Intelligent, loving, compassionate, humble, vibrant
With beautiful, deep blue eyes set in his handsome face, a killer smile and a kindness that was pervasive, Brandon loved unconditionally. He was complex, intellectual and creative. He was also full of life; a vibrant, bright light. People, especially those who were hurting or down on their luck, were drawn to him. He loved them all, welcoming them into his ever-widening circle,, offering them love and comfort.
Brandon, also known endearingly as B, B-love or Doula, had a soft and gentle nature that radiated warmth and love. He was well read and capable of capturing and retaining everything. He often watched the history and discovery channels, which led to enthusiastic conversations with his mom and others to share what he learned, but not arrogantly. He liked to snowboard, ride his 4 wheeler, surf and cook, always striving to do better and better at everything. And he was passionate about his Honda Civic, which he tore down and rebuilt multiple times until it was just right.
He worked at various jobs and was always looking to learn more and take on challenges that fed his intellect or physical abilities. Though Brandon didn’t talk of it much, he had a strong personal relationship with God that affected those close to him, including his father and his girlfriend, who both found God after Brandon’s passing.
Brandon helped people at every opportunity. He once met an elderly woman, living in a camper. Everyday living was difficult for her, so Brandon cleared her camper of debris and fixed everything that was broken to make it easier for her. Another time he took in a young woman who had been forced to leave her home. She said he befriended her, fed her and helped get her back on her feet. His mother has many similar stories where Brandon helped people through his “positive uplifting and caring ways.” “Unconditional love was his greatest attribute,” his mom said.
His mom loved to hear Brandon laughing over his favorite television sitcoms and hear him calling to her, “Mom, come watch this with me.” He would send her New Year’s Eve messages saying “I won the lottery when I got you for a mom.” “Nothing could replace those messages for me,” she said. “My best memory is that he loved me unconditionally and always showed it.”
Brandon was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and sought professional help but also used drugs to self medicate. He wanted so badly to be free of drugs and began feeling there was no hope. He wanted to get married, have a home, find challenging work and start a family. Unfortunately, addiction impeded those goals, and he spent most of his time and energy fighting to be free of his illness. “It was sheer hell every day,” his mom said.
“Brandon taught me so much; humility, to live simply, to love more and to forgive, his mom stated. “Grief has brought me closer to my God; I have learned to share my faith with those around me by living it through love. God has blessed me; I am living life again with gratitude for having my wonderful son in my life.”
Brandon’s mother, Marlene Rohe, provided the information for this narrative.
August 7, 1981-February 19, 2011
Age 29-Lived with the disease of addiction 3 years