What a beautiful, brave, inspirational young man. Ben Breedlove was 18 years old when he shot these two videos. In the videos, called This is my Life Part 1 and 2, he lets the words written on white rectangular cards do all the talking for him, accompanied by the instrumental version of the poignant Tears for Fears song, Mad World.
He ‘talks’ about a life-threatening condition he’s been living with called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and how he came close to death three times; what some would call near-deaths. The common thread running through each experience was that he saw a bright light and it made him smile and feel at peace.
In his last near-death (Dec 6th 2011), Ben shares how he found himself in a white soundless room without walls – very peaceful. His favourite rapper Kid Cudi was there too. They were both decked out in splendid suits and Ben was looking in the mirror thinking how good they both looked:
“The first thing I thought was Damn we look GOOD!”
Not just a beautiful young man, but a humorous one too!
Particularly touching was when he ‘said’: “I then looked at myself in the mirror. I was proud of MYSELF, of my entire life, everything I have done.”
Sadly, Ben passed away on Christmas Day, a week after he uploaded the videos. He suffered a heart attack.
Kid Cudi saw the videos and heard of Ben’s passing. Moved, he wrote on his tumblr blog:
“I broke down, I am to tears because I hate how life is so unfair. This has really touched my heart in a way I can’t describe.”
“Life is really f—- up sometimes, but I know Ben is at Peace, and I hope he gets a chance to sit and talk with my Dad. We love you Ben. Forever. Thank you for loving me. To Ben’s family, you raised a real hero, he’s definitely mine. You have my love.”
The videos are a very personal part of Ben’s life that he didn’t have to record and share, and yet he did, leaving behind a powerful, courageous and moving legacy as well as a testament to his spirit.
This is My Life (Part 1):
This is My Life (Part 2):
Rest in Peace, Ben. You were/are loved.