63 retired to Spain and also spent time in Australia.

    It was a good turn out and he achieved his bucket list many years ago.

    Also to have the sun out and warm weather even in Burnley in February was the icing on the cake.

    I did him proud with the service and my brothers choice of the final song Cat Stevens Father and Son was perfect.

    The fact my brother came back from Brisbane and i hadn't seen him for a number of years made it a fitting send off.

    R.I.P.

    Tommy


  37. #37
    Very moving post..my sister also died suddenly from pneumonia last month and her service is next week. I don't think i would have the right words/language to post such a warm and positive tribute so well done on that score and my best wishes to you for a better year : )

  38. #38
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    Saddened by the loss of your friend I raised a couple of glasses last night, got me mulling over the loss of a good friend of mine sometime ago.
    Keep the memories close.

    n2
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  39. #39
    Craftsman
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    Only just seen this & it's a very touching tribute ,so I too will raise a glass tonight.

    Like others have said 64 is too young, but if we could all say this:

    "One of them is one to remember: he had no bucket list. He had done what he wanted to do with his life. He had no loose ends and was totally happy"

    at the end, then surely that this a life well lived & must make it easier for everyone to 'accept' ........

  40. #40
    Master ingenioren's Avatar
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    Very sad to hear this Menno, lovely words, and the turnout proved what type of person he was.

    Well done for posting such a tragic but lovely post.

    Had a friend, 58, very recently, not feeling too bright - when to her GP, straight to hospital/hospice and passed away within 10 days - pancreactic !
    Life has to be lived now, and glad your mate had done so, too much is 'we have to do that one day' ....


    Cheers, Peter

  41. #41
    lovely post. I will raise a cup tonight. You're a good friend Menno

  42. #42
    Grand Master gray's Avatar
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    Cheers
    Gray

  43. #43
    A nice glass of Chiroubles duly raised!
    Hereís to him.

  44. #44

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