Child prodigies like Brandenn Bremmer are rare. They are astoundingly gifted in certain areas, but because of this, they are taught with much older children.
They can become isolated from their peers, have no friends their age, and be thrust into an adult world before they are mentally equipped. It’s not surprising, therefore, to learn that some child prodigies have problems adapting.
Brandenn Bremmer was one of these smart and talented kids. It took him 18 months to teach himself to read, 3 years to learn to play the piano, and 10 years to finish high school. His IQ was 178. He k*illed himself when he was 14 years old. People began to think that he may have ki*lled himself to donate his organs after he died.
Who Was Brandenn Bremmer?
He was born in Nebraska on December 8, 1990. For a very short time after he was born, doctors couldn’t find a pulse. His mother, Patti Bremmer, saw this as proof that he was unique:
“Things were different right from then. It’s almost like my baby died, and an angel took his place.”
Patti had a point. Brandenn Bremmer was unique. He learned to read on his own when he was 18 months old. He could play the piano by the time he was three years old. He didn’t want to go back to kindergarten after that.
Brandenn went to school at home and finished his 10th and 12th grades in just seven months.
His parents, Patti and Martin, kept a close eye on their smart son, but they mostly let him make his own choices:
“We never pushed Brandenn. He made his own choices. He taught himself to read. If anything, we tried to hold him back a little.”
Brandenn started going to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Independent Study High School when he was six years old. When he graduated at age 10, he was the youngest person ever.
Jim Schiefelbein, who used to be the principal of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Independent Study High School, has fond memories of Brandenn Bremmer. Brandenn really liked Harry Potter, so for his graduation picture he dressed up as the book character. As far as the former principal can remember, Brandenn played with the other kids at the graduation after talking to the reporters who were there.
His mother told him he could talk to anyone:
“He was comfortable with a baby and he was comfortable with someone 90 years old.”
She added, he “had no chronological age.”
He was in love with two people. Cell biology and music. He loved writing music as much as he wanted to be an anesthesiologist. Brandenn went to Colorado State University at Fort Collins when he was 11 years old to study improvisation on the piano. In 2004, he composed his debut album ‘Elements’ and toured Nebraska and Colorado to promote it.
It was becoming known that Brandenn was good on and off campus. Brandenn met Brian Jones, a physics teacher, through a music professor. Jones ran an outreach physics project for junior high school students.
At Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte, Nebraska, Brandenn began taking biology classes. He was going to go to the University of Nebraska and become an anesthesiologist when he was 21.
Everyone that met Brandenn Bremmer had a good word to say about him.
Brandenn had a teacher named David Wohl at Colorado State University at Fort Collins. The last time he saw the teen was in December:
“He wasn’t just talented, he was just a really nice young man,” Wohl said.
Brandenn has been called “reserved” by other professors, but not alone or distant. Brian Jones, his physics teacher, said:
“I never would have worried about him at all,” Jones said.
People who knew Brandenn well say that he was always happy and easygoing. Even though Brandenn looked like any other teenager, it was clear that there was something unique about him.
On March 16, 2005, Brandenn Bremmer shot himself in the head, which looked like an attempt to k*ill himself. He was only 14 years old. After coming back from the store, his parents found him. They called the local sheriff’s office right away, and even though there was no sui*cide note, they said it was a su*icide.
People started to wonder about Brandenn’s dea*th when Patti, who was clearly shocked and sad, said that knowing Brandenn’s organs would be donated made her feel better. She thought this was the reason he kil*led himself.
“He was so in touch with the spiritual world. He was always that way, and we believe he could hear people’s needs. He left to save those people.” – Patti Bremmer
In the weeks before he died, Brandenn had never talked about k*illing himself or shown any signs of depression. He had always said he wanted to donate his organs.
On the other hand, you could say that was true. Brandenn was making plans with his friends and putting the finishing touches on the cover art for his second CD. He was also excited about the idea of becoming an anesthesiologist.
So, why did this gifted and amiable young man commit sui*cide? Patti insisted that her son wasn’t sad:
“Brandenn wasn’t depressed. He was a happy, upbeat person. There weren’t sudden changes in his behaviour.”
His parents looked for a su*icide note or anything else that would help them figure out why their son chose to end his own life. They were sure it wasn’t an accident because Brandenn knew how to keep guns safe. His mood hadn’t changed, and everything in his life was still.
Was Brandenn Bremmer’s Su*icide the Ultimate Act of Sacrifice?
When Brandenn was 14, his parents went to the Gifted Development Center, which is run by Linda Silverman and is for kids who are very smart. Lina and Hilton, her husband, knew Brandenn and spent time with his parents. Linda thinks that gifted kids are “morally sensitive” and have “supernatural” traits.
The New Yorker talked to the Silvermans after hearing the sad news that Brandenn had ki*lled himself. What Hilton said:
“Brandenn was an angel who came down to experience the physical realm for a short period of time.”
The reporter asked Hilton to expand on his statement:
“I’m talking to him right now. He’s become a teacher. He says right now he’s actually being taught how to help these people who experience su*icides for much messier reasons.”
Hilton went on to explain that Brandenn’s life and d*eath were preordained and that this ending was meant to be:
“This was planned before Brandenn was born.” And he did it that way so that other people could use his body. In the end, everything turned out okay.
But not everyone agrees with Brandenn’s parents or the Silvermans. His closest friends talked about a time around Christmas when Brandenn said he was sad.
Brandenn Bremmer and Depression
Sometime around Christmas, Brandenn’s friend K called and asked what he had been up to. “Nothing, as a family anyway,” Brandenn said in response. After that, he emailed K again:
“Yeah, that’s kind of what it’s like here, I mean, we’re a close family … we just don’t spend much … time … being … that … way … Yeah.”
K had sent Brandenn a Christmas gift which arrived during their email exchange. He emailed her to say thank you:
The timing couldn’t have been better. I’ve been depressed for about a week now, so this was exactly what I needed. Thank you very much.
K was suitably worried so emailed immediately:
“Talk to me, I want to hear about it. Because trust me, I’ve been there, done that and all I got was this lame t-shirt. 😉 Just let me know, okay?”
Brandenn wrote back:
“Thank you. I’m glad someone cares. I don’t understand why I’m so sad. Before, I was sad every once in a while, but it was just “bummed out” sadness. Now it’s always there, and all I can think is, “What’s the point of living anymore?” I don’t know, maybe I don’t spend enough time with good friends like you.
Brandenn talked about how unhappy he was to live “in the middle of nowhere.” His close family lived nearby, but he said everyone else was “just plain stupid.”
Brandenn’s friends say he felt alone and isolated. Brandenn’s mother may find comfort in the thought that her son died so that others could live.
There wasn’t enough family time for him, and his depression was getting worse. It’s possible that he wanted his organs to be donated, but I don’t think that’s why he kil*led himself. A strange person, he didn’t have many friends and felt like he couldn’t talk to anyone.
It’s normal to want to know what happened when someone dies, especially if they ki*lled themselves and didn’t leave a note. And friends and family who are grieving want to know why or if there was anything they could have done to stop it.
Who knows what this smart young man would have done if Brandenn had let someone in to help him with his mental health.