Brandon, My Angel Up in Heaven


I had just barely got to know my friend Brandon before he was hit by a car on May 24, 1997. He was walking with his girlfriend Claire across the street from a carnival to the parking lot. As they were crossing the street, a car swerved to avoid hitting Claire and hit Brandon. He died a few hours later at a hospital.

In the days after Brandon's death, his family, and the junior class at my school sat in shock as they learned of his death. Brandon was in many clubs and he was very well known socially and academically. Everyone loved him. It is hard for me to imagine that a 16-year-old, one of my good friends, was dead. Three days after his death, the junior class (all of whom Brandon knew) and his friends made a memorial for Brandon. They wrote letters to him on big pieces of cloth, strung it together and posted it out in front of the school. I think that it helped all of us deal with our grief. A cross was placed at the intersection of West Congress Street and Bertrand Drive, where he was killed. Earlier this year, friends of Brandon founded the Brandon Bertsch Memorial Scholarship, in honor of him and his leadership in our school.

After Brandon's death, I was angry that God would take such a wonderful, loving person as him. Why didn't he take all of the murderers and thieves?? His life ended so quickly and tragically that I felt that there must be someone to blame. It has almost been a year now, and I have learned to cope with his death. I know now that Brandon is an angel in Heaven, smiling down on all of us.


You can send email to Nicole at: [email protected]
mail welcome

anniversary date 05-24-97
date of post 04-24-98

[return to home page] [column] [book excerpts] [honor page] [discussions page]

Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW