Make a Mark


I am not sure I blinked for nearly an hour because if I did, I knew it would be over. I cried, hugged, and shared stories but I didn’t want to blink.

We laid Brandon Homrich to rest this morning after a long fight with a very aggressive form of lymphoma, friends and family filling a church to celebrate the life of a man who left us far too soon.

Last night while Angie and I were drifting off to sleep she turned to me and asked, “when did Brandon start as your intern?” For the life of me, I could not remember because for as long as Brandon blessed my family’s life — he was just always there and while he was here, he was going to leave a mark.

One of my favorite stories about Brandon (there are many) is when he decided he was going to take over mixing songs for a show on 104.5 WSNX called “The Beatdown.” At the time it was the top rated hour of radio in Grand Rapids, big shoes to fill for a kid who had never tried his hand at being a DJ. But that was the perfect scenario for Brandon, he was going to put in the work and take over that show — and he did. Brandon loved competition but approached it with a humility that was infectious, he was any easy man to love.

I shared earlier in the week on Facebook the video of him hitting me with a steel chair, which was perfectly Brandon. But the thing about Brandon I will miss the most is that he always put others before himself.

In fact, this morning during the service Father Stephen Durkee shared a story about the first time that he visited Brandon and when he went to minister to him Brandon told him he didn’t want to talk about that now, he wanted to know how Father Durkee was and what he liked to do. This week when Brandon was in tremendous pain he was worried about Father Durkee standing for so long and asked for him to sit. Brandon worried about others first and was unshakeable in the face of terrible trials — there is a big lesson here.

All week I have heard stories of Brandon walking the halls of the hospital making sure other people were doing ok, spreading a kind word, or sharing a word of faith — do something bigger than yourself.

When we left this afternoon there was a peace in the air that was not there earlier, it was a profound feeling. The feeling that funerals are not for the dead. Funerals are for us to gather as a community, to share a cry, a story, a laugh. Funerals are for all of us left behind to understand that the true richness in life is that you leave the world better than when you received it. Brandon Homrich is the Webster’s Dictionary definition of this idea and has inspired hundreds of people to be better, love deeper, care wider, and make a mark on the world around you.

Now, go make that mark.


Eric HultgrenComment