Dear Ben … Love, Mario

Words written and read by Ben’s dear friend and former supervisor, Mario Bourdages, at his Celebration of a Life Well Lived.  Mario was a rock for Ben during his illness.  Even when Ben was at his lowest, he always managed to pull it together to go have coffee with Mario because that was a highlight of his week.  Mario always came to visit Ben in the hospital, and tried to take Ben’s mind off his illness.  He was a true friend to Ben, and he and Julie have been true friends to myself and the kids.  This morning when I was at my lowest, Julie asked if they could come by and I said ‘no’ because I didn’t want to get out of bed.  They ignored me and came anyway.  Thank you.

******

Wendy, Zak, Jaime, Raegan, family, colleagues and friends. My name is Mario Bourdages, and I was a colleague and a friend of Ben. I am honoured to speak today and to celebrate Ben’s life, and I know that this is what Ben would have wanted, a celebration.

I worked with Ben for the past 8 years, and I met with him every week or so for the past 7 months. Ben was a quiet guy and did more then his share of the work. He never complained about anything. He did whatever work needed to be done without hesitation. Whatever I asked him to do, whether it be a difficult, complicated task, a menial one, having to travel out of town or working long hours he would say “Sure I’ll do that”. He never spoke negatively about anyone and was always professional with everyone. He also had a great sense of humour. I also instructed on courses with him and he was great with the candidates helping them out through difficult tasks. All the candidates enjoyed working with him.

Ben would always wear earbuds when he was in the office. He had those things on all the time and he still got his work done. Some say he had those things in because he loved music. I think he did that to tune me out.

Another thing about Ben, and I don’t know if anyone who knew Ben noticed this, but Ben loved his groceries. He loved to eat. Loved to cook. He loved food from different cultures, especially spicy foods. I never knew that this would one day help him with his work.

One day Ben and I were meeting with an informant, and it was the first time Ben would meet this person and he would then take over as the main contact person for this individual. Ben wanted to make sure this went well, so he decided we would meet at a restaurant and have a meal with the person, giving him an opportunity to bond with them.  Good excuse for a free meal!  Ben and the individual got on the topic of food, and Ben mentioned that he liked spicy foods. The individual told us the restaurant has super spicy wings, and Ben, to make an impression said, “I’ll have that.” The individual told us that they are so hot that the restaurant makes you pay for them before they bring them out, because people never come close to finishing them. Ben said “that’s for me.” Well, we paid for the wings and before the plate hit the table Ben had already eaten 3 wings. Within a few seconds, Ben was on fire. He couldn’t drink enough water. He was sweating profusely and sweat was dripping from his face. He couldn’t eat anymore and all of a sudden he started to hiccup uncontrollably. The individual we were with was laughing so hard I thought he was going to pee his pants. Ben was hiccupping, laughing and sweating. This lasted for about 30 minutes, and Ben could not speak but he was able to laugh at himself. We finished our meeting and we parted ways. Even though Ben wasn’t able to say much during that meeting, the individual instantly liked Ben and ended up having the best working relationship with Ben.

During the last several months I met with Ben every week or so, and during all our visits, Ben never complained. He never complained about pain and I know he was often in pain. He never complained about having this disease, and never blamed anyone for what was happening.  He never felt sorry for himself.   He dealt with this awful disease like he handled everything else in life.  Taking it straight on  and doing whatever he had to do to try to beat this thing.   He fought a very courageous battle and kept his sense of humour right to the end.

This taught me a lot about how to live.

Behind every great man there is always a strong woman. Wendy has been a pillar of strength for Ben and the entire family. She fought right along with Ben, never taking no for an answer from anyone.  Staying positive after every set back. Even during the most difficult times she kept family and friends updated on Ben’s condition. And when it was obvious that there was no more ways to fight, she made sure Ben was made as comfortable as possible.

You are a very strong and courageous woman Wendy.

