The Bradley Sonnenberg Legacy Fund was created by Andrea, Glenn, Jake and Lauren Sonnenberg in memory of our son and brother.
Bradley touched every person he met. As a friend, he was kind and compassionate even as he was hard on himself. As a brother, he was a steady companion who laughed often and listened thoughtfully. As a son, he was devoted and loving. He was engaged in the lives of those with whom he was close and was inquisitive about the lives of others.
From the moment Bradley was born, he was exceptional in the unexpected way in which he approached everything. He was a complicated young man, who was both a deep thinker and an aficionado of sophomoric comedy. His appreciation of music, art, and literature spanned multiple genres. Among his favorites were artist Mark Rothko, author Albert Camus, and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Bradley wrote poetry, sang, acted, read 1000 page tomes and was able to capture their essence and transmit that meaning to others. In high school he starred in all the musicals, playing Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors and Mark in Rent. He didn't just play a character - he inhabited it - researching and purchasing the perfect prop for each show. But while he shined in the escape of performance, it was the real world, without a script, that was daunting.
Bradley took a particular interest in the challenges faced by others and was supportive of their struggles. One of his great strengths as an adult was understanding people. Getting beneath and beyond the superficial to create moments - sometimes painful ones - where he could find connection. That meant you always got honesty talking to Bradley. He got to know people genuinely and authentically. He was intolerant of small talk, posturing, and insincerity. In just a short exchange, he could learn and relate to a person's most intimate challenges.
A book on loss and mourning describes how we feel facing the world without Bradley: "A single person is missing and the whole world feels empty." Despite our horrible loss, we find comfort in acknowledging the great fortune that befell all of us who knew him. We are blessed for the nearly 22 years we had together and for the ways in which he interacted with and shaped us all.
Bradley passed away on December 13, 2017, due to prescription drug interactions. We choose to honor Bradley by working toward understanding the critical issue of mental health, stopping its stigmatization and providing resources to help others manage and overcome it. Funds contributed to The Bradley Sonnenberg Legacy Fund will be used to support organizations that share these objectives.