In Memory:Bradley Jay Nalbone Sep.3, 1985- Oct. 9, 2010

Note: this post was written two years ago but I want to send it out today to honor the memory of my nephew and because I think we can all use the reminders to cherish our children and make the effort to extend our kindness to those suffering from loss.

Memorial brochure for Brad NalboneOne year ago today my dear nephew Brad died. It was a terrible shock and loss and we all miss him.

Only 25, happy,  he was always ready with a joke or quip, and just ready to soar with his music, his psychology degree and volunteering.

It was a tragedy for him, his dad and mom, other relatives and the many, many lives that he touched.

I woke up in the wee hours, unable to sleep, thinking about Brad and the great loss.

I also thought about all the gifts he had given in his short sojourn here, and a gift he has given me in relating to my son now, since Brad is gone.

One of my favorite memories is a Christmas gathering, when the boys were teens. Well Brad was a teen and Dale not there yet, and it was one of the rare occasions Grandma Dot was visiting from New Jersey.

Brad was already into his music and either came with his guitar or picked up Pierre’s and started performing. Not to be left out, Dale got out his sax and asked if they could improvise and play together. Brad was game, and they tried to play together. It was a bit bumpy at first -but quickly gelled as they found a rhythm and togetherness that they didn’t often find since their personalities were so different.  Brad was 6 years older than Dale, and he was usually patient with Dale, but sometimes you could tell it got old.

As they were getting their groove, they noticed that Grandma Dot really wanted to be included. The boys brought Grandma Dot in on the piano and shakers. It was so great to see them connecting through music and silliness, and just going for it without worrying about the outcome. It was a gift.

In the last year, as people have asked me, often horrified, how I am coping with Dale’s decision to drop out of college, to speak out, to live on his own, I realized that some of my peace with all that Dale does is due in part to what I learned from my brother and losing my nephew.




My son is alive and well, happy and pursuing his dreams. He is trying to solve a problem in the world. He cares about people and is self-confident. How could I not be overjoyed and supportive?

So, in memory of Brad, please:

  • If you have children love them unconditionally and accept them and support them in following their dreams.


  • If you know someone who has lost a child, reach out, tell them something wonderful you remember about their child or their parental interaction. Listen if they want or need to talk. Send a photo or card with a memory. Share the pain for a moment, or gladden their hearts for a moment.


  • Smile, tell a joke, laugh, and pass it on.

8 thoughts on “In Memory:Bradley Jay Nalbone Sep.3, 1985- Oct. 9, 2010”

  1. Thank you, Sue. I appreciate your kind thoughts and wisdom. Thank you so much for adding your voice here.

  2. Sending love your way, Lisa.
    We just never know what kinds of things will have the biggest impact on us as we wade through life – and especially in parenting. My brother died one month before he turned 25. It just reminded me that life is fragile. And time is limited. And there’s just no certainty out there. So the best thing you can do is live in the present and love those around you – every day that you have the opportunity to do so.

    {{{hugs to you and all who are missing your nephew}}}

  3. Beautifully put, Lisa. We need to appreciate all this life has to offer…every minute of it… and everyone we hold dear..let them know how much we care and how much they mean to us …(:
    My memories of Brad are from his east coast visit also. We had never met him in person. That changed real fast! He was to stay a few days but we all got along so well and had so much fun it stretched into a week. My girls had found a long lost big brother! I had another kid to feed and I love to cook so that was great. We laughed ,we sang, we ate, visited parks, took pix, braided hair (!!) and shared stories of our life experiences before we had the good fortune to meet. Brad was full of joy ,an absolute pleasure to be around….we love n miss him, too!

  4. Brad was most definitely one of those few types of people that never let anything get them down nor get in their way of feeling and providing joy to all around him in various ways. Whether he was performing music or doing acrobatics on the trampoline he could have you delighted and inspired in minutes. Always joking, witty, and intelligent he really just had a calming nature and a great heart.

    My best memory was his east coast visit when we got together and went flying in a helicopter. He brought along a digital camera for capturing the flight experience and to watch the video he took that day you can immediately see his personality and thought process even when sitting by himself always thinking of making others laugh in the future when they would see the end result.

    Aside from that memory I really cannot get over how when he was about 9 years old he and my brother came to visit us to see our newborn daughter. His jovial character shined that day for sure and I just cant believe how much my son now resembles and mimics the same moves and characteristics of Brad’s from that day. So I guess I not only have the memories of Brad himself but now he seems to have passed on his good nature and comic behavior to my youngest!

    We Love you Brad and miss you!!

  5. This brought tears to my eyes. It’s so easy to lose perspective–thanks for the reminder to keep looking at the bigger picture.

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