Kids, your mother is a great lady and your father, your husband, was a great guy.

Ben, you are greatly missed. Rest in peace my friend.

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I’m A Little Angry, TBH

I think I may have mentioned my hypochondria before.  (That’s a joke.  Of course I have. If you don’t know I’m a hypochondriac then you really don’t know me at all.)  In any case, my stomach started hurting two days ago and hasn’t stopped since.  Last night, as I sat alone colouring this (for meditative purposes, of course) …

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… I started feeling nauseous on top of everything else.  Which started me thinking I was dying.  Which made me wonder how my kids would cope if they lost both of us.  I mean, who ever thought I would be a widow at 45?  Who ever thought my kids would be “those kids” who lost their Dad as teenagers?  Shit happens, apparently, and it appears as though there’s not a damn thing I can do to stop it.  So who can possibly know what life will be like next year, or even three months from now.  It seems to be out of my control.

I made it up to my bedroom where Jaime was in my bed after crying herself to sleep for the 17th night in a row, and I lay down next to her trying not to throw up.  You know that horrible, horrible feeling you get when your body can’t decide whether or not to purge itself?  Thats where I was.  For hours.  And my stomach ached.  And thats when it really hit me.  Ben is gone.

Ben is really gone.  He’s not teaching a course in Ottawa.  He’s not at work.  He’s really dead and apparently, he’s not coming back.  Even though he was strong, and determined, and didn’t want to leave us.  Even though he cried and said “I don’t want to die.”  Even though he wrote emails with such optimism and determination, that I have had to delete because I can’t bear reading about how optimistic he was and knowing what the end result was.  Even though he fought so hard and tried to do everything right.  He’s still dead.  And I couldn’t save him.  And he suffered horribly for so long.  And now I’m alone, which wouldn’t be so bad if I had been married to an asshole.  But I wasn’t.  I had Ben. The best of the best.

So now when I feel nauseous and want to throw up, there is no one to rub my back and tell me “Just breathe.”  And when I’m scared I have something seriously wrong with me, which is always, there is no one to tell me “You are fine.  There is nothing wrong.  I promise.”  Its just me, wondering why my stomach aches and wondering how I will survive.  Wondering why I should survive when Ben deserved to survive so much more then anyone, and I didn’t save him.  Because I feel like he would have saved me.  He would have found a way where I did not.

And then I discovered that I am also angry at him.  I’m so pissed that he didn’t tell me how to do our banking, or whether or not I should keep the truck that he loved so much, or what I should do when I feel like vomiting and he’s not there to rub my back and tell me it will be ok?  I’m mad that he didn’t tell me how to cope with Jaime when she sobs herself to sleep every night.  I’m mad that he didn’t tell me what to say to Raegan who won’t allow his ashes to be anywhere she can see them, and who doesn’t want to see his photograph, and who will not discuss him at all nor will she shed one tear.  I’m mad that he didn’t tell me what to say to Zak who is just moving on, status quo.  Tricking me into thinking he’s ok but I know that his day will come, and of course the risk of him falling back into addiction is ever present in my mind.

I’m mad that Ben didn’t have an honest discussion with his own father about the emotional pain he carried from that relationship, and left me to have to cope with the fallout from that all by myself.  And the fallout has been horrible and mean and cruel at the worst time of my life when nothing is ok in my world.  And Ben would be so mad, but he’s not here to deal with it.  Just me.

I’m just angry.  And that makes me even sadder.

Last night I had a dream that I was at his funeral all over again.  I’m mad I have to re live that in my nightmares.  I’m just so mad that he died.  I’m so mad that he left me.  And I feel so guilty for being angry at the gentlest man on earth.  I’m mad that I’m not a stronger person, like he was.

Nancy came over and let me cry for a long time.  And then Mario and Julie arrived.

But Ben is never coming back.

