"Caleb knew how to light up a room"
Caleb Logan Bratayley, the 13-year-old Yotube Star who died suddenly last Thursday, was remembered by friends and family in an emotional memorial on Tuesday evening viewed by thousands online.
The service opened with a video of highlights from Caleb’s extraordinarily well-documented life, including leading family sing-alongs and interviewing 2016 presidential candidate Carly Fiorina. The memorial, which was streamed live via Facebook and Periscope, was viewed more than 116,000 times within an hour of posting.
Tearful remarks from family and friends followed the video tribute but the immediate family’s messages were not streamed live.
A close family friend named Paula shared stories about Caleb’s “very philosophical, emotional and deep” friendship with her daughter Sydney.
“Unfortunately, the thought that Sydney and Caleb would end up together is not happening anymore,” she said through tears. “I do hope and pray for my daughter that the relationship you have with your future mate is one-eighth as emotionally tied as yours was with Caleb.”
A cousin named Paige spoke about growing closer to Caleb during several trips she took with the Bratayley family over the past year.
“Caleb knew how to light up a room, he was like a little brother to me, he loved life and he enjoyed every little bit even if it was things he didn’t necessarily feel like doing he was a trooper,” she recalled.
A collaborator from Maker Studios recalled his experience traveling around the country with the family for a show called “Bratayley Makes History.”
“We laughed, we danced, we sang “Yankee Doodle” a lot,” he said. “We ran through fields, we jumped in the water with our clothes on, but most importantly we explored the world together and we had so much fun. It takes a certain curiosity and fearlessness and passion to explore the world, and Caleb exuded this.”
He ended his tribute with what he saw as the family’s legacy.
“As far as I’m concerned, the Bratayleys have already made history,” he said. “Their love for each other and their excitement for life has connected millions of people and the world is a happier place because of them.”
Caleb was pronounced dead last Thursday after the Anne Arundel County Police Department responded to a medical emergency at the family’s Maryland home, authorities told PEOPLE.
Caleb’s mother, Katie, originally said that her son died of natural causes, but on Monday, his parents revealed that he likely suffered from an undetected medical condition, though they did not elaborate on what that might be.
The exact cause and manner of death of the YouTube star is currently being investigated, Bruce Goldfarb, the public information officer of the state medical examiner’s office in Baltimore, told PEOPLE.
The family decided to livestream a portion of Caleb’s memorial in order to allow grieving fans to join in their celebration of the young boy’s life.
“They’re trying to create closure for the fans, most of whom are really young,” a source close to the family explained to PEOPLE. “It is definitely a more intimate relationship that they have with their fans than traditional celebrities have with theirs.”
“They’ve been broadcasting their life for a long time – every day for years. It was just a terrible tragedy. They are really good people,” the source added.