Popular YouTube Family Loses Young Son: A Lesson On Being Happy

Eckhart Tolle quote

I’m listening to Eckhart Tolle’s course – The Art of Presence on Soulvana, and in the first lesson, he talks about how everything is born and then dies. He talks about those slow motion films that show a flower growing and opening, and he painted an imagery of how everything grows, thrives, and then dies. Everything, including flowers, me, you, buildings, the sun…everything. Some things just take longer to go through the process, but he points out that if there was a film to show that process, it would all seem much more real than our imagination sees it.

A Young Boy Dies

I watch one YouTube family regularly called the Shaytards, so I know what it is like to be engaged in someone’s life that you don’t really know.

It’s fascinating to me how easily we can peek into someone’s life through the magic of YouTube. We didn’t have this kind of access into someone’s family when I was a kid, unless we stayed over at their house or were there all the time. I think that being able to watch another family’s joys, celebrations, healthy family antics, and even struggles can really help people with their own lives in a number of ways.

The other day a YouTube family that I don’t watch, who call their channel Bratayley, experienced a tragedy in the family. Their son, who I believe was 13 at the time, suddenly died. Not a ton of information has been disclosed yet, although according to a few different sources he died from an undetected heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

The following video is of him the day before he died. As you can see, he doesn’t look sick. He doesn’t think he’s sick. And, he’s talking about his future self without any concern that he’s not going to be around tomorrow.

They live streamed his memorial on their Facebook page, which was fascinating to me. A lot of people thought it was wrong to do, but I feel that their intentions were to help the YouTube viewers accept the death and deal with it.

I’m assuming from the comments that many of the viewers are quite young, so this may have been their first exposure to death in a way that was close to home. Obviously they weren’t in Caleb’s personal life, but after watching him day after day living his personal life, I’m sure they felt like they were. And, considering there were over 30,000 viewers during the stream when I visited, it seems that a lot of people wanted to check it out.

After the memorial, they took about a week off from broadcasting their life. Then, they decided to start posting to their daily channel again on a Monday.

A Lesson To Embrace Life

2 weeks since we last saw this smile but somehow still finding ways to #celebratelife @iamabakedpotato #lovehim #misshim

A photo posted by Annie Hayley Caleb Bratayley (@officiallybratayley) on


I realize that people die every day. Bad things happen every day. But when something like this happens to a family that videos their daily life and puts it in front of millions of people to watch, it has an extra impact for all of the regular viewers and even many of the non-regular viewers. We can go back, see him healthy in video after video, and really get involved with their life. And, the fact that he was healthy looking and running around the day before his death makes it even more impactful.

The parents have decided that since they started their YouTube channel to celebrate life, they are going to continue filming for now. Even though they miss their son, there are still 4 lives in the house that need to be celebrated.

While many people are debating if the parents are handling this whole situation in the right way or not, I can’t help but think that there are some good lessons for everyone to take to heart.

Embrace your life. Be happy for today. Celebrate life. And live in this moment. Even though most of us expect to have some warning signs that there will be no tomorrow, it doesn’t always happen that way.

One Response

  1. sherill
    February 25, 2016

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