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I Miss You, Buddy …. Love, Jeff

Words spoken at the service by Jeff, one of Ben’s closest friends. Having Jeff with us for almost two weeks was like having a little piece of Ben here still.  A little bit more of our hearts were torn away when Jeff had to go back home.  We miss him too.

************

Thank you to everyone here today for coming.  Ben was such a great guy, a great friend and a great member and it’s wonderful to have so many people come out.  It means a lot.

Thank you to the medical staff who worked so hard to help Ben.  I had the opportunity to meet some of you and was so thankful for the care you gave to my friend.

Thank you to the Force.  An organization is just a collection of people and, in this instance, the RCMP has shown consistently the calibre of people that we have.  The Force has been kind, compassionate and caring in it’s dealings with Ben and his family throughout his illness and after his passing.  I’m grateful for that.  After recent meetings with the members of the Force I texted my wife Chelsea with the message “Proud to be a member today.”

Some time ago Wendy asked if I would speak at Ben’s service if that day came.  I said yes, but I kind of never really planned on doing it.  My mind just refused to go to a place where Ben was no longer alive.  I told Chelsea about it and she suggested that I start on it before Ben passed.  She thought it would be easier.  I couldn’t.  I just refused to go there mentally.  Even after he passed, I had a very difficult time actually sitting down to write these words.  How could I encapsulate either Ben or our friendship in these few minutes? I can’t.  But I can let you know the Ben that I knew.

He was wonderful.  He was funny.  He loved to laugh.  I used to tease Ben relentlessly and while he could give it back, he also had this great quality of being able to just enjoy the joke and laugh, even when the sharp end was pointed at him.  He knew it was meant with love and he took it that way.  I found a video recently of me teasing him and on that video you can hear that he’s the one laughing the hardest.

He loved playing guitar.  He loved music.  Not a band or a genre but music.  All of it.  Last time I was out we were driving somewhere and the music in the car went from Rage Against The Machine to Taylor Swift to Muddy Waters to John Mayer.

He was smart.  He was deep.  He was understated.  Ben was a guy that you didn’t really see coming.  There was no flash or pretentiousness.  He wasn’t out to impress you.  What you saw is what you got and I loved that about him.

He was someone I could call anytime, about anything and talk.  It could be some complex issue that I wanted to dissect or it could be how the next UFC fight matched up.  We talked all the time.  We talked so often that our families recognized each other’s text and ring tones and would call out who it was.  Ben’s kids would say that it was Dad’s boyfriend. My kids would say “Uncle Ben!”  More than anything, I’m going to miss his presence.  Even when we were out of touch for a few days I always knew that he was there.  He was a fixture in my life that I could always count on.

One final thank you.  To Ben’s family, all of you, thank you.  Thank you for opening your home, and your lives, to me, especially during such precious times.  I’ve been blessed to be able to have just been one of the family, in my last visit here in November and during this visit.  It would have been understandable to keep Ben’s last days and hours to yourselves.  Instead, you made sure I knew I was welcome and wanted.  As hard as some of that time was, it’s also filled with some very precious memories that I’ll carry with me always.  So much of my relationship with Ben was made up of fun.  So many of my memories are of Ben and I talking and laughing.  Yet now, after these last two visits, some of my fondest memories are of us all sitting around together, just hanging out, close to and around Ben.  I’m lucky that I’ve been able to spend so much time with all of you.

Wendy, I’ve watched you take care of Ben.  In making sure he got the care he needed, in making sure he kept his spirits up (even when yours probably weren’t) and in making sure he felt comfortable and loved.

Zak, Jaime, Raegan … Ben loved you all so much and was so proud of each of you.  Long before I met you, I’d heard all about you.  Ben talked about you all the time.  Now, having spent time so close to all of you it’s easy to see why.  I heard about parkour, and soccer and volleyball and family vacations.  I heard about good times and about hard times, and through it all it was clear how much he loved you.  I know how much he missed you when we travelled for work.  I know that he thought about all of you all the time.

