Submitted by their father, Charles Rosa
What Vincent and Domenic were like
Vincent was bubbly and fun to be around. He liked cooking, roughhousing and hockey.
He was a bright, well-mannered and tough young man who loved his family and close friends — he would stand by them through thick and thin. And he was always sticking up for people who were being bullied.
Domenic liked hockey and skateboarding, and teaching young skaters at the Peabody Hockey Rink. He was most proud of making the high school hockey all-star team. He was compassionate and loyal to his family and friends.
They loved their mother (their biological mother) and the mother that brought them up — they were really good to her. They were genuinely good boys.
When we first noticed something was wrong
We were very uneducated about drug use, and so were they. I thought it was a phase. I thought it was going to pass. It started with marijuana — they struggled from about age 14 through high school graduation. Eventually, they progressed to opioids. They would be good for a few months, but then they would start back up again.
During his substance use, Vincent was distant and wasn’t his happy self. Eventually, he experimented with fentanyl, which ultimately led to his death on October 29, 2003.
A turning point for Domenic
After Vincent died, Domenic developed a problem with heroin.
Domenic struggled for more than five years and attended several treatment facilities. Our relationship also became distant when he was struggling with opioid use.
He had many stretches of good, clean times. He was a bright, compassionate, well-mannered young man who had lots to offer. He overdosed and died on November 24, 2004.
How they would want to be remembered
Vincent would want to be remembered as loyal and fun — cooking chicken Parmesan for teammates at hockey dinners hosted at our home.
Domenic would want to be remembered spending time with his eight brothers and sisters and parents.
If I could say one thing to the boys, it would be
I love you and miss you.