Geoffrey Bennun – Some final words

A couple of weeks have passed and as people have struggled to come to terms with Geoffrey’s death, this blog inadvertantly allowed for everyone to expresses their thoughts and create a sense of shared community.  I have looked back over all the comments from Geoffrey’s far flung friends and I feel honoured to count myself amongst this community.  As we all begin to move on with our lives, I want to leave you with two small thoughts that I found, that when reading may provide a brief pause for reflection and possibly a small sense of peace. 

(1)  A ship sails and I stand watching till she fades on the horizon
and someone at my side says
He is gone.
 

 Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all.
He is just as large now as when I last saw him.
His diminished size and total loss from my sight is in me, not in him.
 

 And just at that moment, when someone at my side says he is gone,
there are others who are watching him coming over their horizon
and other voices take up a glad shout –
There he comes!
 

That is what dying is.
An horizon and just the limit of our sight.
 

   

(2) No one’s death comes to pass without making some impression, and those close to the deceased inherit part of the liberated soul and become richer in their humanness. (Hermann Broch) 

Geoffrey Bennun- Message from Trevor

Update 21st July from Roxas City

Firstly I am overwhelmed by all the emails, blog messages and phone calls. I have been rendered speechless by all the support and love. I just don’t have the words to thank you all. I always knew that I loved Geoffrey, but it is only now in death that it has hit me, by how much. I am trying my hardest to divorce myself from the emotional side/aspect of his death and our connection so that I can accomplish the “sorting of the practicalities” first. It took me seven years to come to terms with my mothers death and now in the last four and a half years my father, step mother, sister and brother have all passed away. Until now Geoff and I shared the first three deaths seeing each other a few times a year. I will need time. Having Gypsy,Jai and Jordan with me is such a comfort and reminder to stay focused and get the job done.
I am indebted to Deborah for all her help and hard work, Geoff Beresford for his help, support, guidance and advice, Tim for his forthought, help, and concern and Harold & Jacqui for their incredible generosity and support.

It appears that Geoffrey and Abbie were last seen alive on the morning of the 9th at the swimming pool. They may have been shot later that day.

Apparently the gardeners who came on the 8 or 9th (I think) knocked for payment but no answer and did not try door.  They returned on monday 12th for payment and knocked, again no answer, could hear TV plus smell so this time they opened unlocked front door saw Geoffrey’s body and raised alarm.

I met up with Ray Walters, co owner of taxi company Geoff had invested in, on my arrival in Manila (he had arrived night before) on the evening of wednesday 14th & we made arrangements to go to Angeles the next day, thursday 15th early in the morning. After our arrival we spent day till 9pm with police in funeral parlour. From about 6pm we hid in a room, from the media and people that police were interviewing at funeral parlour.

Gypsy, Jai & Jordan arrived in Angeles the next morning (friday 16th) and we visited the funeral parlour to be with Geoff, and make arrangements for the cremation.  In the afternoon I went to Geoff’s house with the police for an initial inspection. The smell and scene will remain with me forever.

Saturday 17th we all went to Geoff’s house but given the circumstances could only accomplish the very essential requirements. That night we had a memorial dinner at Geoff’s favourite restaurant, C’s where we drank Geoff’s wine with the Owner/Chef.  Although Geoff believed his Caesar salad was better than the Owner/Chefs having insisted on making it once and having argued the point, the Italian Owner/Chef Chris had such a degree of respect and affection for Geoff that he would not allow us to pay for the meal and we inscribed a plate in Geoff’s memory that he placed on the wall.

Sunday 18th, such was the desire to leave Angeles that we checked out and took our bags with us to Geoff’s cremation in Olongapor where there is a modern facility about 45 to 65 minutes drive (can’t remember accurately).  We conducted our own service, Gypsy, Jai, Jordan, Vilma, Ray and myself and then the coffin was wheeled out and taken to where the cremation is done. We then continued to Manila and booked airtickets to Roxas City. Sunday night we wanted to eat at Geoff’s favourite restaurant Le Souffle but one had closed and the other branch was unknown to the taxi driver so we ended up at his equally favourite restaurant L’Opera.

Monday we flew to Roxas having said goodbye to Ray and yesterday Gypsy, Jai & Jorden went to Boracay to recouperate. I slept. They are returning to Roxas tomorrow, Thursday and on Friday morning we flyback to Manila. They return to Canada Friday evening, I will spend Friday night in Manila returning to Angeles Saturday morning.

It has been an unbelievably unsettling, scary, sad, stressful and emotional time for Gypsy, Jai and Jordan who are struggling to come to terms with the loss of Geoffrey.  Their deep love for Geoff is so evident yet they have managed to find the strength and energy to give me so much love and comfort at the same time.  I am in awe of their virtues that add up to the sum of their being.

Thank you everyone and I hope to share time with you all at some stage in Geoff’s memory


Thankyou
Kind Regards

Geoffrey Bennun – Memorial Service

Trevor and has family have asked me to post this invitation.

As a tribute to the life and times of  Geoffrey a gathering of family, friends and colleagues is being held on;

 Sunday 8th August, 2010,

 3pm—6pm

 at the home of  

Harold & Jacqui Kopelowitz 
78 Murriverie Rd, North Bondi NSW 2026

Sydney, AUSTRALIA

Please RSVP to Deborah Helleur – dhelleur@au1.ibm.com

+61421904595

 

Geoffrey Bennun – Your Chocolate conversation with God

Dearest Geoffrey,

I thought I should give you some time to have the conversations that I know you will need to have with God, before reminding you of your conversation with my youngest daughter in our kitchen in Amsterdam in June.  Just to remind you;

“Listen, when I am dead I am going to have a conversation with God to get him to explain why he decided to make really great things like chocolate, bad for you. Why couldn’t he have decided that the more chocolate that you eat the skinnier and healthier you become?  It doesn’t make any sense, if he is responsible for all things I definitely need to talk to him about this, because it makes no sense to me at all”.

 

Geoffrey Bennun – Update

Because so many friends of Geoffrey have read this blog, I thought it would be appropriate to post any updates as I get them, which will help to keep everyone informed as there are so many unanswered questions.  I received the following information in an email this morning.  I have edited it slightly.

 Geoffrey was the victim of a home invasion robbery, he was shot whilst seated at the dining table and there is evidence that he was forced to write his signature as some paper was left behind on the table with his signature repeated several times.

His girlfriend was shot in the bedroom.   His valuables, laptop and mobile phone were stolen.

Trevor is going to arrange a cremation in Manilla, which will be one day next week.  His Niece and Nephew will arrive from Canada in the morning.