Note: Any purchases made directly through BrianMatters will help to benefit the Brian Hoeflinger Memorial Fund.

Life and Death . .

Two words with such opposite meaning and which inflict such contradictory emotions and yet are so closely intertwined in our lives.

As parents, we bring meaning and life into this world through our children. Our lives become defined as a result. We learn the joy, hardship, and responsibility of shaping an innocent life. But a day will come when that life will be taken. For some, death will come too soon.

Thus is the story of my son, Brian Nicholas Hoeflinger, who died unexpectedly at age 18. Brian was drinking alcohol the night he died and drove drunk. His car struck a tree and his life was ended. Nothing about Brian’s life suggested that he would meet this kind of untimely end. He was a gifted student and accomplished athlete. He was always generous with his time and words of encouragement to anyone who needed help. He was a good boy who made a mistake, and that one mistake cost him his life.

That is the harsh reality of teenage drinking. I’ll never forget the image of my son lying there dead on a cold gurney in Trauma room 24 at Toledo Hospital, a room that I have been in so many times before as a neurosurgeon but never as a father. His lifeless body lay there almost as though he were asleep, and I wished he were only asleep but I knew he was dead and would never come back home with us. It was the worst singular feeling that I have ever experienced in my life. The second worst experience in my life was telling my 3 other children later that night that their older brother Brian was dead. It was heart breaking to watch Kevin, Julie, and Christie say goodbye to their big brother forever that night. Nothing can ever prepare you for such an event.

And yet from this tragedy has come guidance and hope for others not to make the same mistake. This book will take you on a personal journey through the life and death of my son. You will see through my eyes the pain and agony of losing a child, but you will also experience the love, inspiration, and hope that has resulted. By reading this book, you will learn how more lives will be touched and saved through the life and death of my son than I could ever accomplish as a neurosurgeon. This is a book that every parent and every teenager should read.

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: New Friends Publishing (January 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1940354110
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940354118
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces
Submit your review
Create your own review
Average rating:  
 8 reviews
by Debbie powers on Brian Matters

This is so well written, I am so thankful my boys got past that age, I used to set up late at night waiting for them to get home, they are now 31 and 35 with kids of their own, Gif a Bless You, I can't wait to read the book

by Kim McLaughlin on Brian Matters
The Night He Died: The Harsh Reality of Teenage Drinking

This book brings much needed awareness to the escalating problem of teenage drinking, but it also allows us as its readers to get to know Brian Hoeflinger. It is obvious how much Dr. Hoeflinger and his wife Cindy love Brian, and that love comes across in every word, as does their pain and anguish from his tragic death at just 18 years of age. As I read about Brian's life I couldn't keep from picturing my own kids in Brian's shoes or me in his parent's? I could picture Dr. Dziad telling them their son was gone and I prayed that he would never have that talk with me. Dr. Hoeflinger has written more than just a book. He has created an eternal tribute to his son Brian, through his words and memories of Brian and from the words of Brian's own school essays, and shared it with us. The whole world now knows Brian's name, his life story, and nothing but good can ever come from that. Brian made his own life meaningful and memorable, now his father has made that amazing life public to help save the lives of other teenagers. Buy this book and talk to your kids about alcohol. Do it because it may save their lives. Do it because you still can. Do it so, despite his tragic death, Brian can follow in his father's footsteps and save lives too.

by Hilary Nunnari on Brian Matters
The Night He Died

This book is a heart wrenching reality of a parents worst nightmare. The book is heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. This book is about parents that are trying to make changes to prevent the heartache of others. I would highly suggest parents to read this book along with teens.

by April on Brian Matters
The Night He Died

I wish all schools incorporated this book in their curriculum and require all freshmen to read this book, and encourage classroom discussions. Perhaps this book of a family/community sufferings will help these young people make better decisions. Thank you to the Hoeflinger family for sharing this horrific tragedy that no parents and siblings should have to go through.

by Julie Hoffman on Brian Matters
Powerful Story

This was a gut wrenching and powerful book. This book left an impression on me that I suspect won't be fading for a very long time. What happened to this family and this young man was an unimaginable tragedy and I commend the family for trying to prevent it from happening to another family. Every parent and teenager should read this book. I will be buying it for all my friends and family.

by The Night He Died: on Brian Matters
April D. Elley

I wish this book was part of every high schools curriculum. Perhaps if each freshman class read it and there were discussions with the educator, maybe just maybe it would influence young people to a good choice not to drink.

by DS on Brian Matters
One of the most moving stories that I have ever read...

This book is so insightful and touching. It is a raw and honest approach to explaining the heartwrenching experience of losing a child through the eyes of a father and medical professional. This is a story that parents should share with their age appropriate children. IThere are several lessons that I was reminded of while reading this book, not only the dangers of teenage drinking, or of drinking and driving, but I have also been reminded of how much that I take for granted, including my children. They are loved with every fiber of my being, but do they realize just how much they are adored? This was an amazing book written by a very talented man. Thank you for sharing your heartache, I have no doubt that you will enlighten people through your tragedy. God bless you and your family.

by Laura Sams on Brian Matters
AWESOME BOOK - A must read by any parent

I recommend this book to any parent with teenagers, or soon to be teenagers. This book brought so many tears, much heartache, but has really opened my eyes to this terrible epidemic of teenage drinking. I really commend Dr. Hoefflinger in sharing his most private feelings, fears and anguish that touched me so greatly. The one most important lesson learned is that this could happen to you as a parent, it could happen to your son or daughter. Thank you for really opening my eyes to teenage drinking, and this book should be read by any parent. Thank you Dr. Hoefflinger and family for sharing.