It’s been a pleasure, and I can’t say that enough, getting to know each of you.  You’re each so special and it’s comforting to see your father in each of you, to get little glimpses of my friend…

Zak, you’re such a kind and considerate young man.  On the day that Ben passed, I was floored when one of the first things you did was think of your mom.  You went out and got her flowers.

Jaime, in you I see your dad’s humour, his personable nature, his fun, talkative side.  I’ve enjoyed our driving lessons so much.

Rae, you have your dad’s wit and his what-you-see-is-what-you-get nature.  That’s a rare quality and even more rare in a young girl.

Having been immersed in your family, it’s easy for me to see why Ben fought so hard for so long and right up until the end.

I like quotes and so I’ll end with two…

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”  As a friend, as a father and husband, as a member, the impact that Ben has had on the lives that he’s touched can’t be measured and his importance can’t be overstated.

And since he loved music, I’ll quote a Tragically Hip song, “Heaven is a better place today.”

I miss you buddy.

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Dear Ben … Love, Beth

Words written and spoken by Beth Leatherdale at Ben’s service.  Ben adored her.

*****

When Wendy asked if I would speak at Ben’s service, I am going to confess that I immediately had two thoughts come to mind, and to be totally honest, I am not sure which one came first.   I thought. … of course! I would be honoured to speak of my memories of Ben, and at the same time I thought.. OH NO …this past year of enjoying good food and good wine has caught up with me. I needed either Jillian Michaels or a seamstress to work miracles in order to fit me into my Red Serge.

Thankfully I found a seamstress who made that miracle happen, allowing me to stand here today, to pay tribute, in the RCMP Uniform that Ben wore so proudly.

About a year ago, after about 15 years of talking about it, Wendy and I had planned a four day girls getaway to Palm Springs. A few weeks before we were scheduled to leave, Ben was diagnosed with cancer (with a small “c”). Although it was not immediately known how serious it was, Ben was very insistent that Wendy and I still go to Palm Springs on our getaway. However, Wendy realized that she just couldn’t, and didn’t want to leave Ben’s side.   So we decided that I would travel to BC and we would have our vacation in the Saint-Onge backyard. I was quite happy about this knowing that Ben was a fabulous cook, they have a hot tub, and did I mention that Ben was a fabulous cook? Most importantly, I would get some quality time with them and support them when they were just beginning the journey of Ben’s fight.

Our vacation in the backyard that week ended up being moved to Surrey Memorial Hospital where we spent several days in Emergency sitting with Ben while the doctors worked to manage his pain and get a treatment plan started. We laughed, we cried, and we shared war stories to see if we could outdo each other’s stupidest moments.

Although it wasn’t hot and sunny,   there was no where else I would rather have been then at Surrey Memorial with Wendy and Ben.

Looking back that week was just the beginning of the love, sacrifice and determination that I would see between Wendy and Ben over the next nine months. On whole new level I witnessed the deepest love and commitment that Wendy has, and has always had for Ben. If you all know Wendy like I do, you want Wendy in your corner when there is a battle to be fought. From day one, Wendy was determined to find a cure for Ben, and I believed if anyone could do it, it was Wendy.

Wendy…

Over the past nine months, through the endless appointments, surgeries and treatments, you were with Ben every possible minute to make sure he knew he was supported and loved more than anything. You protected and tried to shield from the often harsh and devastating news that each doctor you met with unfortunately had to share. Ben wanted it that way, because he wanted to remain positive in his mind and fight as hard as he possibly could. But mostly Wendy, because of you, Ben always had hope.  Because of you Ben ALWAYS had hope. You were the love of his life.

Zak, Jaimie and Raegan….your Mom and Dad have raised to you to be strong, independent, respectful and kind. When I look at each of you I see pieces of your Dad. He loved the three of you more than anything is this world.

