BRIAN GRAHAM GEYER. 23.12.1974 – 02.10.2004

20151001113015_00004 (2) - CopyAll photos courtesy of Anne Blach Overgaard, who put the beautiful album together for my mom.  Photos taken by Anne in Israel, Egypt, South Africa, Denmark and Sweden20151001113705_00007 (2)

We have reached that dreaded day again…the day all our lives changed forever. Like so many people that have lost a sibling and parents who have lost a child, how we long to be able to turn back the clock and have a moment to say good bye.  We weren’t given that moment.  In a blink of an eye you were gone.  Eleven years ago (4015 days ago) you were sadly and tragically taken from us.  Not a day goes by that we don’t think of you and miss you. Always something or someone that triggers a memory.  Where are you little brother? Love and miss you forever and a day.

Eleven years ago Brian was working as a Field Guide and Ranger Assessor in Hoedspruit. He was passionate about the bush and loved his job.  To him it wasn’t a job, it was a calling. He and his beloved Anne had decided that this was the path they wanted 20151001113705_00016 (2)to take and he went for it with all the drive and passion and enthusiasm that only people that knew him will understand. When Brian decided to do something he went for it “balls to20151001113705_00022 (2) the wall”, “go big or go home”. J He spoke loud, he laughed loud and he loved BIG. A larger than life character that touched the hearts of his students, his family and all who came into contact with him and were privileged to know him. He was headstrong and when Brian decided he was going to do something, there was no stopping him. He was killed in a car accident on the 2 October 2004 L, in Hoedspruit, on his way back to his camp.

20151001113705_00012 (3)I went to my mom’s house today and was looking at the books in her book case…most of them Brian’s. There are books on botany, zoology, game farm management, trees, reptiles, 20151001113705_00012 (2)ecology, birds, insects, rare plant species, game capture, animal husbandry, economics.  You name it, the book is there.  And why?  Because Brian never did anything half.  It was always the whole way or no way J. I hope to someday to write this extraordinary man’s biography, but not ready yet, even after 11 years L  He had packed so much into his short 29 years. He saw things we only dreamed about, did things that only the most adventurous of us would attempt. Lived in so many beautiful countries, experiencing their cultures and lifestyles. Met extraordinary people and he loved them all. Brian’s zest for life and passion was so contagious and he wanted to share all this and he did. 

20151001113705_00020 (2)As my beautiful friend Caren would ask…”what lessons have you learned? What have you got out of this terrible loss and heartache?” Mmmmmm…hard one to answer when you are feeling the sadness and heaviness I am feeling today. But yes…

  1. Mom, Tracey and I decided that one day we are going to write a book entitled “What NOT 20151001113705_00020 (3)TO SAY to people who are grieving the loss of a loved one”. J People mean well and try to say the right things, but no words on this earth are “the right words” when one has lost such a huge part of a close family.  And he was a huge part. One of the wheels 20151001113705_00008 (2)of our family. And the saying that says ‘only when it has happened to you, will you understand’ is so so so true.  We don’t want to hear that ‘he is in a better place’. There was nothing wrong with the place he was in, in the first place!  We don’t want to hear that ‘it was his time’. (Even though I do believe that we all have our time on earth). The lesson:  Don’t say 20151001113705_00006 (3)anything.  Just be there and do practical things for the family. Let them know by your deeds that you care and feel their loss. Always put yourself in the other person’s situation before you say or do anything (this goes for practical everyday living as well) 20151001113705_00006 (2)P.S.  There really is no time limit on grieveing.
  2. LIVE LIFE TO THE FULL. Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.  If you want to learn to fly, start saving money TODAY. Start making plans TODAY.  Do today whatever you can to get to the goal you have in mind.  I once asked Brian how he could afford to flit 20151001113705_00003 (2) - Copyoverseas whenever he wanted to. (He wasn’t earning a whack of a salary, yet always had plans, which he followed through and did) His answer was “Just do it.  Book the flight, make the plans and go for it”. In practical terms, he booked the flight and paid every month until the flight was paid for.
  3. Do not worry about what other people think or what they think of you. If this were the20151001113705_00002 (2) - Copy case, Brian would not have achieved half of what he did in such a short period of time.
  4. Be kind to people. Brian was the kindest person I know.  He ALWAYS made people feel 20151001113705_00001 (2)special about themselves and made sure that when he was engaging with them, they knew it.  BE THERE! If there is something you can do for someone else TODAY then do it.  Don’t put it off.
  5. Always have a goal in mind and something to look forward to. This is what keeps our serotonin levels up.  Every person needs to have something to look forward to, otherwise what’s the point?
  6. Be strong and stand by your convictions. Don’t allow other influences (Drugs, alcohol,20151001113015_00018 (2) addictions, nastiness, bitterness etc) to own you. That is not how we were created.
  7. Take calculated chances and risks. How boring life would be if we didn’t do this.
  8. 20151001113015_00013 (2)Always wear your safety belt
  9. Love BIG and love HARD
  10. G-d is in control

20151001113015_00017 (2)There is so many more “lessons learned” to list, but I really would be here all day.

