Chronicling Victor's final days

by Mark Mabry

Editor's Note: In the article below, Mark Mabry describes what it was like to be around Glenn during the final months of Victor's life. Mark is a writer, photographer, filmmaker, and storyteller with The American Dream Labs. He is currently working on The Man in the Moon and a yet-to-be-announced project. Mark and his family are also close with the Beck's, allowing Mark to get a unique perspective on the personal moments in Glenn's life.

“Take a few pictures of Victor, he is starting to get bad... you never know when his time will come,” was Glenn’s main request up at the Ranch last August.

So that week, I looked for my chance. Occasionally Victor would limp to the front law and lay in the sun. But mostly he laid by the door.

Glenn mentioned that he was going to start preparing the family for what was becoming apparent about Victor. He was nearing the end.

Not long after the trip I was perusing Vimeo, when I came across a video called, Last Minutes with ODEN. It was masterful, telling the story of a man and his dog with cancer. The man reminisced as he took ODEN in to be euthanized. The man was obviously not rich and the dog was all he had...

I sent him an email during radio... “Glenn, this might be incredibly insensitive to show you right now, but you may find comfort in it. - Mark”

Typically there is a barrage of people that need Glenn to see things once he gets off the air. Nathan, Director of Creative Services, who sits next to me had just produced a great new show intro that he was anxious to show him. LJ, waited to give him some 1791 proofs as well.

At 11:01, strait from radio, he came up and walked over to my desk.

“What do you want to show me?”

“It’s a dog video. Maybe it’s not the right time...”

Nathan and LJ stood by, projects in arms.

“No, show me now.”

I pulled it up and handed Glenn my headphones. He sat in my chair. Four minutes in, Glenn was a mess. Tears, kleenexes, audible sobs.

I looked at Nathan, “Sorry man. I probably could have timed this a little better.”

“I’ll wait on that promo...” he whispered back.

Glenn finished, laid down the head phones, and walked to his office.

Fast forward a few month. It’s March now. Victor can barely walk at all. He’s gone deaf in one ear and blind in one eye. Victor is in severe pain.

Glenn began to talk about it on the radio more and more. And as the time approached he had more to say about it. Once he had spoken about the sadness and the difficulty of ending someones life, we turned the conversation toward documenting this deeply personal moment... whether it was actually helpful to listeners and viewers, or if it was exploitation of a sacred moment.

Glenn opened up about his history. For the last 35 years, he has had listeners. A one way conversation with the microphone... knowing that today there are millions of them listening. He wept about the comments on his site and the notes he’s received.

“For years, I lied about my life... thinking I was telling the truth. That was a one-way conversation. But for the last decade or so, I really am telling the truth. And talking about this is on air is natural. I guess it’s how I cope,” he told me at the end of a long talk.

So I kept tagging along with camera in hand. There are only a few times that I’ve felt so timid about photographing as when people are grieving, as Glenn and his family were in the middle of.

Something else interesting has happened. For the most part, there was a truce. For a few days, trolls on the site were nicer (on this topic at least). Losing a friend was sacred turf upon which nobody felt like trampling.

I watched Glenn teach his own family about grieving, friendship, and life. About God, too. And about man’s relationship with God’s creations.

He showed them, that when it comes down to it station in life doesn’t matter in moments of grief. It feels the same for everyone. Rich and poor, believer and non, etc...

How we deal with it is up to us.

Watch last minutes with ODEN below:

Last Minutes with ODEN from Eliot Rausch on Vimeo.

On Monday's episode of "The Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn opened up about the tragic death of his brother-in-law, Vincent Colonna Jr., who passed away unexpectedly on April 5. He also shared some of the important thoughts and insights he's learned through the grieving process.

"Last Monday, I was sitting in this chair ... the two-minute warning comes and Stu said to me, 'You ready for the show?'' ... And that's when my wife [Tania] came to the door of the studio here at our house and said, 'I...' and she held the phone up. And then she collapsed on the floor in tears," Glenn began. "Tania's brother had passed. To say this was a shock, is an understatement."

Glenn described his brother-in-law as having "a servant's spirit."

"He was always the guy who lit up the room. He was always the guy helping others. He would never stop, because he was always helping others," Glenn said of Vincent. "He was on the school board. He was a little league coach. He was the soccer coach. He helped build the church. He took care of the lawn of the church. He was constantly doing things, raising money for charity, working over here, helping to organize this. But he was never the guy in the spotlight. He was just the guy doing it, and you had no idea how much he had done because he never talked about it.

"We also didn't know how much mental anguish he was in because he never talked about it. And last Monday morning, after spending Easter with the family ... he killed himself. This is now the third family member of mine that has gone through this. And I keep seeing it play out over and over and over again, in exactly the same way."

Glenn described his thoughts as he, Tania, and her family struggled to come to grips with the devastating loss.

"I learned some really important things as I was watching this wake. I'm seeing these people from all walks of life ... the people that were there, were there because [Vince] made a difference in their life. He was a true servant. As I'm watching this, all that kept going through my mind was, 'by their fruits, ye shall know them.' The fruits of his labor were on display. He was a servant all the time. All the time ... he found a way to love everybody.

"There are two great commandments: Love God with all your heart and mind and soul. And love your neighbor. So those two great commandments boil down to: Love truth. Because that's what God is," Glenn said.

"Love thy neighbor. That's where joy comes from. The opposite of joy is despair, and that is the complete absence of hope ... and how do you find joy? You find joy by rooting yourself in the truth. Even if that's a truth you don't want to accept. Accept the truth," he added. "But we have to stop saying that there's nothing we can do. What are we going to do? Well, here's the first thing: stop living a lie."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:


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After imprisoning a pastor for refusing to follow COVID-19 restrictions, Canadian officials barricaded his church. And when some church members retaliated by tearing down part of the fence, Canadian Mounties arrived in riot gear.

Rebel News Founder Ezra Levant joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to give his insight on the crazy situation. He described the new, armed police presence surrounding GraceLife Church in Edmonton, Alberta, and how it not only encouraged hundreds of protesters to stand with the church in support but forced congregation members underground to worship as well.

What's happening is eerily similar to what occurs everyday in China, Levant says, and it must stop. Who would have thought this type of tyranny would be so close to home?

Watch the video below to hear Ezra describe the religious persecution taking place in Canada.


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Enough prayers? Why is supposed Catholic Joe Biden suggesting that Congress ought to stop praying for after someone commits acts of gun violence?

On Friday, Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray filled in for Glenn and discussed President Joe Biden's remarks during his speech on gun control. "Enough prayers. Time for some action," Biden said. Stu and Pat were surprised how dismissive Biden appeared to be on the idea of prayer.

Watch the clip to hear more. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Just days after Canadian pastor James Coates was released from prison for refusing to bow to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, several police officers showed up at another church to ensure restrictions were being followed. But Polish pastor Artur Pawlowski of the Cave of Adullam Church in Alberta, Canada, knew his rights, telling the cops not to come back until they had a warrant in hand.

Filling in for Glenn Beck on the radio program this week, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere played a video of the interaction.

"Please get out. Please get out of this property immediately. Get out!" Pawlowski can be heard yelling at the six officers who entered his church.

"Out! Out! Out! Get out of this property immediately until you come back with a warrant," he continued. "Go out and don't come back. I don't want to talk to you. You Nazis, Gestapo is not allowed here! ... Nazis are not welcome here! Do not come back you Nazi psychopaths. Unbelievable sick, evil people. Intimidating people in a church during the Passover! You Gestapo, Nazi, communist fascists! Don't you dare come back here!"

Watch this clip to see the heated exchange:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.