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.

Delivered by Josh at Ben’s Thanksgiving Service

IMG_1240It was only two years ago I was standing with all Benjy’s family and friends as his best man in Brazil. I am very likely to go off into saying the same things today as I said back then especially as they both have the same theme. Back then he was starting a new life in Brazil with my wonderful sister-in-law, Dabi. And now he’s starting a new life in heaven with His creator.

Benjy has always been the classic older-brother, the mediator, the friend to all and if we did ever have a fight with him, a grudge could never last more than 5 minutes. He was too kind and forgiving for you to stay mad at him, he was very good at only getting angry at things that worth getting angry over.

Young Josh & BenI’ve always had some very particular memories that stick with me that show what kind of brother he was, like playing Lord of the Rings in the garden, and naturally being the youngest brother I was ALWAYS the orc, and ‘oh no there was no way I could kill the good guys’. But despite this Benjy would never let me feel like they didn’t want me out there playing with them. Or when he would let me live out the dream of every 8 year old and let me hang out with his friends – the big boys – even though I was literally the most annoying child on the planet. There’re still actually videos on the internet of us free-running with his friends. In fact, once we made a parkour video together and I just remember him telling me how proud he was of me for it; he sent it all over the internet and made me feel very professional. And when he bought the parts for us to build a computer together, he knew full well I had no idea what I was doing but still he’d say we built it together. He’d then explain to me what I’d done post-build.

On the topic of him and computers, i’m sure many of you remember Benjy had quite an affair at his old school with the computer network. So throughout his whole school career, Benjy didn’t receive a single detention or any other like-punishment. But, somehow he managed to get himself expelled from school for hacking into the school system with his friends and changing some settings eg removing the filters. But oh no, that’s not all. He then would edit the photos of particular teachers he wasn’t too keen on to have Gollum from the Lord of the Rings just creeping around in them in the background. So probably worth it in the end.

His humour and knowledge pool was where most of mine took inspiration from – from skateboarding, playing with lego and making parkour videos as children to discussing politics, theology and language etymology’s as young men. He has always been very much an inspiration.

But out of every topic we discussed, nothing excited Benjy more than discussing and trying to get his head around eternity. I remember as a 7 year old, we were at our friends house in Woolacombe and he came up to me and said ‘Josh how do you define time’. I think I remember the sound of my brain snapping in two at that point.

IMG_1553 2But obviously as we grew up, his thoughts became far more complex. He once spent something like an hour doing a diagram of his idea of heaven and when he explained it to me, I was just nodding saying ‘uh huh uh huh yup’ as everything he said just flew over my head. I still have no idea of how to comprehend eternity but it’s such a comfort knowing that he is within it as we speak. Now I know that saying, ‘oh he’s in a better place’ or ‘they’ll be loving it up there’ is often simply used as rhetoric to express someone’s death in a positive light, but the promise of the Bible gives us a hope so strong and certain about this that as 1 Corinthians 15:19 says, ‘If in Christ we only have hope in this life, we are of all people most to be pitied.’ So rather than just saying he’s in a better place, I can know with the strongest hope that he is in the best place with a fully restored body. Knowing how Benjy devoted his life not to his own plans but rather him and Dabi always listened to what God had planned for them, it brings me such joy to know that when he arrived at eternity’s shore, he was greeted with the verse ‘Well Done good and faithful servant’ as he was welcomed home. So I won’t finish by saying ‘Rest In Peace’ because Benjy isn’t resting; he’s living more than any of us ever have.

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Comments on: "Josh’s Tribute to Ben" (4)

  1. Tim Pugh said:

    Josh Thanks for putting your words on line – hacking into the school network is still pretty impressive but as a parent…..!! You all spoke so well at Ben’s Thanskgiving and to hear more about Ben was a sad joy.

    Thinking of you all
    God Bless
    TIm Tracey Rosie Hannah

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yvonne Howarth said:

    Josh, thank you for taking the time to write on the blog.
    I’m definitely not a computer freak and can only just about manage fb, emails and the odd game, so big up to you.
    Ben remains in all our hearts, as a special young man who ran the race and won the gold medal.
    How life continues after a young loved one goes to glory I have no idea. Your parents never cease to amaze me, with their words of comfort, even when they must have been at their lowest, up they would pop with words of encouragement.
    Ben is stuck in my mind at about 9 years old, on a school trip to Erddig where I managed to catch him on my camera. You all are stuck in the time that I last saw you, you are probably still at pre school or maybe Reception, it’s so wonderful to hear your deep and meaningful wise words. God bless you all, much love and continued prayer. Yvonne. Xx

    Like

  3. Nicholas P said:

    thanks josh.Nick the vic……friend of Dad,s.
    Never met you or Ben exceptin what dad says so lovingly about you both. you both have given us a great glimpse of a good man and a great brother and son.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Georgie Boggis said:

    Thank you for sharing your words, beautiful. God Bless you all x 🙂 x

    Like

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