AUSTIN (KXAN) - Ben Breedlove's sister, Ally, spoke first and called the day a celebration. She said she was wearing the earrings Ben gave to her and that she tried to pick the brightest color to wear.
Ally Breedlove talked about the vision Ben shared with her as she found him one day sitting by water -- and he compared it to the peace he felt when he had his vision -- the one he talks about in his YouTube videos which have been seen around the world.
Ally and Ben talked about how our lives on Earth are gifts to God, she explained at his funeral service Thursday, held at Gateway Church's north campus.
Ben's feeling of peace during his vision was something he was unable to describe, Ally Breedlove said, as she fought back tears in telling her story, smiling.
John Burke, lead pastor of Gateway Church, spoke next. He said he has known Ben and his family for 10 years. He said the family told him that Ben brought an extreme amount of joy to their family. He said Ben's wish would be that everyone could find the same peace he had found. Burke said Ben loved life and he loved God.
"Talking with the Breedlove family, they fully believe there was a purpose to it all," he said, after telling of the messages that have been coming in from around the world, from Tanzania to Australia and many other countries.
"He had a little taste [in his vision] of what we all might experience," Burke said.
"Ben had a compassion for people who struggle," the pastor said, and referred to the song by Kid Cudi , who was Ben's favorite rapper.
"He is experiencing more of life now than we have ever imagined," Burke said. "...It gets much better than this. ... I think that's what Ben was trying to tell us in his last video ... that's what he tried to get across around the globe ... he left us with a question: Do you believe?"
As family and classmates from Westlake High School in Austin attended the funeral at Gateway Church's north campus, hundreds from around the world were posting comments on Twitter -- using the hashtag #RIPBenBreedlove -- including a young woman who said she was watching the funeral service from Scotland.
One young woman posted: "Just finished watching the live stream of Ben Breedlove's memorial service. What a wake up call."
Another wrote: "I am truly inspired. 2012 will be a great year thanks to you, Ben. Your story has re-ignited everyone's faith in God."
Since news of Ben's death spread via the Internet, hundreds have tweeted one of the very messages Ben wrote on a card in his YouTube video: "Do you believe in God? I do."
This Tweet may sum up what is happening with Ben since his death: "You are loved and will be missed but you're doing good up in Heaven."
"That was an absolutely beautiful celebration of life," another posted on Twitter.
"You were truly a trooper were what you went through you will always be remembered," wrote another.
"Thank you for opening up my eyes Ben. I do believe," a young woman also tweeted.
And yet another: "The Ben Breedlove story is incredible. As bad as it sounds, seeing the video makes me not afraid of death."
While many may feel sadness that he died on Christmas Day, one person tweeted this: "It is not a coincidence that Ben Breedlove passed away on Christmas. It's a real sign that God gave him a mission on Earth."
The Breedlove family requests that donations be made in honor of Ben to Africa New Life Ministries online at www.africanewlife.org/BenBreedlove.
The father of the Austin teenager who died on Christmas Day asked KXAN News to live stream the service at Gateway Church after receiving requests from people around the world who want to watch.
The 18-year-old battled a lifelong heart disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and posted a final YouTube video a week before his death explaining the condition and the peace he felt about dying.
"We certainly looked at it as a gift to us that we have that little glimpse of how he saw things and it's very overwhelming to us," said his mother, Deanne Breedlove. "It's unbelievable to us all the love that's being shared by other people who are talking about that."
During the last two years of his life, Breedlove posted videos regularly on his YouTube channels about his experiences and offered practical dating advice.
News of the Westlake High School senior's death and inspirational message continue to spread online and have made headlines on various news outlet websites including MSN , CNN , People , and the New York Daily News.
Entertainment sites including MTV have also picked up the story and an entire Wikipedia page is now devoted to Breedlove.
He is survived by his parents, sister, Ally, and younger brother, Jake.