by Michaela Tevlin
“If the world were to stop spinning at this very moment,
Brendan, you sure as hell were wrong.
While scavenging through some of Brendan’s old notebooks, Kairos letters, and perfect report cards I came across his college essay, a writing process I remember quite clearly, considering my mom basically badgered him about writing it everyday of the summer in 2012.
As I read it over I couldn’t help but think to myself “as smart as Brendan was I really don’t think he had a clue.” I don’t think Brendan had a clue that he didn’t just impact his family and friends lives tremendously but every single person he had ever encountered.
When you hear the name Brendan Tevlin, what do you think?
Do you think Brother?
The guy who pre-sets all the radio buttons in your car to the country music station?
Or possibly even the “The Life of the Party.”
While each one of these may characterize Brendan a little, none of those labels truly describe who Brendan was, or more importantly, who Brendan is.
Brendan is kind.
Brendan is loving.
Brendan is smart.
Brendan is positive.
Brendan is gracious.
Brendan is powerful.
Brendan is meaningful.
Brendan is athletic.
Brendan is good-looking.
Brendan is funny.
Brendan is happy.
And the list goes on.
As someone described, “Brendan is everything that is right in this world.”
Brendan was the epitome of the perfect brother.
My friends always make fun of me because they say that whenever I introduce myself to people I emphasize my last name, just for the attention it will gain me because of my brothers. I won’t deny that, because I do. But, what they don’t know is that the reason I emphasize my last name so much is because I know that when people hear the name Tevlin, not a single negative thought enters their mind. This is no thanks to me but, all thanks to Brendan.
One of my favorite memories of Brendan comes from about three weeks ago when he asked me to pick him up from a party in Livingston. Although I didn't tell him, I felt honored to finally be chauffeuring my older brother around, paying him back for all the times he had driven me. Some of the words he said escape me as he hopped into the passenger seat wearing a yellow golf shirt, pink khaki shorts and a tribal printed vest (an outfit of his I was particularly fond of) with a smile and attitude that just lit up the car.
I wasn't even mad that I was picking him up at 1 in the morning, even though I had to get up early for work the next day, just because of what happened next. On that short, seven-minute car ride home, I felt closer to him than I have in my entire life.
That’s the funny thing about distance; it only makes a relationship stronger. The first time Brendan left for college this year I tried not to get emotional, not only because my number one role model was leaving but, because he was leaving me as the oldest sibling. Eventually, I started to get used to the idea of Brendan being in college, probably having the time of his life, and it only made his returns home all the more exciting.
So while we are all grieving the loss of a terrific, talented and overall awesome young man, just think, he’s away, living it up, with new people, at a new place, doing amazing new things, just like in college.
Brendan, was more than my brother, he was my best friend. Brendan lived everyday as though he was going to die tomorrow. He radiated positivity throughout his entire being and just hearing his laugh or seeing his bright blue eyes light up when he flashed his pearly white smile could change your entire day.
All I know is that Brendan is going to be looking over every single one of us, every single day, you know in between catching some sweet, heavenly waves.
As Brendan would say, “Good Vibes and Easy Living.”
Thank you to everyone for being here today.
These remarks were delivered to the community at the Memorial Mass for Brendan Tevlin
at St. Philomena's Church in Livingston on July 1, 2014.
Brendan's sister, Michaela Tevlin, was the Eulogist and chose to make her remarks public.
Michaela is 17, and will be a senior this fall.