Nothing good ever lasts

10 years. It can seem a lifetime and it can seem like just the other week. 10 years ago yesterday a part of my world changed. Like *that*. Like you always read, or hear of, or experience yourself. A single phone call on a very ordinary afternoon. I was sitting at my desk at work busily working away when my little sister called to tell me “Vic. He died. He’s dead.” And just like that. He was gone.

Vic was my Mum’s only older brother. He was the brother to 4 sisters. A husband to one. A Dad to 4 amazing kids and an Uncle to me and my many other cousins. I come from a close family and Vic, well he was as close to a Dad as you can get. I grew up on holidays with him, spent many a weekend at his house, almost every Christmas and special occasion by his side. He suffered from heart disease for most of his adult life and was later diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy which is the deterioration of the heart muscle which can lead to sudden cardiac death. He managed his condition for years through medications and bypasses and the like and while we knew that someday something could happen, it can never prepare you for when it does.

He was playing golf on this ordinary morning, teed off and hit a cracking ball, then dropped dead. Just. Like. That.

The next week was a blur of tears and time with family and drinking and funeral preparations and remembering just what a good man he was. And he was. So good. Kind. Generous. Hilarious. Tough. Skilled at what he did. A talented singer and guitar player. And harmonica player. Boy could he play one of those. A lover of golf. And food. And wine. Travel. Family. He taught me more about being a good person than my own father ever could. Or will do. He told me cut my Mum some slack. Be kind to her. He taught me to look inside myself and see all the good in there. That I was worth something. A lot in fact. That I shouldn’t settle for anything other than the best.

A few years after he died I broke off a long term relationship that shocked many people close to me at the time. We were meant to be getting married. We were meant to be doing lots of things but somehow I took a chance and shut it all down. Because it just wasn’t right. People often asked me how I did it. Is till don’t know. Even to this day. After that initial shock calmed down it was weeks later that the day I did it was the 23rd May, Vic’s anniversary. He never did like that guy.

Today I wanted to take some time out of my day (and yours) to stop and remember him. I think of him a lot. When I am around his family, of course, when I am with my own family. He is sadly missed and is still a gaping hole in all our family catch ups all these years later. I hope he knows just how much. I hope he knows how much he gave us all. In his own little ways. I can’t forget all he gave me. And I won’t ever forget that.

At his funeral we played this song as his body was walked out of the church. I haven’t heard it for many years until this morning when I went searching for it. It still has the same reaction as it did back them – has me a sobbing mess. You might remember it from the final ever scene of Northern Exposure. I loved that show.

I miss you Vic. You, and all you gave is not forgotten. Not by me anyway.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17531986209823260341 Amelia

    Thanks for sharing this gorgeous tale Beth. I too have an uncle suffering from cardiomyopathy. He is also my mum’s only brother. I lost my mum 5 years ago and in this time we have become very close. I have no doubt your uncle has had a guiding hand in all of your success these past 10 years.
    X

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13774961689281373749 Tai Tai

    Beautiful post Betty. I remember Vic from all those years ago and he left a mark on me too. Kind, generous, and so warm. Thinking of you all today xx

  • Anonymous

    The day your uncle died I watched “the sun setting fast”…I thought it would never shine in quite the same way ever again. He was a loving and adored father,husband, brother, son, uncle, grandfather, cousin, friend, and we were all the better for knowing and having him in our lives.
    Thankyou for this wonderful tribute to him Beth, he loved you so very much and would be proud of you today and the life and love you have surrounding you. I know he is beside us all, reminding us to smile and find a funny side to life and all its’ complexites. He taught me to make every day meaningful, knowing all the time that this day could be the last. He lived his life fully and even though his time with us didn’t last…his memory and smiling face has… X you V.J.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15761220164069379437 Maxabella

    “The sweetness in grief is the reflection that it demands”. x

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05358885430007272547 Susanne

    It’s hard to grieve. It’s harder to grieve when it’s an old wound. It’s ALWAYS good to remember love and loving, even if it’s painful.

    Thanks for sharing and helping me remember my blessings.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06911678503912496884 Donna

    Tis is a truly beautiful tribute; having lost some dearly loved relatives I can completely understand your pain xx

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09890862541890241422 Raine and Sage

    I’ve sat here contemplating what to write. I’m bad with grief. Your writing wriggled into my heart though. I had a Vic, her name was Robyn, and she died in January. The world isn’t the same.
    That song, your post, you have me in tears.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01556432714220385619 Amelia {Weddings, Babies… Everything}

    Really beautiful post (and song). I don’t think it ever really gets easier to live without our lost love ones. Our grief just gets easier to manage and we focus more on the happy memories.
    Thinking of you. x

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00523302175587144970 Belinda

    Thinking of you Beth!

    I lost my grandfather to cardiomyopathy 18 years ago, and my own dad has recently been diagnosed after me making him look into it :(. Dad’s brother has it also.

    A beautiful post as always. Xx