GRAHAM BRIAR, A FOND FAREWELL FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Goodbye Graham Briar, Peace At Last…..
The cremation service took place this morning at Ban Tha Khan Thong, (บ้านท่าขันทอง) of British Expat, Graham Briar, 53, from Chiang Saen District (Chiang Rai Province).
Graham’s death came as a shock to everyone following him being admitted to hospital 2 weeks ago with breathing difficulties and suspected heart problems.
Readers of expat online newsgroups may be aware that Graham did not have health insurance to pay for his hospital treatment and appealed for help on his YouTube channel.
Graham was a YouTube creator making daily videos of his life in rural Thailand where he lived with his partner Ampai and step son Fam, who both regularly appeared in his videos.
Graham last published a daily Vlog on 21st January, ironically called ‘Heart of the Matter’
The service for Grahams body started a 2 days ago, the family had to wait for the British Embassy to certify the death to release the body, which of course cannot be dealt with over the weekend.
Grahams body returned home from the government hospital where he died 2 days after surgery in Chiang Rai, his heart bypass was due to take place on 15th February however it was moved forward to 14th, Valentine’s day. Sadly he passed away less than 48 hours after surgery, his heart was not strong enough.
His partner, Ampai, gave regular updates from the hospital, after surgery she managed to make an update saying the surgery is over and he was in Intensive Care, Graham was due to stay in ICU for at least a week before being moved into a main ward.
Sad News was to follow, despite hundreds of people wishing him well. Ampai broke the tragic news that Graham passed away. “I need to tell you, ….Graham go, …..he died last night” in a very emotional video which lasted around one minute she battled back tears explaining what has happened.
Ampai, with her parents and son, Fam
The news soon spread around Thailand and then internationally that Graham has passed away leaving hundreds of people shocked and upset, even those who had never met him in person.
Mainly Graham was known through his YouTube Channel ‘Graham and Pie’ some fellow YouTubers would regularly email or post messages on his channel, he had a good following.
We are aware that a group of fellow YouTube creators travelled from as far away as Pattaya to attend the service, together with Grahams local peers who travelled down from Chiang Rai and surrounding areas. Kevin Burt drove the 10 hours north from Pattaya with Allan Alderson and Sinitria Phosai to support Ampai and her son today.
A short video is at the end of this page we have been allowed to use.
We have been sent these pictures from some of those who attended, plus from Thai friends of Graham, these pictures are copyright protected, we have permission to use them but ‘Fair Use’ is withdrawn by the copyright owners.
HELP PAI AND HER SON
Ampai has been supported by one of their joint friends, Chris Crookson, who has helped her set up her own PayPal Account should anyone wish to send a donation for the welfare of her and her son. We are told this is her direct account and will go nowhere else.
The atmosphere has been very sullen over the last few days and todays cremation service has been described as very emotional. Messages were appearing in Thai on Social media after the service, In Chiang Saen, local Thais who knew Graham wrote on Facebook “เหลือทิ้งไว้เพื่อความทรงจำที่ดี” translating as “You left with Good Memories”
Other messages described how they found Graham to be friendly and always smiling, written in Thai, on Facebook, พวกเรารู้สึกเศร้าใจที่คุณจากไปโดยกระทันหัน มิตรภาพที่ดี รอยยิ้มที่มอบให้ คำกล่าวสวัสดีครับ ขอบคุณครับทุกครั้งที่เจอกัน เราจะจำมันไว้ตลอดไป “We are feeling sad that you left suddenly, a good friendship. Always smiling. Goodbye, Farewell. Thank you. Every time I see you, I will remember you forever.”
Graham took the traditional Buddha cremation style rather than a Christian burial.
It is a very sad thing to write but we are told Graham had been subject to a lot of Internet trolls on YouTube and Facebook attempting to ‘Out Him’ and create drama which most people could not understand.
Graham moved to Thailand around 15 years ago and based himself in Phuket but just over 3 years ago he met Ampai and moved north to Chiang Saen to live with her family and son on their farm.
Graham never worked on the farm but made interesting videos about progress with crops and fishponds. His video style has been likened to an old British television show from the 1970’s called “Out of Town with Jack Hargreaves” if you have not seen any of his filming, here is one of his videos welcoming friends to the farm.
However, Grahams passing has been met by some YouTubers as controversial, some even stated that Graham “was not dead” and “his death was one big con, this is one big scam to do a runner” Other Youtubers have made videos and then withdrawn them after they received very negative comments and replies from people who were offended by the videos made.
Other YouTubers have asked for Peace amongst the community, however over 95% of the comments are from channels who do not even live in Thailand we are told.
Comments being made by some of these channels do not bode very well for Thailand. Perhaps people should consider the cybercrimes suppression law which is in force as it is a crime to use the internet to electronically bring the country into disrepute, no matter where you live in the world.
(images are copyright protected)
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