Zak, your Dad is so proud of the challenges you have overcome, and the young man you have grown into. It gave him such pride that you continue to help others who are in need of your help. You have been such a source of strength for your family over these past nine months. You need to remember how proud your Dad was to speak of you and call you his son.

Jaime, I know your Dad pushed you, supported you and developed training programs for you to help you excel in your athletics. Your strong work ethic, and your determination as an athlete is something that will help you succeed in anything you do in your life. Your Dad will be with you as you hit that volleyball, kick the soccer ball or run a race. He will always be above smiling and cheering you on.

Rae, each time I look at you, you remind me so much of your Dad. You are strong but gentle, you are tough but empathic, and you are modest but confident. Those are qualities that you and your Dad shared. You should hold your head high, just as your dad did whenever he so proudly spoke of you, his baby girl.

Ben, you were a man of few words which is something I admired so greatly about you. You truly listened when someone spoke to you, and were thoughtful in your response. You were kind and respectful to people, even when you were in such pain that most of us could not ever tolerate. I will miss your big smile and huge hugs when I walk in the door of your house, I will miss our coffee talks on your big brown couch, I will miss you making fun of me about how horrible I am with Apple products. I will miss listening to you playing your guitar, or your random laugh at Wendy and I when we didn’t think you were listening. I am really going to miss that amazing, kick ass caeser salad that you made but refused to share the recipe.

But most of all, I am going to miss your quiet, calm, strong presence.

I texted Ben on the Monday before he passed to tell him what a great person, father, and husband I thought he was, and that everyday I prayed that he would get better. I keep looking at my phone waiting for a response from Ben, and I think of what his response may be. Now I know that if Ben could respond, he would say, “take care of my family, I am no longer in pain, and I am at Peace. “

Ben, we will take care of your family.

Be in peace, because no one deserves it more than you.

Love, Beth

Gone, Gone, Gone

The day after Ben’s “Celebration of a Life Well Lived”, I sent Zak to McDonalds with my bank card (parenting at its best) and he returned home to inform me that there was no money in the account.  What?!  We had just been paid three days earlier, and while it is true that I did spontaneously decide to take my yearly shopping spree on payday, two days before Ben’s service, there still should have been plenty of money in that account.

That is the problem with the division of labor in marriages … I earned the money (along with Ben, of course), but he managed the money, invested the money, paid the bills, set up the online banking etc etc etc.  We liked it that way.  Too many hands in the banking pot makes for missed payments or double payments, and I had a lot of other things to manage besides the finances.

So I drove down to one of our banks to try to get them to teach me how to move money online to the other bank where we keep the account that was now empty.  I spoke to a very nice teller but I found the whole thing so frustrating.  I stood there getting angrier and angrier at Ben for not having fixed all of these things before he passed away.  His refusal to acknowledge the inevitable that was coming was very helpful to both of us in allowing us to live with hope, but it was so frustrating when I was easily able to see that a few months down the road I would be exactly where I am right now …. sad, frustrated, and angry at having to learn so much at a time when I just want to curl up in a ball and cry.

Just as I felt the tears coming and I was swearing at Ben in my head, all of a sudden I listened and there it was.  “Gone Gone Gone” by Phillip Phillips playing over the speakers in the bank.  The same song I had chosen to end Ben’s video montage at his service.  And in typical fashion, Ben didn’t choose to calm me down by having a song play with the words “I’m sorry” in it.  Nope.  Not his style.  (For anyone who attended the service you may recall me mentioning that Ben’s face seemed to be physically unable to form the words “I’m sorry”.  For any reason.  Instead he would joke and tease us as a way to ask forgiveness.  So I shouldn’t be surprised that a song didn’t play with the words “I’m Sorry.”  But the timing of “Gone Gone Gone” worked well – it made me smile and forgive Ben for being the worst planner ever.  I was able to move the money and everything is ok for now.  In that area, anyway.

