Yesterday I lost a friend who was like the little brother I never had. He was so full of life and promise. Whenever I saw him, he was smiling and laughing, and he always wanted everyone else around him to do the same. He was so talented in sports; he was great at whatever sport he played. When I started taking photography classes at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, he modeled for me so many times. I shot pictures of him at his wrestling meets and rugby matches, and thought that someday I'd be taking pictures of him playing college football, or even in the NFL. He always said he would be a big star. We just celebrated your 18th birthday three weeks ago. You seemed so happy, and we had such a great time together, all of your family and mine. I know we weren't related by blood, but you were like a brother to me and your family means more to me than I can say. I should be taking your senior pictures this summer Johnny, not going to your funeral. This shouldn't be happening. If any good can come out of this, then I hope that it will make people realize that they should never put off telling people they love them, because they might not be around tomorrow to hear it. And that drugs are never the answer. If you have pain, please talk to someone, get some help, just do something, anything that doesn't risk your life in this way. I don't know if Johnny realized just how many lives he touched, but if it's any indication, there's going to be three sets of calling hours, and a Facebook group dedicated to him with 2,000 members at last count. I really hope you can see that and know we all loved you. And I hope you're with your grandma now, that you missed so much.
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