ELYRIA — Brenden “Bren” Rich-Beckett left this world soundlessly.
First, it was by slipping his head into a handmade noose he fashioned. Then, days later, it was to the muted blip and hiss of machines keeping him alive in a hospital bed.
But now his family is hoping that for Bren’s last ride, there will be a wall of sound, a rumble of tailpipes that can’t be mistaken for anything else. They are asking for area motorcycle clubs or individual riders to escort Bren’s family to his funeral Monday.
Bren died July 5 at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, four days after he was found at his family’s Oak Street home.
The Elyria High School track and football player left no note and no clue why he chose to leave, but his family doesn’t want him to be forgotten any time soon. Bren had lived with his aunt and uncle Lisa and Rodney Beckett for almost 10 years, who raised him and his brother, Eric Little, since they were toddlers.
Lisa’s sister, Heather Little Lopez, and her husband, Angel Lopez, are raising one of the boys’ sisters. Angel Lopez is president of the Brothers Bond Riders Club, and Heather said they are asking for bikers — any bikers — to carry out the bikers’ tradition of escorting the family to the funeral of a loved one.
The club often does functions for charity and several joint events with other motorcycle clubs for children’s causes. The North Olmsted-based branch of Warriors for Children, which often provides escorts to children who are being bullied or involved in court proceedings with abusers, has already committed to ride in Bren’s funeral procession, Heather Lopez said.
“We’re looking for any rider, not just if you have a vest (an active member of a club). We’re open to whoever’s got a bike,” she said. “If your next-door neighbor has a bike and they want to escort this little baby — my baby — home, you show up at 9:30 Monday.”
Riders will meet at that time at the Beckett home at 142 Oak St., Elyria, to escort the family to the funeral at Greater Christ Temple, 123 Oberlin Road, Elyria.
Calling hours will be 10 a.m. to noon, with the funeral starting at noon. Immediately following, riders will escort the family to Brookdale Cemetery, 41600 Oberlin-Elyria Road, Elyria, where Bren will be interred.
“If you can’t make it to 142 Oak St. before the funeral, meet us at the church and follow us to Brookdale,” she said.
Several fund raisers also are being planned to help pay for funeral and medical expenses.
A donation-only car wash is planned 1 to 3 p.m. today at 2079 North Ridge Road, Lorain.
A spaghetti dinner fund raiser is planned 5 to 10 p.m. Friday at Eddie’s Bar, 1433 Lowell St., Elyria. A $10 donation includes dinner, with beverages available for purchase. There also will be 50/50 raffles and gift basket raffles. Tickets will be sold at the door. Anyone interested in dropping off donations to be raffled can deliver it to 142 Oak St., Elyria.
The family also has started a GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/yzpb9dyg.
Bren’s uncle, Rodney Beckett, said he plans to speak to students about the realities of suicide and asking for help, and already has been approached by parent group representatives. Heather Lopez said the family also has asked area mental health providers to supply pamphlets and information about resources to be available at Bren’s funeral.
“Since this happened, I’ve had people reaching out to me, talking to me on Facebook or messaging me, telling me this has changed their lives,” Beckett said. “I want people to know the stress and the heartache of what I’m going through. This is not the easy way out.”
For information about the funeral procession or fund raisers, contact Heather Little Lopez on her Facebook page.