Such a horrific occurrence is too horrible to put into words. The sudden and unexpected death of my youngest brother, who was 17 years old and had more brilliance and bravery than anyone I knew, devastated me.
He was a kid who could do anything he put his mind to, from playing a lot of sports to winning jiu jitsu matches, to playing guitar, to learning Japanese so he could go to Japan after high school, to dreaming of being a movie director, to getting straight A’s and getting ready to go to Michigan State the following weekend.
He lived with a moral compass and integrity beyond his years, was incapable of hurting a fly, and brought delight to everyone he came into contact with. You did more in 17 years than most people do in their entire lives, and more importantly, you had the absolute love and respect of your friends and family. Your siblings, parents, grandparents, friends, classmates, and peers wouldn’t have the same quality of life without you. I’ll never forget our happiest times together, whether it was running countless miles on the French beaches, playing pool basketball so hard we’d get bruises, or catching fish. You were all I could have wanted in a younger brother.
I regret and will always regret not being able to work toward building a stronger friendship in the future. I make a vow to live my life twice as hard—for you and for myself—and to never let this terrible loss deprive me of anything else. People that matter to you won’t ever forget you. Until we see you again in heaven, Joe Aloi, my little brother, I know you’ll be watching out for us.