Brandon's Story

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Brandon's Story

His smile and his laugh were one of a kind and will never be forgotten...


This weekend, someone very special to my closest family and I departed from us way too soon. Over the course of the last five days I have witnessed my family and their friends come together to support each other in a way unlike anything I have ever heard of or seen. I have watched in awe as my family has been forgiving, gracious, supportive of one another, and strong during a very difficult time. I can’t help but to think about how proud Brandon must be of all of us right now.

When someone who is merely 22 years old is taken from you one can’t help but to be very angry, hurt, and sad. We question the fairness of life. We ask “why?” We play the “what if” question over and over in our heads. Why are evil people living so long while so many good and honorable young people are leaving us way too soon?

These are all natural questions, but we get through these tough times by thinking about all the great things we got from those 22 years with Brandon. We find some comfort in knowing that there are many types of people out there and somehow we were fortunate enough to have someone as amazing as Brandon in our lives. We gain some relief in recognizing that we each have hundreds of memories that we will always cherish. We get some peace from knowing that he loved us and more importantly, that he knew we were proud of him and loved him too.

We must find solace and healing from the fact that Brandon will be forever with us. He lives on in our hearts and our minds. That old soul that was so kind will be there to motivate us in our future endeavors. He will be there to remind us that we have a choice about how we go forward. He will be there to pull us back when we are close to the edge. He will be there to lift us up when we are down. He will be watching as his family grows closer than ever, he will be there to make sure his parents, beautiful sisters, and family and friends have the best life possible, and he will be encouraging us all to go live life to the fullest, in a way that would continue to make him proud.

Life, and more importantly surviving the pain it throws our way, is all about perspective and remembering we always have something to be grateful and thankful for.

I am thankful to have had Brandon as my cousin. Though it wasn’t nearly enough, I am thankful to have got to spend as much time with him as I did. Having him visit me in Florida was always an adventure and we made some great memories. From air-boating through the Everglades, catching a Marlins game, going to South Beach, trying our first hookah, eating at nice restaurants, and playing PlayStation together… these are the things I will hold in my heart forever.

Like me, he was an old soul. To be so young he knew so much, he gave without expectations of a return, and he was one of the most well-mannered and caring people I have ever met. He was smart. He was passionate about the things he loved. He was respectful of everyone and in return, earned everyone’s respect. He could have, and would have, been anything he wanted to be. Without knowing it, he was an encourager and a motivator. He made you want to be a better person. If you were around Brandon for very long you might begin to ask yourself, “Why can’t I be more like this remarkable human being?”

Anytime we need you, all we have to do is close our eyes and think about you… and there you will be.

People say “sorry for your loss” but I am going to be thinking about how HAPPY I AM FOR MY GAIN. To know Brandon, his caring heart, his genuine concern, and his kindness has truly been one of the biggest additions to all of our lives.

We Love You. Forever.

Steve Hamro III