On a side note, I did end up discovering the problem.  His paycheque was retracted the moment he passed away.  Its not that I don’t get it, its just that they lump it in with the next couple months of his cheques.  Which is fine, but a heads up would have been nice when the mortgage has to be paid.  Lesson to everyone out there who works for my company.  Make sure you keep your account flush to cover the mortgage etc, and don’t go on a shopping spree to make yourself feel better.

Ben’s service was everything I had hoped and planned for.  I believe it went off without a hitch, but I am not up for talking about it right now, so I’m going to sign off.

I miss Ben horribly and it gets worse every day, now that the service is over.  I want to curl up in a hole and not surface for about a year. Right now he sleeps in our room so we can say good night and good morning.  How I wish we could have him back.

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The guitar picks were made to be hung on people’s keychains – contact me if you didn’t get one

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After his service we had family and close friend gathering.  Ben (above) stayed with us and we gave him a bottle of Kraken – just as he would have wanted.

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The next night we took a limo down to Vancouver to see Bryan Callens’ comedy show (for anyone who doesn’t remember, we met him the night we saw Doyle Bramhall II in LA.  He is a comedian, an actor, and he hosts Ben’s favourite podcast – The Fighter And The Kid). We laughed our asses off at his comedy, just as Ben would have wanted.  Bryan gave Ben a shout out during his show, and then Zak and I met him after his performance where I was able to give him a guitar pick keychain and a program from his service that shows Ben wearing the Fighter And The Kid t-shirt.

A fitting tribute to the man who meant everything to four of us, and is terribly, heart breakingly missed by us and so many others.

The Official Obituary

That is an odd title for a blog post.  There was a time when I could not have ever imagined writing something like that.  Unfortunately, these last 9 months have not been that time. So here goes:

Ben “The Titan” Saint-Onge 

March 13, 1969 – January 13, 2016

Ben Saint-Onge, our strong, steadfast, unbreakable “Titan”, took his last breath peacefully at home on January 13, 2016, surrounded by his beloved wife and children. Ben leaves behind Wendy, his one true love.  He also unwillingly leaves behind his main man Zak (son), and beautiful daughters Jaime and Raegan. All four brought immense light and joy into his life.

Ben grew up in Eastern Canada and joined the RCMP in 1992. This where he met a “smoking” young Wendy while at the Police Academy in Regina, SK. Ben’s first posting was to Gibsons, BC in 1993. It was here that he proposed to his sweetheart, and on September 24, 1994 they married and began their life journey together. Ben and Wendy joyfully added Zak to their family in 1996, followed by Jaime in 1999. Raegan’s arrival in 2001 completed their family.

Many civilian friends will be unaware of Ben’s truly exceptional career as a police officer with the RCMP. On the Sunshine Coast he was known as “Gentle Ben” – tough, but kind and fair. In 1997 he transferred to Langley Detachment, where he served as a uniformed member before developing a specialty in drug investigations. Ben spent the last fourteen years of his career in various specialized sections (during which time he was deservingly promoted), continuing to serve and protect in ways that the general public couldn’t understand but should gratefully appreciate. He was a gifted police officer, sought out for his skills as both an investigator and a teacher. As well, Ben received special recognition over the course of his 23 year career from both the RCMP and other police forces and families of victims.

Ben did not take lightly his time away from home and family; however, he knew that his efforts truly saved lives, brought justice, and positively impacted the communities in which he worked. Ben loved his job and his colleagues and was devastated when his illness made it impossible for him to continue. The people he worked with were not just his friends; they were his brothers and his sisters.

Forever missing Ben are his parents: father Ben Sr. (Diana), mother Myrna (Doug), and Robin and Maureen Insley, who loved Ben as surely, deeply, and truly as any parents ever could.

Ben will be desperately missed by his sisters: Michelle (Cameron, Kelsey, Harper, Darcy), Lisa (Brett, Brendan, Jenna), and Barbara (Makeda).

