Strong, funny, compassionate, deep, loving
Aaron was a good kid, very outgoing, adaptable and relatable; he was just himself. When he was little he would walk up to people and say: “Hi, I’m Aaron, my birthday is July 6th.” His sociable, kind, generous and supportive nature stayed present throughout his life.
Aaron loved sports and being outdoors. He was a top wrestler, and also in the high school choir. He loved to hike at nearby state parks and appreciated all kinds of music. He would go to any concert, no matter who was playing, and he loved to read anything from Edgar Allan Poe to Harry Potter.
He was a favored Uncle to his nieces and nephews and always kept a job, but stayed mostly to himself after his addiction became more prevalent. His mom said; “He hated his addiction, but over time he was so addicted, there was little he could do to help himself.” After his last time in rehab Aaron stayed drug free for about 10 months and was soon planning to move to Florida, live with his brother and join the military.
Just after Aaron’s 23rd birthday, his family came together at his sister’s wedding. Everyone was so grateful for his presence and sobriety; he was light and happy. He stayed until the end of the event, which hadn’t happened for some time. Aaron looked healthy and joyful in the pictures from that day, a treasure to the family, especially since he passed away a couple of weeks later.
At his memorial service, his mom brought 30 pairs of Aaron’s shoes, lined them up and asked his friends to take them and “keep walking in them for Aaron.” They were honored to do so, as he had helped them when they were hurting and needed encouragement. Many of Aaron’s family and friends have commemorative tattoos as a tribute to him, and several stay in touch with his mom and tell her they stay sober because they don’t want to let Aaron down.
His mom has an apt analogy that helps her put the loss of Aaron in some perspective: “I picture life as a 1000 piece puzzle. It includes everything in my life and all those I love. You can see the magnificence of the entire puzzle, but there’s a piece missing, and the eye keeps going there. If you focus only on that piece, you will miss the rest of the picture and the many blessings in it; still it’s not complete.”
Aaron’s mom has a sign in her workspace that says: “Be the person you needed as a child.” She said: “I try to plant seeds, you never know, you may just save one person.”
Aaron’s mother, Gina Dipaulo, provided the information for this narrative.
July 6, 1992-July 25, 2015
Age 23-Lived with addiction 7 years