‘He was light’: Remembering Garrett

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‘He was light’: Remembering Garrett

Photo Courtesy of Marcella Erickson

Photo Courtesy of Marcella Erickson

Photo Courtesy of Marcella Erickson

By Emma Gallian, Managing Editor

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Friends and family were left devastated when they heard the news that Garrett Brodersen, a student known and loved by many, passed away on Aug. 12.

The Lane community was invited to attend a visitation service and funeral for Garrett, on Aug. 18 and 19. Ribbons with music notes on them were passed out to those who attended in memory of Garrett’s passion for all things music. 

Students continued to remember Garrett by holding a concert on Oct. 7, what would have been his seventeenth birthday. Garrett’s family members were invited to the memorial and his father thanked the crowd that came to honor him. 

“I’m glad that you all got to know Garrett and that Garrett got to know you,” Eric Brodersen, Garrett’s father, said at the end of the concert. 

Emery Lawrence, a close friend to Garrett, remembers him for all that he brought to her life and the world. 

“I can’t even put his essence into words,” Lawrence said. “I guess you could say he was light. I think that’s what he was. He was my best friend. He was, he was just Garrett, you know.” 

Lawrence met Garrett a year ago and she said they clicked immediately. Lawrence said Garrett lived his life to the fullest and she is thankful for the time that she had to spend with him. 

“He was one of my closest people,” Lawrence said. “We did so much in such a short amount of time. I think about how little we knew each other, but we packed it pretty full.”

Garrett was known for bringing light into other people’s lives and was someone that could be there for anyone, according to Josie Mahoney. Mahoney remembers Garrett for the love that he brought to his friends and those around him.

“It’s so great to have people come up and tell me how much he has impacted them,” Mahoney said. “He just saw the good in everyone, which is a trait that is hard to come by.”

Sylvia Ebeid described Garrett as silly, caring, goofy and handsome. During one of the last times Ebeid spent time with Garrett, she said that she felt nothing but “good vibes” coming from him. 

“I grew up with him. I met him when I was three years old at church,” Ebeid said. “We both had seen each other go through hard struggles and being able to see him stand on his feet and smile was pretty good. Pretty cool.”

Marcella Erickson met Garrett during her freshman year while in a group at Potbelly’s. According to Erickson, after everyone left, she and Garrett spent time bonding and getting to know each other one-on-one. 

“We sat there getting to know each other and joking and just talked about life,” Erickson said. “We walked away and I was so astounded because I had never met anyone like him.”

Garrett took the time to truly get to know the people in his life and worked to truly understand his friends and relationships, according to Anyssa Elakkatt.

 “He would always make an effort to have a personal relationship with everyone he met, like individually,” Elakkatt said. “He kind of took the parts of what he loved about people and made it his own. It was like this accumulation of awesomeness.”

Remembering their friendship, Mahoney said that a memory of Garrett that she thinks about every day is one where she came back from a trip in Norway and was going to Montrose Ledge to surprise her friends. 

“I saw them and I said, ‘Hey guys!’ and Garrett just screamed and he got up and ran over to me and gave me the biggest hug ever,” Mahoney said. “He almost tackled me. I was not expecting that from him. I just think about it all the time because it was just so cute.”

Garrett radiated positive energy and was always up to go out and do something, Lawrence said, whether it be an elaborately planned get together or an out-of-the-blue hangout. 

“He was the person in our group who came up with the ideas,” Lawrence said. “He had the bucket list. He had all of the spontaneous energy, that was who he was.”

One of Elakkatt’s personal favorite memories was due to Garrett’s spontaneity, where he sent a text and asked her to go with him for some ice cream at Dairy Queen where they talked for hours, according to Elakkatt. 

“We ended up talking hours outside of Dairy Queen, in his car, outside of my house in his car, and I think we left at seven and I ended up coming back at midnight,” Elakkatt said. 

Garrett’s memory lives on through his friends, family and the countless lives that he touched. 

“I felt like I had known him forever and I felt like I had known him in another life,” Lawrence said. “We clicked fast. He was just good. To know Garrett was to love Garrett.”

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