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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

When Someone Dies

My uncle Bevan wasn't like most uncles.
He lived next door to me growing up.
And he was intellectually impaired.

I was very fortunate to live right next door to my Nan.
We just had to jump the fence to visit, and we did, almost daily.
Bevan was the youngest in my Dad's family. My Dad and his elder brother, my other uncle, ran the family farm. It was wonderful growing up with so many family members so nearby.

Bevan was never able to learn to speak 'our words'.
But he had his own language that only family members and a few very close friends could understand.
We all had special names, I was 'Eee'.
He remained around the mental age of a 9 year old boy and never grew very tall.
He could swear like a trouper (one of the few things he did learn at school, taught by the big boys) when he was angry.
And he always laughed when everyone else did, even if he didn't understand what was funny.
We'd often end up laughing with Bevan, his was so infectious.
He listened to the horse races on his transistor radio and cheered on the winners.
He went out into the paddock to watch the interstate train, he knew exactly when it would run.
He would greet our friends with a very enthusiastic handshake.
He loved meeting new people.
He was part of our family, he was always there.
And then he lost his eyesight.
It probably could have been saved but he didn't have the communication skills to let anyone know.
By the time it became obvious, it was too late.

He lived for many years in the local nursing home.
His mum, my Nan, joined him a few years later.
We lost Nan five years ago.

I hadn't seen Bevan for years.
And just a few months ago we all went to visit my other Grandma in the same nursing home.
Then we saw Bev, too.
I am so thankful we saw him that day.
He was listening to his radio and was happy to hear our voices.
I wish I shook his hand, but I'm so glad I got to say,
"Hello Bev. It's Thea. Remember me?"
He replied, "Eeee?"

Bevan went into a coma last night and passed away this morning.
He was 60.
I've been crying bucket loads of tears, which may seem odd as he hadn't been part of my life for so many years. But he was a big part as I was growing up. And now there is another hole in the family.

Goodbye, Bev.
I know you will be so happy when you see Nan again.
You won't believe it at first.
You'll be a bit confused and say, "Mum?"
And she'll say, "Bevan!" and give you the biggest hug with tears in her eyes.

One day I will, too.

16 comments:

  1. BIG hugs to you and your family Thea. Years may go by but love doesn't fade one bit. xxx

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  2. I don't think it's strange at all to be upset. Family is family. I cry over my sister whom I never really knew - as you know, I was just under 7mths old when she died. There was a connection there. There IS a connection there.

    So sorry for you and your family's loss.

    xxx

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  3. Thea you have written about Bevan with warmth and love. He was your family, you have a shared history.

    I'm sorry for your loss and that of your family.

    xxx

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  4. Thanks for sharing Bev with us Thea. Remember him well. Take care of yourself.

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  5. Oh Thea,I am so sorry.

    I am glad you write this post, for Bevan, and for yourself.

    Hugs to you.

    xx

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  6. Thea, you have a wonderful gift with words, I am sure Beven and Nan are looking down smiling at you xoxoxo

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  7. big hugs, dont be sad, Im sure he is very happy wherever he is, with his mum

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  8. Wow. Just Wow. You knew him so intricately and your affection for him is so obvious. Him recognising you and your voice both broke and warmed my heart at the same time.

    I'm sorry Thea, that on holidays something so sad has happened, even though I know you're not thinking that way.

    Take care of your heart Miss Thea.xx

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  9. I'm sorry for the loss of your Uncle Bevan.

    Thinking of you (and your family).

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  10. He was such a part of your life growing up. It is not starange that you are so upset. This is a beautiful tribute to your uncle. xo

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  11. Thank you for sharing this special story. I am so sorry for your hurting heart. Lots of love xxx

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  12. Thank you for sharing what a special person Bev was and how he was a huge part of your childhood. Of course you will cry and be upset - he is part of who you are. I love that he will be with his mum again. That's special. So are you. Take care of you and feel whatever you want/need to feel. It is your heart. xx

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  13. So beautifully written. Thinking of you and your family, Thea xx

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