Live like Ben. Love like Ben.
The two themes were heard time and again – including from the late Ben Trompetter himself – at Peace Portal Alliance Church Thursday, as those who knew and loved Trompetter gathered to pay tribute to his life.
“Passions outside of Beach Travellers?” the 27-year-old says in a video clip featured in a multimedia presentation compiled for the afternoon service.
“Just being happy, making everyone around me happy. No regrets.”
Trompetter, who grew up in South Surrey, died Aug. 17, after free-climbing a cliff northeast of Pemberton to jump into the glacial waters of Anderson Lake. He was experienced in the activity in warmer climates – searchers who recovered his body from the depths of the lake two days later told his mom, Tara, that it was the icy waters that had killed her son, not the jump.
Last week, through poems, songs, jokes and prayers, friends and family – many in bare feet or flip-flops – remembered a man who began coming into his own after setting off at age 18 to spend more than a year exploring the world.
He went on to become a guide with Beach Travellers, an adventure tour company, and discovered Thailand, which became like a second home.
Tyler Trompetter described his older brother as “honest, respectful and accepting… easily the most accepting person I’ve ever known.”
He defended and protected those he loved, and smiled often.
At the same time, there were attributes that “drove us all nuts,” Tyler said, to laughter.
“Without a doubt, he was the biggest backseat driver I’ve ever met.”
“Clothing-kleptomaniac,” stubborn and hooked-on-country-music were among other descriptors that resulted in chuckles from the hundreds of attendees that came from far and wide to say goodbye.
Tyler said that in the days since his brother’s death, the family has received the same offer many times: is there anything I can do to help? Thursday, his answer was simple: love like Ben.
“Tell your brothers and sisters, children and parents how much you love them more often.”
Longtime friend T.J. Hermiston – a founder of Beach Travellers – described Ben as someone who “wasn’t always the loudest, but always laughed the hardest.” He had a devious laugh and was “a perfect fit” for Beach Travellers, Hermiston said. The two friends shared an appetite for excitement and a taste for adventure.
Thursday’s service opened with country music and the symbolic lighting of candles by Ben’s parents and siblings. It ended with the lighting of incense and the soft chimes of a church bell; one for each year of Ben’s life.