Dead Teen's Inspiring Last Message to the World Is a Heartbreaker (VIDEOS)

Ben BreedloveThe whole world is talking about Ben Breedlove today. And rightfully so . . . I guess. Breedlove is the 18-year-old with a serious heart condition who posted a video online just this month detailing his three experiences with death during childhood. . . only to die on Christmas Day. His videos let us know that Ben wasn't afraid anymore.

But I don't want to talk about Ben. OK, I lied. I do want to talk about Ben, but not because the Austin, Texas teen is an inspiration to all of us struggling in this cruel, cruel world, terrified of the day when it will all be over. I want to talk about Ben because he was the child of Shawn and Deanne Breedlove and brother of Ally and Jake.

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That's why his death pummelled me in the guts. Because no kid should have to grow up that fast. And no two parents should have to even fathom that their kid experienced death so often he had made peace with it.

Even as the world gained the story of a young man who courageous walked toward the bright light he first saw when he was 4 years old and suffered a life-threatening seizure -- the first time he "cheated death" as he put it -- the Breedlove family lost their son and their brother. They lost him to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a disease that causes a thickening of the heart muscle, making it tough for blood to flow through. More severe if experienced by a young person, the first time a patient shows symptoms, sadly it's in the form of death from the condition. 

In Ben's case, he survived an attack at 4, an attack over the summer, and another at school this December, times when he said he experienced the "other side," a place where he was happy and smiling. It was a place he said he didn't want to leave. This last time he passed out at school, when EMS workers brought him back after 3 minutes without a pulse, Ben said he didn't want to wake up. You can watch it in his own words (but please, grab some tissues first):

I hope these videos are a comfort to his family; that their son was unafraid to die. I respect him for having the guts to say it. He is an inspiration. But he is also a dead child, who has left behind a grieving family. And as much as I want to take his words and smile today, that part breaks my heart. 

Do you take comfort in Ben Breedlove's last message to the world?

 

Image via YouTube

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