Ariel Benjamin Osteen

Ariel Benjamin Osteen

An Angel on earth who changed lives.

Ari was a gentle soul, beloved by everyone he met. He was a happy-go-lucky child, demonstrative with his love, a good and interested listener, and often gave supportive hugs to those who needed them. He won a Florida speech competition, had his Bar Mitzvah, and helped start small businesses for minorities in Israel. In high school, he started a group called STAND to raise awareness and money for victims of Darfur. He played volleyball in high school and college and served food to those in need. Ari liked to play guitar and sing for children in hospitals.

Ari loved writing music, playing guitar and drums, and using music to communicate his thoughts and feelings. He traveled the world with his family, immersing himself in new cultures and customs. He had a unique talent for meeting people, connecting with them, and bringing joy and comfort. Ari graduated with honors from the University of Florida and changed from the tech world to become an EMT, hoping to become a firefighter or physician’s assistant in the future. He saved lives, including with Narcan, and often followed up to see how those he helped were doing.

Ari was close to his siblings Talia and Yoni and was an amazing uncle to their children. The three siblings spent a lot of time together. His sisters were there for him day and night during his battle with addiction, never giving up on him. He also had a girlfriend, Judy, who he loved with all his being.

Ari’s substance use disorder began when he sustained a back injury in college and was given liberal amounts of OxyContin. Before he passed, Ari had been substance-free for a time, but because of the pandemic felt disconnected from others and became lonely and depressed. Recognizing he needed help, he reached out to the rehab facility he had been to previously. They didn’t have any available space for months. While he was waiting, he bought something to help his depression and was killed by pure fentynal, acetyl-fentanyl it contained.

“He was an amazing son,” his mother, Michal, said, “It broke our hearts watching him battle addiction. It hijacked his brain. Ari wanted so badly to live. He went to treatment many times and fought so hard.” “Now we live in the before and after Ari, we cry a lot, we mourn.”

Michal is working as an advocate, being Ari’s voice. “I talk about substance use disorder to families, teens, and pre-teens, to stop the stigma and save lives. Her advocacy also includes education about the fentanyl epidemic in the U.S. and working closely with the local Sheriff’s office to educate others.

She misses Ari’s love, his hugs, smile, and strength. “He was a deep thinker. I learned so much from him, and miss him every minute of the day,” Michal said. ‘The house was always full of friends when Ari was here, now that bright light is gone.”

Ari’s mother, Michal Osteen, provided the information for this narrative.

February 10, 1990-November 13, 2020

Age 30-Lived with the disease of addiction for 10 years.

Share this story from The INTO LIGHT Project

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

More Into Light Stories

Read more biographies from this exhibit.
Devin Hart Bearden

Devin Hart Bearden

Caring, athletic, bright, witty, attractive At 6’2”, Devin was lanky, handsome, and a natural athlete. Equally at home on a skateboard, snowboard, or when surfing, he was a pleasure to watch; so fluid and graceful. He was a good soccer and baseball player and loved hiking in nature or being at the beach, especially on the annual family beach trips to Hatteras in North Carolina. [...]
Read More »
Jessica Mae Ackerman

Jessica Mae Ackerman

Sensitive, kind, loving, creative, animal lover At 4’11” and 100 pounds, Jessica was small in stature but big in personality and presence. Her twin sister, Jennifer, describes her as a unique, eccentric, creative person, “a badass”, who marched to her own drum and did what she wanted.” She had a bold, trend-setting fashion sense and liked to read and express herself through poetry and writing. Jennifer is currently compiling Jessica’s writings into a book. Jessica loved all animals. According to their mom, Jessica and her sister snuck a lot of animals into the house over the years. [...]
Read More »
Benjamin David Campbell

Benjamin David Campbell

Gentle, thoughtful, intelligent, loving Ben was the youngest of four children and the classic “baby of the family,” according to his mother, Karen. He was 6’4”, 220 pounds, handsome, gentle, intelligent, and fun-loving. He adored his older brothers and sister. His closest bond was with his oldest brother, Michael. He was a hero to Ben. He was smart, kind, and a loving role model. When Michael was a senior in high school, he struggled with depression, which led him to self-medicate with drugs and eventually become addicted. He committed suicide at 20 when Ben was 11. Michael’s death profoundly affected the family, all grieving in individual ways. Ben had promised Mike he would never use drugs, but could not keep that promise. [...]
Read More »
William Coddington

William Coddington

Funny, loving, kind, sensitive, and lonely William was a hilarious person. His mom, Carolyn, always knew it, but it was confirmed at his Zoom memorial service, which was attended by over 125 people. Many of them told stories about how William lit up a room and kept them laughing through his jokes and antics. His mother said, “As parents, we don’t always know how our children are known to their friends. She was proud to hear what a caring and loving man he was to so many people.” [...]
Read More »

Bring an Exhibit to Your State

Interested in bringing The INTO LIGHT Project to your State?
Find out how you can make this happen.