Finding The Words For You
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Finding The Words For You

There aren't enough words, Facebook posts, Instagram pictures or tweets to do you justice.

Finding The Words For You
Ashley Grates's Photos

For the past few weeks, I have been searching for the words to explain how I feel. And here I am, still reluctant of what words could attempt to describe how I feel after losing my best friend, neighbor and “brother” and how much he meant to me.

I feel helpless, sad and broken-hearted to say the least.

It's hard to explain to others how close we are. Many people don't understand the concept of "family friends" but I'm so lucky to say that I do, that we all do.

They’re the people you grew up with. The people you go out to dinner with whenever everyone is home on break or for whatever reason and order about 20 appetizers before the main course. They’re the people who you go on countless vacations with and the people who are there when you need them the most.

Many people will never understand the bond all of our families have because we’re so much more than friends who are all around the same age-range with parents who live in the same town. We're family.

Deep down the one thing that keeps me going is knowing that you wouldn’t want any of us to feel sad. You would want us to laugh, tell funny stories and simply enjoy each other's company.

What amazes me the most is that in 21 years you've impacted more people than I have ever met. You spent 21 years brightening people’s day in the simplest way. You made a bigger impact in 21 years than some people do their entire life. And knowing who you are, I'm not shocked by this at all.

So while it looks like I lost a friend to the people who didn’t know you, I lost so much more than that. I lost someone I saw every time I was home, someone I have known since the age of three, someone who lives four houses down from me, someone who was the brother I never had, someone who would barge in my house and annoy me in the best way possible, and someone who will be greatly missed. I think I speak for everyone who knew you when I say our lives will never be the same.

People keep saying that everything will get better in time, but no one gets over something like this. You don’t forget about it and you don’t dismiss it.

How can you?

At some point in time, you learn how to cope and live your life with that piece of you missing. Because the day he left was the day we all lost a part of us.

You use this as a way to live your life in the moment, not worrying about the trivial things that happen day to day. You don’t let small things upset you because they simply don’t matter. You don't let the world make you cynical. You attempt to make an impact on people every day. You smile a little bigger, hug a little tighter and love a little more than you ever did before.


Because that’s what Vinny would have done.

Sometimes I wonder what you’re doing up there, Vin. My grandma used to tell me that Heaven consisted of whatever you wanted it to. In my mind, I smile because I know you’re lying in bed, playing some random iPhone game, blasting your music (because let's face it, you had the best music) and eating absolutely outrageous meals. You’re making people smile, hugging them so tightly they couldn’t break free if they wanted to and everyone up there is drawn to you.

I will forever be thankful for growing up with you, for knowing you and for being impacted by you. We will keep your soul alive until the end of time through every story, memory and moment that was spent together. We will talk about you non-stop and there will never be a day that goes by where we don’t think about you. We will always be #AllinforVin. People like you are too hard to forget.

I will think of you every time I drive out of the neighborhood, go to Voss, see the color yellow or hear "Closer," whenever I laugh, smile, hug someone, find out there's a new iPhone update, play a new iPhone game, hear 'Vinny worthy' new music, see cool looking cars and have no idea what they're called, hear someone say the words 'paleo diet'... I could go on but you get the point.

There aren't enough words, Facebook posts, Instagram pictures or tweets to do you justice.

All I can say is, Heaven, you’re lucky. You gained the best angel there is.

I love you with all of my heart, Vinny. One day we will see each other again. Until then, keep sending us signs.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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