Finally, Ben leaves behind his “family by choice”: Jeff Scott, Nancy Birbeck , Beth Leatherdale, Mario Bourdages, Connie and Kirby Smith, and Dennis Ripley. There are countless others whom he loved, who loved him through years of joy and sorrow, and who never wavered in their support.

Our family is forever indebted to some very special people who helped care for Ben during his knock-down, drag-out, body-slamming fight with cancer (with a small “c”). Dr. Pippa Hawley and Dr. Christian Kollmannsberger patiently fielded our endless questions with professionalism and respect. They understood what needed to be said and when to say it.

It is very important to us to draw specific attention to Dr. Andre Bredenkamp. Our gratitude towards our “Dr B” knows no bounds. You came alongside us in our struggle and let us lean on you. We deeply appreciate the personal sacrifices you made to care for Ben and our entire family. It comforts us to know that Ben was in the best possible hands and received the best possible care.

For their gentleness, wisdom and kindness, their infinite patience and intimate understanding during Ben’s care, we are so grateful to Julie Bourdages, Leanne Upton, Marlene Upton, and Whitney Traversy. For their reliability and helpfulness throughout this entire ordeal, we deeply thank Sharon Woodburn and Paula McCaffrey, who never failed us when it came to obtaining medications and equipment. You will never know how deeply we appreciate all of you.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, please consider a donation to The Last Door recovery center (www.lastdoor.org/donate), a registered charity that was extremely personal and important to Ben. Alternately, donations may also be made in Ben’s name to bccancerfoundation.com. Donations in Ben’s name will be directed to the Personalized Onco-Genomonics (POG) clinical trials program.

Ben felt that Bruce Lee said it best:  “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”

Farewell my sweet man, until we meet again. I will honour your memory always, and I promise you I will take care of our children with the same love, kindness and patience as you always did. (ok, technically I may not be as patient as you, but I promise I will try.) Thank you for choosing me. Rock out with Jimmy Hendrix, my love.

 A Celebration of a Life Well-Lived for “The Titan” will be held at 1:00 p.m. on January 22, 2016, at Victory Memorial Park, 14831 28th Avenue in South Surrey. Reception to follow immediately afterwards.

Messages of condolence and favourite memories of Ben may be left at www.victoryfuneralcentre.ca where they will be compiled into a book for the family.

Farewell, My Sweet, Sweet Man

It is with indescribable sadness that I let everyone know that my beloved Ben passed away peacefully at home on January 13th. Sweet husband, incredible father, undeniably great Mountie.  Ben and I  were together at home, surrounded by the love of our children, our family and our dear friends. At the time of his passing, Ben was surrounded by a circle of love, music was playing, and candles were lit as we all lay together in the same bed.  If there can possibly be a beautiful passing, this was it.

I miss him desperately already.  My anguish is slightly eased knowing that Ben was with those who love him most in the world, and his passing went exactly as he wished.

A Celebration of A Life Well Lived will be held and is open to anyone who wants to be inspired to live their life like Ben did. Reception to follow immediately afterwards.

Friday, January 22, 2016
Start Time: 1pm
Reception: 2:15 pm
Location: Victory Memorial Park
14831 28 Ave
Surrey

Condolences can be left online at www.victoryfuneralcentre.ca.  An obituary will be placed online soon.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Ben’s name to one of the causes that were near and dear to his heart. Donations can be made in his name to The Last Door, which is an addiction recovery program that saves the lives of men and boys and returns them to their families as whole, caring people with limitless potential.  This program is near and dear to Ben’s heart. The website is: http://www.lastdoor.org/donate

Donations can also be made in Ben’s name to http://bccancerfoundation.com/.
Please click on the ‘donate’ button. Donations in Ben’s name will be directed to the Personalized Onco-Genomics (POG) clinical trials program. This program is the future of cancer treatment and is in need of funding.

Sleep well, sweet man.