Anthony Arena DeFalco, age 30, was set free from his lifelong battle with addiction on Sunday November 1st. Anthony is the son of James and Elizabeth Arena DeFalco, brother of Jimmy, Jennifer and Nick DeFalco and Lindsey Bisset (John). Beloved uncle of Anthony and Angelo DeFalco and Erik Bissett. Amazing nephew, cousin, grandson, and friend to so many that he left behind to hopefully carry to others a message of recovery and hope.
It is almost impossible to capture someone’s life into mere words, and this is especially true when that life was filled with addiction, struggles and pain. Many may not have known Anthony past his addiction, and what a loss for them. Addiction did not define Anthony, and that is not how to remember him.
Over the last two years, he showed himself and the world who he really was. He showed everyone how to remember him. He showed us a strong, determined, brilliant, and driven man.
We will miss that boy. We will miss that man. We will forever grieve that loss. We saw a broken soul who hated this more than we ever could. We saw a fighter… a fighter who looked like he was winning... a fighter who was losing… a fighter who lost. Or maybe this is his win. His peace. His way out.
Look at a sweet child’s face. Look at their eyes. No parent can ever imagine that those innocent, joyful eyes could someday see life so differently. No one looks at their child’s mischievous smile and thinks that it will someday be wiped away by pain, a pain that no matter what, you cannot fix or take away. No one thinks that this could happen to their sweet child. When you see an addict, look deeper. I promise there is so much more.
For two years, we had Anthony back. Anthony had Anthony back. His addiction became God, church, work, and working out. We had the man who loved the beach, loved snowboarding in the mountains, loved being up in the trees, loved his friends, loved his freedoms, loved his dreams, and loved his life. He loved his family fiercely. He loved his God, and his God has now forever saved him. There is nothing more comforting. He got everything back and found himself. He lived his best life.
If Anthony’s story can save even one life, then his suffering and this loss is not for nothing. If he can change the way that someone views addiction and an addict, then this pain will have a purpose.
Goodbyes hurt the most when the story wasn’t finished. There is nothing more to do now. All that anyone can hope for is peace. Peace for Anthony. Peace for his family. Peace for all who love him and will grieve him until the day that we join him again.
Our hearts are broken, but we pray that yours is finally healed. Until we meet again, we love you, forever and always, our beautiful, incredibly special, crazy Anthony.
"In lieu of flowers, the treatment center that most recently treated Anthony, Allure Detox, has founded a scholarship fund in his name. This scholarship will help another person suffering from addiction that cannot afford the help they need on their own. The link can be found below.https://www.gofundme.com/f/anthony-defalco039s-memorial-scholarship-fund
“Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free. I’m following the path God laid for me. I took his hand when I heard him call. I turned my back and left it all. I could not stay another day, to laugh, to love, to work or play. Tasks left undone will stay that way. I found that peace at close of day.
If my parting has left a void, then fill it with remembered joy. Perhaps my time seemed all too brief. Don’t lengthen it with undue grief. Lift up your hearts, and share with me. God wanted me now. He set me free.”
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