By the time Ben Breedlove’s parents discovered the videos on Monday, the YouTube recordings of their 18-year-old son talking about his impending death had already gone viral.
But his parents could feel as if he were talking only to them.
“They were brought to tears, seeing their son again. And they too were amazed at the depth he showed in this video,” Ben’s sister Ally Breedlove tells PEOPLE.
The videos were found the day after Ben died on Christmas Day of a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
“Ben told us he wanted to go back, of the peace he experienced and how he wanted to go back to that place. And that he was ready,” says Ally, 19. “And I personally think he left it for us to find. This was his way of leaving us with something that we would need.”
The pastor who spoke before 1,500 people at Breedlove’s funeral in Austin on Thursday said Breedlove’s videos demonstrated a level of insight and compassion that he probably had no idea would comfort and inspire people around the world.
“Talking with the Breedlove family, they fully believe there was a purpose to it all,” John Burke, lead pastor of Gateway Church, told the congregation.
“Ben had a compassion for people who struggle,” the pastor said as he referred to the song Mr. Rager by Kid Cudi, Ben’s favorite rapper.
Ally, who spoke first at the service, called the day a celebration. She said she was wearing earrings Ben gave to her and that she chose to wear a blue dress because it was so colorful.