Brian Harrison

March 24, 2022


George Brian Harrison

Big Bras d’Or



We are mourning the loss of a beautiful human who left us on March 4, 2022. There are no words to express how heartbroken we are about this unexpected loss. And just like that our hearts are once again empty. Brian will be desperately missed by all those that he left behind, but we have been lucky to have shared some wonderful memories. Brian meant more to his family than he ever knew. There was the good, the bad, and the ugly in Brian’s journey of life. He was one of a kind.

Brian had a big heart, most may not know what a kind, caring, giving, generous, thoughtful person he was. People looking from the outside in never saw how big his heart really was. Brian had an amazing sense of humour and a beautiful laugh. His wit was razor sharp. Brian was charismatic, personable and very likeable. Little kids were drawn to him like a magnet. And let us not forget the other side of Brian, the cocky difficult side. When it came to expressing himself, Brian was no shrinking violet. He had certainly inherited the wicked bad temper, zero patience, stubbornness, and the colourful language. Many have seen him unleash his inner beast. He had no problem speaking his mind.

One of Brian’s favourite tv shows was “Highway Thru Hell”. He would critique it with a fine-tooth comb, telling you what they were doing wrong and what they should have done. Brian was obsessed with big trucks and heavy equipment. His head would be on a swivel every time he went through a construction zone.

Brian was the little boy who loved playing with his Tonka truck and front- end loader, the boy who loved to play hockey, the young boy who caught air as he flew through the fields on the Sno Jet, the boy who barrelled down the road on his motor bike. He had a real need for speed, loving fast cars. He was the daredevil who put the pedal to the metal, roaring down the road, nothing but a blue streak when he drove his Celica.

Brian was around 10 when he taught himself how to drive. Vehicle of choice for this mission was the half ton truck sitting in the yard. He was so short that only his tippy toes reached the gas pedal, but that didn’t stop him or slow him down. All you would see when he was driving (spinning) around the yard was a blob of blond hair above the steering wheel and a tiny hand maneuvering the wheel. Vehicles with the keys left in them was just an invitation to take it for a joy ride. Brian once cranked the steering wheel so hard while spinning donuts in the yard that he ended up breaking the steering gear box. There were a few joy riding trips around the fields in the big truck, and on occasion a power line or two were pulled down. There was not one piece of heavy equipment that Brian couldn’t operate.

As a teenager Brian went through a stage of looking like John Denver. From having the same haircut, to the round glasses, to strumming a guitar that he didn’t know how to play. All that mattered was that he looked the part. In the 90’s Brian got all pumped up and looked like Hulk Hogan. Well Brian being Brian quickly corrected you when you called him the hulk, and would say I think you mean hunk.

Many people did not know that Brian’s legal first name was George. He milked that first name for all it was worth when needed. One time when I was with Brian, we ran into a girl he knew and she called him George. After she left, I asked Brian why she was calling him George. The answer was simple, he said she’s cute so I wanted to impress her, so I gave her my legal first name. Oh, how he loved to flirt. He was only too happy to whip out his ID to prove to you that his first name really was George. Other times having that first name was a curse to him.    

Growing up wasn’t always the easiest for Brian. He had that Cape Breton giv’er attitude, and went for it whether it ended good or bad. Brian was fearless and had many close calls. He lived on the edge, a real wild child. He went through many rough patches. He didn’t live without troubles, personal hardships, and genuine challenges. His battle with serious medical issues showed his courage in facing life challenges. He coped with them with remarkable strength and resilience. You might say that he had nine lives.

Brian had his struggles, and played hide and seek with death while dealing with his demons. Addiction was his greatest weakness and he struggled with that demon on and off for most of his life. For too many people addiction carries profound shame, staying hidden and untreated. Brian was never embarrassed, ashamed, or shy about asking for help. He braved through years of treatment with an indomitable spirit. Through all his challenges he continued to fight the disease. With the help of Dr. Ali, who was a Godsend to Brian, he was able to kick his addiction and died drug free.

To us Brian is defined by more than his birthday or by the choices he made.

We define Brian by the impact he made in our lives. His life was far too short. He loved and he was loved and that is what makes a life. We have shared some incredibly good times with him, and he will live in our hearts forever. We realize what a precious gift it was to have had the time together. What a blessing it is to carry the memories of his presence, and we can forever treasure him in our hearts.

What feels like the end of the world is really a pathway to a far better place.

Brian is now at peace joining our parents George and Doris, our brother Glenn, along with many other loved ones. We can just imagine all the truck and heavy equipment talk that is taking place, just like the good old days.

Brian leaves behind his sisters Sylvia and Rosella, and his nieces and nephews. We love you, Brian.  

A funeral service will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to St James Presbyterian Church, 1829 Old Route 5, Big Bras d’Or N.S. B1X 1A5



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