So precious brother of ours, thank you for the lessons learned.  Thank you that we have no regrets.  Thank you that you brought such a vibrancy and fullness to all our lives.  Thank you that we have such wonderful good happy memories. Till we meet again, we will miss you always. 20151001113015_00002 (2) - Copy

10 thoughts on “BRIAN GRAHAM GEYER. 23.12.1974 – 02.10.2004

  1. What a wonderful tribute. Thanks for sharing and baring Shelbs. Double Amen to the advice parts. Just be there, don’t ask what you can do, just do. Allow the grieving people to talk about their loss as often as they need to, it’s as necessary as breathing to the healing process.

  2. Thank you for this tribute. I was privileged to have been Brians friend, he inspired and infuriated me because he refused to be less than what I was capable of, I loved him like a brother. I often think about where he would have been and what he would have achieved. Thank you for the photos and memories.

    • Hi there Graeme. Thanks for your comment. So so so appreciated. Please will you send me your contact details. We would love to catch up.

  3. What a fantastic forum you have created here!
    I literally miss my ‘brother’ every day and quite often find myself doing some hair brained act or scheme and mentally looking over to share the moment. I’m not sure that feeling is ever going to go away. We shared a lifetime of experiences over the years together, always to the max. We dreamed, we laughed and we lived. I still carry a copy of the Indian poem with me and read it every so often to assure myself that in some measure or form he is still by my side.
    All the best my ‘brother’

    • Hi there Rob. Thanks so much for your comment. I am in tears and actually cannot even carry on writing 🙁 . Thank you.

  4. Hi,
    I’m from the Netherlands and I found my old address book, which I bought a lifetime ago when I was travelling and working in Israel. I googled some of the people I met back then and so I came to this site because I immediately recognized Brian.
    I am so sorry for your loss.
    I met Brian at Field school Ein Gedi in 1996/ 97. We were working in the kitchens and as you mentioned; although it’s been quite a while; I vividly remember Brian and his lively and cheerful persona.
    In fact, I have mentioned Brian to people quite a few times since basically he once saved my life. I remember he told me he was a guide back home and once he convinced me to go climbing in the mountains near the Dead Sea where we lived; a beautiful area. Rugged mountains. Brian said we should go free climbing, he said I had the right build for it as I was lean but strong. He convinced me and so one afternoon after work we jogged along the mountain trails until we decided to start some serious climbing. I think I was doing pretty well, but at one point I made a mistake by looking down. It was incredibly steep and we were high up. Brian was a bit higher up on some sort of platform. he was save, but I started shaking more and more. I told Brian I didn’t want to die. Every rock or stone I tried to get a hold on, broke off.
    Meanwhile, Brian kept his cool. He started talking to me in a calm manner and I don’t know how he managed, but I believed him and I relaxed although my legs were really shaky just before that. He told me to look at him, push my body to the surface and said I would be okay. Don’t look around, breathe in, breathe out. Now crawl up. He said more things which I forgot but somehow I managed to survive and I was honestly glad to be alive.
    Brian told me later that indeed, it was a close call but also that he knew I was gonna make it.
    If Brian wasn’t there and didn’t do the things he did, the way he did, I would have been dead.

    I wish you strength.
    Best of luck,

    • Hi there Paul. How wonderful to hear from people that knew and experienced Brian just the way he was. I’m privileged and honored that you took the time to write to me and tell me about your time spent with Brian. I so regret not travelling with my little brother and having adventures with him. And that is why this is so special…to hear what an awesome human being he was. I am so happy that your life was saved. It amazes and makes my heart glad that his awesome life was not in vain. I hope and pray that somehow he sees and knows how many people loved him. Please PLEASE keep in touch with us. My sister, mother and I would so appreciate that. Kind regards. Shelby. P.s. Please find me on FB under “Shelby Geyer Anderson’.

  5. Brian, was my brother, but more importantly he was my friend. Brian and my Dad were the most important men in my life, before I met my husband David, and had my son Jarryd. Brian understood me, and was the one person that I could talk to about anything, and he always had wise words. We, my Mom and sister, Shelby feel his loss every day, but are always comforted to know how much he was loved, and that he will be remembered, and when we hear stories like Paul’s it reaffirms what we have always known, Brian was loving, he was kind, he was strong, he was wise, and he was loved.

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