R.I.P Uncle Ray

Tuesday 23rd October 2012

This blog post is personal and mainly an outlet for myself…

My ‘uncle’ passed away today after months of hospital treatment to try and help repair his body from the years of alcohol abuse. I have always known Ray as a drinker, I have had many good drinking sessions with him. He is not blood related as my uncle, but as he has always been in my life from my birth and has always been very close to my dad since birth and my nan raised him, I class him as my uncle and a very close uncle at that.

Drinking has always been part of his life, everyone enjoys a drink at the weekends and after work, it’s the norm. The big problem he had, was that he had starting drinking more alcohol and much cheaper alcohol. This started to affect him in many ways. His health started deteriating and so he left his job. When he left his job he was bored, so he drank more. Boxing Day this year, he had to go to hospital. From that day on, he has slowly been losing his life.

Many people have been trying to help him with his drinking for years, but trying to help someone with a problem, isn’t easy. I started drinking at an early age with the lads on the streets, fortunately my dad and uncle knew that this was going to be a stage of my life that I had to do. They supported me with drinking by buying my beer, watching me and making sure I drank responsibly. I completely understand why they did this and I know for a fact I would have been experimenting with hard drugs if this wasn’t the case.

Most nights of the week we were up Rays flat, drinking, having a laugh, putting the world right, enjoying the social life of beer… But now it has all gone.

One thing I will never forget is when I was around 22 years old and he was saying how fat I had got, then he asked my best mate if he thought the same. They both agreed I was fat. Bastards. The last time I saw him was when we went to my wife’s grandads house when he was about to pass away, just a couple of months back. I stood there and started talking to him, he had a blanket over him covering up the tubes in his stomach which would connect to a dialysis machine every night for 8-12 hours to flush his system out, due to his kidneys packing up. He said to me that I looked really well, he noticed that I had changed my life with fitness and this has now gave me another reason to keep it up.

This memory will stay with me till I die. People do notice changes in you, you just don’t see it yourself. I found him great to talk to the last time I saw him. Although he was sober and scared, he was much better to talk to than when he was pissed.

I have now lost three close friends in just a couple of years due to alcohol related problems. My best mate lost his dad 2 years ago at the age of 46. This was alcohol that ended up giving him brain damage and he died. My other mate was early 40s and ended up the same way, leaving his children and loved ones behind.

I’m fortunate to love my family enough to have stopped drinking alcohol and focus on a healthier life style. At least when I die I know that I have done what I can to live a longer life. I really don’t think I would have lived to 50 if I had kept drinking. I could have left my kids, wife and future grandkids without a husband/father. Knowing that I am trying to do what I can to stop that from happening, allows me to die smiling.

No one knows what the future holds, but we do know that smoking kills you and alcohol abuse kills you. Why would you want to do this to your family? You don’t care when you’re dead, it’s the others you leave behind.

I hope nothing knocks me off my track to my aims, the future can throw all sorts of things at you, I must conquer the short term problems to full fill my long term goals.

Uncle Ray at our wedding.

image

We miss you and will always love you Uncle Ray. x x x

Just drink responsibly…

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