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The Tattle of Hastings: Family, Kamloops Rugby Community in Mourning After Kicia's Death

Family, Kamloops rugby community in mourning after Kicia's death

Baby Zoey is held by Zalie and Brandon Kicia. A celebration of Brandon's life will be held on Saturday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 2165 Parkcrest Ave. in Brocklehust. Start time is noon. Photograph By Captured Memories Photography

Eight-month-old Zoey lost her father on Saturday.

She was heard murmuring into the phone on Monday, unable to fully grasp the despair in the voices of family members, the sorrow in the eyes of her 28-year-old mother, Zalie, and the shock of a family shattered — parents despondent, brothers and sisters in agony.

Brandon Kicia is dead. He was 26.

He was playing with Zoey in the basement of his parents’ home in Rayleigh while Zalie and other family members were doing crafts upstairs on Saturday afternoon.

One of Brandon’s brothers came downstairs to find him unconscious. Emergency services were called and father Ken performed CPR until they arrived.

Medics tried for about 40 minutes to revive him, but nothing worked.

“Tragic, heartbreaking … we just can’t wrap our heads around it,” Zalie said while fighting back tears. “We’re all so confused.

“His daughter, my heart breaks for her. It’s definitely devastating that he isn’t here to show her everything that he does have to offer because he had all of the qualities that you want for your children.

“He was the best dad.”

Zalie said cause of death was a sudden cardiac arrest.

The Kamloops Rugby Club is mourning a brother, the prototypical Raider, a faithful man of the highest moral fibre.

Brandon, who worked at a mill in Adams Lake, was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — and he walked the walk in the face of temptation.

When the Raiders drank beer, Brandon downed cream soda. When they swore, he didn’t. When they showed up to practice with a bad attitude, he was smiling and ready to work.

“The only two bus trips I ever took when I didn’t drink, I sat with BK and bitched about how terrible the bus trips were if you weren’t drinking. He was tolerant,” said Dillon Alexandre, a member of the KRC executive committee and a longtime friend to Brandon. “He’s the only guy that could sit beside one of us and listen to us yell-talking at him about how great our game was for three hours on the bus.”

Those stories are the type that were shared at the Raiders’ clubhouse in Exhibition Park on Sunday, when waves of differing emotions both buoyed and flattened teammates who gathered to reflect.

“We had a rugby game on TV to fill in the silences, but it was weird,” said Alexandre, who graduated from NorKam secondary the same year as Brandon. “You don’t want to be in that situation, but at the same time, it’s kind of necessary.

“One minute you’re laughing and sharing memories and the next minute you’re bawling and saying, ‘How does this even happen? It doesn’t make sense. He was one of the most healthy, genuine, hard-working people I’ve ever known. It just doesn’t make sense.’”

While others shirked requests for volunteering help, Brandon’s hand was already up. He was a club ambassador extraordinaire.

Kindness was among Brandon’s most-endearing traits, but it did not extend to the rugby field. If he didn’t run around you, he would shift his power-thighs into high gear and run through you.

That’s not hyperbole. His try-scoring rate was impeccable. It’s tradition that when a Raider scores three tries, they guzzle a yard of beer after the match.

KRC became a cream-soda graveyard. There should always be a can in the club fridge with BK’s name on it.

Hearing stories and reading about Brandon’s legacy on Facebook is providing a degree of comfort for the family, which is leaning on its faith while grieving.

“He had total conviction to his beliefs,” said Ken, who used words such as “devastating,” “heartwrenching” and “crushed” to describe the family’s state. “Because of that, he was able to stand strong, but at the same time, he could love and respect those around him that chose to do other things and not pass judgment. That was one of Brandon’s true inner beauties. He could accept everybody for who they were and be who he was and set what he felt was a good example.”

That was the example he planned to set for Zoey, said Zalie, a certified dental assistant who was only beginning her life with Brandon.

“That was him. All the time. I don’t know how to put that in words,” she said. “The support of Brandon’s family has been amazing and everybody will step up with raising her, but he truly was the best dad in the world for her.”

Zalie’s mom, Ginger, mustered a few words.

“He was the best son-in-law that anyone could have asked for,” she said.

There was pain in her voice.

Kaley, Keenan, Bryce, Makayla and Tristin are Brandon’s siblings. Rhonda is their mother. Ken spoke for them on Saturday.

“You can’t take anything with you,” Ken said. “It’s what you leave behind that makes a huge difference. That’s what it’s all about. Brandon was the definition of integrity. He left a big influence.”

Remembering BK

The Kicia family is planning a celebration of life for Brandon on Saturday, Nov. 24, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 2165 Parkcrest Ave. in Brocklehust.

Start time is noon.

A GoFundMe account called Sudden Passing of Brandon Kicia was created on Sunday to provide financial support for Zalie and Zoey.

The goal of $10,000 was surpassed in less than 24 hours. Donations are still being accepted.

The KRC also has plans to honor Brandon, but they have not yet been finalized.

Story Credit: https://www.kamloopsthisweek.com/sports/the-tattle-of-hastings-family-kamloops-rugby-community-in-mourning-after-kicia-s-death-1.23505325

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