With heavy heart it is our sad duty to report Ar-Isildur AKA Brian Morden passed away this morning after a lengthy battle with cancer. You can read the HBO news story here. We invite all that remember him to post thoughts of him and condolences to his family here. Our feelings of Brian's passing are best summed up in this post by his father:
The sound of heaven is increased. A new trumpet player has joined Gabriel in God's magnificent band. Our beloved, courageous, dear son, Brian Andrew Morden, age 19, lover of music (especially John Coltraine), computers, his family, friends, and good movies, was taken by his God at 5:55 am, Saturday, February 15, 2003. His earthly struggle has ended. He died peacefully while holding his mother's hand and his father laying beside him. He was a warrior to the end as he had wished to be. Against all odds, he survived the ambulance ride from Pittsburgh to Altoona. He was enthusiastically welcomed home by his dog, then most of his aunts and uncles, a few family friends, and finally later his two best friends. Brian's buddies stayed all night with him, his mother sleeping on a mattress beside him. Like Parsifal, he was true to his quest and pure in his faith until the end.
(And now, our precious boy, you will receive your reward as promised to you by your living God. There will be no more pain from any of life's disappointments. You have earned your peace. The pain that remains is ours, our grief and sense of emptiness in losing you. May the timeless music of God's creation welcome you into heaven and my God help us to live up to your example of courage and steadfast, unwaivering faith.)
As we struggle to deal with our loss and make preparations for his memorial, we ask for your mercy and prayers. When plans have been finalized, we will post them here. We appreciate and love all of you for your continued prayers and love. We could not have made this journey without being carried by God and you, God's angels sent to help us.
The Mordens (Fred, Dawn, Brian, and Jamin)
For those of you who didn't know Brian, he was a big Halo fan. In fact, Brian so loved Halo that when the Make a Wish Foundation asked him what he'd like to do, he told them he wanted to go see Bungie. His wish was granted and Brian even ended up being the voice of the Dropship Passenger ("The Autumn! She's been hit!"). You can read the account of Brian's trip here.
Brian's father was kind enough to post Brian's obituary:
Brian Andrew Morden, a.k.a. *Ar-Isildur to his world-wide Internet friends, 2809 Columbia Dr., Altoona, died early Saturday morning, February 15th at his home after a more than 2 year battle with Ewing's Sarcoma, a bone cancer.
He was born at Altoona Hospital on January 10th, 1984, son of Fred and Dawn (Suckling) Morden.
Brian graduated from Altoona Area High School in June 2002 and received the Verneda A. and Leo J. Wachter, Sr. Foundation Academic Scholarship for outstanding achievements and dedication to family, church, country, education, and enterprise. He was accepted at Penn State University where he hoped to major in film and video. While in high school Brian loved playing his trumpet as a member of the marching, concert, and jazz bands as well as the orchestra and pit orchestra. He also enjoyed playing his trumpet at area churches including First Evangelical Lutheran, Altoona, of which he was a member.
Brian loved working with computers and was an avid online gamer and forum participant. During his "Make-a-Wish" trip to the Bungie company in Redmond, Washington, he contributed voiceovers in the production of HALO, X-box's 2001 Game of the Year. Brian also loved Italian food, loved to cook and was a fanatic Tolkien fan since he was in elementary school.
Brian is survived by his parents Fred and Dawn, his 15-year-old brother Jamin, grandparents Bob and Mary Lou Suckling, many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, numerous friends, and Ali, his four-legged nurse.
Brian is preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, H.C. "Pete" and Bernice Morden.
A memorial service for Brian will be held at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1401 12th Ave., Altoona, PA, on Saturday, February 22, 2003, at 5 PM by the Reverends Fred Romig and Jaime Olson.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully suggests donations to the Brian Morden Recovery Fund that will provide funding for a "Brian Morden" higher education scholarship, funding for Ewing's Sarcoma research, and contributions to patient care at Children's Hospital 8 North where Brian was lovingly cared for during his battle with cancer. Contributions may be mailed to Altoona Area Employees Federal Credit Union , 908 Pleasant Valley Blvd., Altoona, PA 16602.
If you wish to contribute to his memorial fund, you can also do so through PayPal. Louis Wu of HBO has thoughtful set up an account to handle the donations. Go here for more information.
For those who cannot attend the memorial service, it has been suggested that we play Myth and Halo in memory of him on the day of the service. We heartily concur and will post a reminder as the day approaches.