This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Matthew Henkin.

Matt was 25 years old when he died on 1 Dec 2018 in Rosamond, Kern County, California of Sudden Unexpected Death of Epilepsy (SUDEP) during a seizure.

Matt had his first seizure at the age of 13 years and he broke his back. Over the years during his seizures, among other injuries, were other fractured bones, numerous bruises, besides the usual deep bites on his tongue. Eating was a delicate matter during that time.

Matt had an devise called a VNS (Vagal Nerve Stimulator) implanted in his chest to help reduce his seizure. The VNS caused a dramatic change of his voice every 30 seconds to a hoarse whisper but this did not stop him from reading aloud for audio books or anything he wanted to do. In fact his first job was installing solar panels on rooftops, somewhat dangerous work for someone with seizures but it was what Matt trained for and wanted to do. He enjoyed being outside.

Although he never had a seizure while on the roof, he did have one while doing sales door to door with co-workers. Matt’s employer ’let him go’ after that.

Matt did find office work for different companies afterwards but was “let go”, now due to the voice change caused by the VNS. He was unable to find other work and eventually began to study reflexology on his own, as his new vocation. However he died before he could began any formal studies.

Matt learned to play the guitar when he was 8 years. He only got better over the years and became an excellent guitar player. Knowing his mother loved the banjo he taught himself how to play. Hearing Matt sing or play one of his guitars or banjo was magical.

Matt had a marvelous sense of humor, also learned to love a debate, was learning to draw, and wrote poetry. He had also taken to reading many different authors and become quite knowledgeable in many different subject such as philosophy, religion, anatomy, physiology, and reflexology.

Matthew’s big joys in life were his love of his family and friends, guitar, and reading, especially aloud for the audio books. Sadly, Matt died before he was able to read aloud all he had planned.

Matthew particularly enjoyed spending time with his family. Matt loved his siblings dearly, and they all love him right back. Matt was also a very an active uncle who loved his nieces and nephews tremulously, delighting in playing with his young nephews while enjoying the company of his older nieces. Because she has always lived nearby, Matt was especially close his to oldest niece, who is just a few years younger and was like a sibling.

Matt make people laugh, respected others opinions and would listen to the another side, and was trying to achieve his career goals. He was always willing to work hard. He wrote music and more recently poetry. He was learning as much as he could, about himself, his body, and the connections each aspect had to others. Matt began delving into philosophy, anatomy, chemistry, physics and religion. He was well read and wanted more. Matt also read aloud for audible books despite a dramatic voice change from an implanted Vagal Nerve Stimulator to lessen frequency and severity of seizures

Matt’s compassion for others is well documented in the memory of all that knew him. His family and many friends were always supportive of him. Matt was a loyal friend, uncle, brother, and son.

Matthew is survived by his parents, three siblings, 5 nieces and nephews, many cousins, and numerous friends, many friends whom he had known since grade and middle schools. 

He was predeceased by both his maternal and paternal grandparents and two uncles.

Matthew was buried in Joshua Tree Cemetery in Lancaster, Los Angeles, California, 808 East Lancaster Blvd, Lancaster, California.

Please consider a donation to the Epilepsy Foundation or SUDEP Awareness in Matt’s name or your loved one’s name.

March 5, 2021
March 5, 2021
It's your birthday today, Matt. You are forever in my thoughts, forever with me. I cherish the memories we shared. I wept for the memories that will never be. - Mom

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March 5, 2021
March 5, 2021
It's your birthday today, Matt. You are forever in my thoughts, forever with me. I cherish the memories we shared. I wept for the memories that will never be. - Mom
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