Jeremy…husband of Catherine, father of Ben, Simeon, Tom, Joshua & Lydia. Up until the end of April 2015, he was pastor/vicar of a group of churches on the edge of Exeter in Devon, UK. In early October 2014, aged 48, he was diagnosed with advanced cancer, a stage four malignant melanoma presenting as a tumour on his lungs. The usual life expectancy is 8-12 months. Then, in late December 2014, 23 year old Ben suffered a seizure. After prolonged medical care for what was most likely to have been a viral infection affecting his brain, Ben died in April 2015. Jeremy has up until recently seemed to have responded well to pioneering immunotherapy treatments that can extend life, but from September 2016 is now facing the fresh development of brain tumours and potentially now just months to live. On January 27th 2017 Jeremy took his last breath and went to be his Lord and Saviour. The family share their thoughts, feelings and reflections as they taJeremy…husband of Catherine, father of Ben, Simeon, Tom, Joshua & Lydia. Up until the end of April 2015, he was pastor/vicar of a group of churches on the edge of Exeter in Devon, UK. In early October 2014, aged 48, he was diagnosed with advanced cancer, a stage four malignant melanoma presenting as a tumour on his lungs. The usual life expectancy is 8-12 months. Then, in late December 2014, 23 year old Ben suffered a seizure. After prolonged medical care for what was most likely to have been a viral infection affecting his brain, Ben died in April 2015. Jeremy has up until recently seemed to have responded well to pioneering immunotherapy treatments that can extend life, but from September 2016 is now facing the fresh development of brain tumours and potentially now just months to live. On January 27th 2017 Jeremy took his last breath and went to be with his Lord and Saviour. The family share their thoughts, feelings and reflections as they take this painful and unexpected journey.

Thankfulness at a distance

In a way I knew it was coming. Dad had been suffering with some discomfort and had gone to the doctor to find out what was going on. For news conveyed in so few syllables, the ramifications that were so far-reaching sank in. All my mind could produce was a deeply grateful ”thank you God” as the pain ate up all the content feelings that had been previously flowing through my body. Thank you because I’d seen Dad recently. Pain because I just couldn’t imagine a world without him.

Dad recently visited me from the UK when I suffered from convulsions and then unconsciousness after falling on the pavement. This happened as I walked home from work in the city of Joinville, Brazil, where I lived at the time. After a few days, I awoke and found myself in the local hospital. To see Dad at my bedside was alleviating despite the fact I couldn’t express it due to my drowsy state. There he was, representing my family.

This happened in July. Dad decided to stay on a bit and left in August, not that long before I heard the news. When the news came through I hadn’t seen anyone else from the family for about a year. I thank God that the visit was made because of the quality time I could spend with him as well as the distance now between me in Brazil and him in the UK, it does not feel so great. This really helps me to deal with the situation. In a few weeks my wife and I will be flying to the UK to be with Dad and family. (albeit with potential immigration problems due to her Brazilian nationality. Please pray for us.)

Most of all, I don’t despair in the possibility of my Dad’s death – he’s going home, he’s run the race. God has everything in His hands. That makes me smile. It’s just, selfishly, Dad won’t be there for me nor the rest of my family… or any other person for that matter. However I realise that, one day, I will see him in Glory and together we will celebrate what we have gained through Christ. Bless the Lord, my soul cries out!

The good news is that if you’re reading this and you know the Treasure that is Christ, you can have the same confidence.

Benjy.

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Comments on: "Thankfulness at a distance" (7)

  1. Anne Thomson said:

    How blessed Jeremy is to hear these words from you. So often they are only said once the person is no longer with us. Praying that you will both be able to return to England and be with the family

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  2. Val Parkinson said:

    Praying for you all..

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  3. Steven Kenyon said:

    Hi Ben, I am just one of many people who have been blessed and inspired by your dad. My name is Steven. I am praying for you all. I feel for you because my Dad fell ill when I was 18 and died a few years later, from cancer, when he was 49. Before he died, Dad told us that Jesus was in the room. In that difficult time, God gave us his strength and peace. My mother has also found great strength since then. I know your faith-filled words will comfort your dad so much. I pray that God will bless you, keep you, make his face to shine upon you and bring you peace. Love, Steven.

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  4. Gina Johnston said:

    Prayers and lots of love Ben xx

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  5. Mary Georgina Ann Hunt said:

    Thank you for comments Ben – you probably do not remember me – just want you to know that you and your family are in our prayers and thoughts. May God bless you all
    Mary Hunt & Peter

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  6. Lisa Smith-Paterson said:

    thank you for sharing with us. Although i met your Dad a few years ago when my niece Ashley was diagnosed with cancer . He did the most amazing wedding ceremony, knowing she was dying.It was hard for us all, but his words of comfort were there. wishing you all the best from Durban SA.

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  7. Heather Wheeler said:

    Thank you Ben for sharing your heart, for being able to encourage us through this difficult time, for the inspiring words, God-given, you are all in my prayers and am privileged to be able to share this journey with you, as painful as it is, but as you said , dad has run a good race and is still running! Your blog is truly inspirational and God – glorifying. Thank you.
    Much love
    Heather

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