Harder to stay positive, in 2017

I met Brian in 2004. I transferred from West End Central Police Station in Mayfair, London, to the Diplomatic Protection Group, part of Special Operations, based near Trafalgar Square.

Brian was a constable there, something of an expert in communications. More than something in fact, a real font of knowledge. He had been in the group for over twenty years. During that time, he had accumulated an unparalleled knowledge of everything to to with that organisation. There was nothing he didn’t know about Embassies, and his wealth of contacts was legendary. In addition, his grasp of all the tiny details required to make our job work knew no bounds. He was our ‘go to’ man, in every way imaginable.

As a new joiner, I asked him many questions, and he generally answered them, though he valued his ‘secrets’, which were many. We established a working bond, although he was a few years younger than me. Over the next eight years, we also became firm friends, giving each other a lot of respect in the process. I got to know something about his wife and family, and we became close.

In 2011, he had exceeded his service requirement in the Metropolitan Police. After a long career, it was finally time to go. He and his wife chose to retire to a house in Norfolk, very close to the area that Julie and I had also bought our retirement home. Not long after we moved here, in 2012, we went over to see Brian and his wife, and they became our ‘local’ friends immediately.

Retirement started well for them. Good pensions ensured decent holidays, no mortgage, two cars, and a good lifestyle. Then Brian contracted male breast cancer, something most unusual. He went ahead with a double mastectomy, and made an excellent recovery. He got to enjoy numerous cruises, a comfortable life, and the companionship of his devoted wife, successful children, and the arrival of grandchildren too.

In the meantime, we met up now and again. We enjoyed meals at various local restaurants, and social time at each other’s houses. We also looked after each other’s dogs, and kept in touch on a regular basis. If we didn’t meet up for any reason, we communicated by telephone. We were each other’s local friend, and happy to be so.

This afternoon, I received the sad news that Brian had died. He had an undiagnosed bowel tumour, and this had caused him to attend hospital on Wednesday. By the time they discovered the problem, it had burst, and he died this morning. Younger than me, with a decent pension, and lots left to do in life. Children and grandchildren to cherish, a wife to love, and so many plans for a comfortable future. Yet he is gone; and I am shocked and surprised this evening.

I am really trying to stay positive this year, I really am. It’s not getting any easier though.

RIP ‘Big Brian’. You are sorely missed.

Staying positive, in 2017. (Just)

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67 thoughts on “Harder to stay positive, in 2017

        1. It was a good turnout, but a somewhat hurried last service of the day, Kate. 5:15 pm is the latest I have ever attended a funeral. It felt rushed, but people came from a very long way to say goodbye. The weather was suitably funereal, torrential rain.
          Thanks for asking.
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh, I`m so sorry about your loss.
    But it’s good to read how you write about him. Thus his memory will remain forever.

    In Germany we also have the saying with the three things! I wish it`s true!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So sorry, Peter. There are times when we seem to be put to the test and one item of bad news just follows another. So sorry about Brian. He had a good life. I’ll be thinking about his family and you. Big hugs, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am sorry for your loss Pete, Constable Brian sounds like a good man and this will feel very unfair. If I could offer words that would make sense of this but I can’t. It’s a loss and damn shame. My condolences to the family.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my goodness, Pete. That is awful. I will have many “why” questions when I get to heaven. In the mean time, when my friends have died (oh, it is hard to type that), I sit back and feel very lucky. I’m sorry for your loss, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

          1. thank you-I have had support. Now my kids are grown and they are truly a support team. I sure hope your friend has that. I just wanted you to know that the fear, surprised me. She too, may experience that. I sure wish her well.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. I have no words either to say about this. You just never know what is waiting around the corner for each of us which is why we have to try and make the most of every day that we have. My thoughts are with you Pete. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jude. This all happened in less than a week. Feeling ill, hospital admission, then gone. It is sobering indeed, and makes me more determined to be positive, and to get on and do things.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In a way that is better than a long lingering illness, but always so shocking as no-one is prepared. Awful for both him and his family and friends. We oldies need to look after our ageing bodies – I’m very reluctant to bother doctors over minor ailments, but in doing so maybe bigger ones get missed.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. My prayers to you, Pete. This is the the third loss for you in a matter of months. I cannot begin to know your grief. I can only offer you tears and prayers for you and his family. He was obviously one of the good guys made so in part by your friendship.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cindy. It was a shame indeed. People work so long and hard, in good worthwhile jobs. Then not long after they retire, hoping to enjoy some peaceful fruits of their labours, something like this happens.
      Your kind words are appreciated very much.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Working in a job you enjoy, especially a ‘socially responsible’ job, is indeed what most of life should be about. But when you get the chance to do something for yourself after all that, it seems unfair when the reward is so short. But that’s life, I know.
          Best wishes, Pete.

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  7. So sorry to hear this Pete, especially as it was so sudden and he should have had so many more years…it is absolutely one of the most devastating aspects of life – to have to acknowledge these terrible things that happen to those you care about…again, so sorry to hear

    Liked by 1 person

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