Eulogy by Holly Aubin

 

Father Francis, family and friends:
 

I feel it’s an honour to be here with all of you to say goodbye to Brad.

This past week I have been in the company of Brad’s extended family, his neighbours and several of his friends. As I look at you all today, the enormity of this gathering is a testimony to the huge world of Brad.   The world he lived loved and played in.

It is with joy that the family chooses to celebrate Brad’s life. In meeting with friends and family to share memories, I learned a lot about him.

At an early age, he displayed his determination to try new things, to be successful at sports, to be competitive in just about everything he did.  At a young age he also revealed the ability to be kind, supportive, upbeat and positive.

Because he was not selfish and he had a positive attitude, he displayed a natural ability to teach others. As he matured, these traits showed through consistently as he dropped by to visit his friends, he always took the time to talk to their parents. He was personable and asked how they were.  He took time to catch up on what they were doing.

Brad had a great work ethic – starting at 13 he displayed commitment, the ability to arrive on time, be dependable and get the job done. He was a hard worker, personable and likeable.  These traits we see in his mother and father.

His grandparents recall that as a little guy, his determination to reach the waterslide at their very busy Kelowna vacation spot – Brad eagerly battled the large line up by wiggling thru the people who were so much taller than him. He apparently went round and round many times while the line seemed to almost stand still.

His childhood friend Ashley at 6 years old had not yet learned to ride a 2 wheeler but had a great desire to ride in the Beaumont bike rodeo. Her mother Marion spent a few hours helping her to learn but finally admitted that she needed Brad, who, although 11 months younger than Ashley, was racing around adeptly on his bike. Kind hearted Brad did teach Ashley to ride within a half hour of his instruction.  

Because he was so determined, encouraging words no doubt came easy to him.  His desire to have others try and succeed was obvious.

Here’s an example of his forthright energy to be helpful and have fun. About 5 years ago, vacationing in Kelowna, Brad enjoyed “dumpster” diving with his friend Josh – looking for Josh’s retainer after he had inadvertently removed it and left it on a table at a restaurant. Just imagine it – they actually found it wrapped up in a napkin – in the dumpster!

Brad was an avid sportsman; friends say he was a natural on the ice. His Dad became the “King” of skating rinks, building one every winter in the back yard. Neighbours and friends recall the great times their kids had enjoying the company of the family gatherings while kids skated and parents visited around the fire.

From hockey to skiing, skate boarding, snowboarding, dirt biking and fishing – Brad loved it all. He desired to master one thing after the other. His competitiveness had a great upside – it spurred his sister Aimee to try harder as she competed against him and to do her best in sports of her own.

Brad had a great pal, a buddy for life, his friend Kole. As I understand it, the two were of the same great nature, on the same mission, had the same drive. They spent so much time together enjoying life to the fullest.

Now together with Thad they are on yet another great mission I am sure. I know everyone here can attest to great friendship. The bond is so sweet and powerful. The families are grateful for the friendship of Brad, Kole and Thad.

When I spoke with Sheri, Rob and Aimee - I asked if there was anything specific they wanted me to say today.   Individually and with great tears, Sheri and Aimee verbalized the following words to me whereas Rob - his heart beat it out for me to hear. “Tell everyone how much we loved Brad.”

Sheri, Rob, Aimee – in the past week your extended family and friends have shown that they always knew how much you loved Brad and therefore they are here for you today to share in your sorrow.

Now if Brad could speak to us at this moment, what would he say? Well some time ago, when Brad was in grade school, he wrote a poem.  It was called “The Most Wonderful Thing by Bradley.”  What he felt all those years ago, I believe stand true today.  Here is what he wrote:

The most wonderful thing about my Mom is that she kisses me goodnight.

The most wonderful thing about my Dad is that he takes me to get water.

The most wonderful thing about my sister is that she plays Nintendo with me.

The most wonderful thing about me is that I listen.

Well I am sure Brad is listening to all our hearts today. So to all of us that have gathered here in sorrow for the loss of this man in our world, today is our chance to say thank you for the way he brightened our lives.

Although we might feel cheated that he has been taken from us so young, let’s be thankful that he WAS here and that we were given the chance to have known him. My personal thanks Brad for being in my world.

Brad’s family has asked me to thank all of you for your tremendous support during this difficult time. They are grateful for your thoughtful words and every act of kindness you have shown them.