As 2011 was winding down, I caught a TV segment about a remarkable teenager from Texas whose short but profound life story has moved people around the world. His name was Ben Breedlove, and he had a chronic heart condition that apparently contributed to his death, at age 18, on Christmas Day. A few days beforehand, Ben had produced a two-part video message about his illness and his three brushes with death over the years. What's especially poignant is that Ben tells his story using a stack of hand-written index cards, holding them up one by one without speaking. Beautiful instrumental music plays in the background. I heard his family found the goodbye videos in the hours after Ben died, and that they've since gone viral. More than 1,500 people attended Ben's memorial service, paying tribute to this honest and insightful young man.
Here's one of several links to his videos on YouTube.