Think Different Theory

Dealing With the Death of My Brother


In today’s episode, I’m going to talk about the very tragic and painful loss of my older brother, Kyle Forti, and the whole rollercoaster of emotions that I went through when I got the call that he was gone.


I’m going to tell you the story of when I got the phone call, how I reacted, and why it is okay to be angry, sad, mad, and show emotions. I’m also going to open up and tell the story of who my brother was as a person and the aspects of his life that we can all learn from.

Here are the key topics discussed in this episode:

  • The freak accident that took Kyle (02:32)
  • The flood of emotions I experienced when I got the call (06:08)
  • Blaming God (08:11)
  • The Impactful Change Maker that was Kyle Forti (10:57)
  • The definition of what’s good in the world (14:08)
  • Appreciate and show others love (22:13)


Be sure to follow me on the below platforms:

Subscribe to the podcast on Apple, Spotify, Google, or Stitcher.

Instagram @joshforti




March 18, 2019


Be sure to follow me on Instagram @joshforti

You can find the transcripts and more at

You can find this episode plus all the previous episodes here.

If you haven’t already, please rate and review the podcast on Apple Podcasts!


00:00    Alright, let’s do this. This podcast is dedicated to my brother Kyle, who tragically, tragically passed away in a helicopter crash over in Kenya last week. This is the story of how I found out about that, what I went through, what I’m continuing to go through, a call to action, a plea for us to love more, and to use Kyle’s life as an example for legacy and impact.

00:30    You are now entering a new paradigm. So, here’s my issue. I wanted to find the answers to life’s biggest questions. Things like, how do I become happy and live with purpose? How do I make more money doing what I love and what does it mean to be truly successful in all areas of life? My name is Josh Forti, @JoshForti on Instagram, and I ask life’s biggest questions and share the answers with you. My goal is to help you find purpose, happiness, and open your mind to new realms of possibility by helping you think differently about everything you do, know, and understand. On this podcast, we think different, we dream bigger, and we live in a world without limits. This is a new paradigm. Welcome to The Think Different Theory.

01:15    What’s going on guys? Welcome back to another episode of The Think Different Theory. My name is Josh Forti and we are on episode number 39, and this episode is going to be a little bit… a little bit more sad. It’s going to be a very real, very raw, very emotional episode. And, I might cry actually. Been doing okay today with everything and keeping my emotions in check but this is a very hard topic to talk about. I’m going to dedicate this episode to my brother Kyle, and to his legacy, and to what he stood for, and just to him and in his life. As many of you know, and maybe you don’t, my brother Kyle Forti, my older brother tragically passed away in a helicopter crash in Kenya last week. He was there visiting a friend who had just purchased a huge resort there and they were flying around visiting the different wildlife there; the zebras and the lions and…, and just all around the wildlife that was there in Kenya, and the helicopter that they were flying tragically crashed.

02:32    We’re still not exactly sure the situation, why it happened, and what was all involved there, but the helicopter crashed. There was five people on board, including the pilot. The pilot was one of the best pilots in Kenya. The helicopter was the Vice President of Kenya’s personal helicopter. It was a complete freak accident. There were no survivors. And, this podcast I’m going to just share the story of what I went through when I got that phone call, and how I was emotionally, and really how I’ve been dealing with it, because nothing… nothing can prepare you for that phone call. And, what I have learned over the past several weeks, or a week and a couple of days since then, has fundamentally shaken me at the core of who I am, and what I believe to be important in life. And, it’s just… I think this is a topic that needs to be talked about, and discussed, and I’m looking forward to sharing what I’m learning through this.

03:36    And I really hope that we all can learn from this together, and I wanted to share that with you, because my brother was an incredible human being. And as we’ll see, Democrats, Republicans alike (he was in the political realm), Democrats and Republicans alike tweeted out their condolences, and saying that they had lost a good one. There was moments of silence at the Senate and the house, and just…, very, very impactful human being. So, I’m going to dive into this, and kind of the context that I have laid out here is, I’m going to tell you the story of how I found out, and then I’m going to tell you a little bit about my brother, and then I’m going to tell you what I’ve been learning, and what I’ve really been struggling with since that time frame.

04:16    And, we’re going to be talking about this more throughout the next coming podcasts as well, but I really…, this has really messed me up guys. I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty messed up right now. And so, I’m trying to get just raw and completely vulnerable, and honest, and hope that this helps people at a very core level. So… well, let’s just dive in. Sunday, March 3rd, 2019, I was getting ready to go to dinner with my girlfriend. And, we we’re putting on our coats. I was standing in the kitchen getting ready to walk out the door when my mom called. And, my mom and I talk almost every weekend, so we have a pretty good relationship. So, I was expecting just any other call. I was sitting there and as I was putting my coat on, and the call, I was going to pick it up and just say, “Hey mom, I’m going out to dinner. Let me call you in a bit.”

05:07    It was 9.30 at night, and I picked up the phone, and my mother on the other end, just was in blood curdling scream and tears, like an ear splitting sound that I’ve never heard before. And, when I picked up the phone, I was like, “Mom, you know, like, what is wrong? What’s wrong?” Trying to calm her down, and the only thing that I heard on the other end of the line was, “He’s dead. He’s dead. Kyle is dead. He died in a helicopter crash over in Kenya. He’s dead. Your brother is dead.” And…, and that’s all I remember. There’s nothing that can prepare you for that call, like nothing. I fell to the floor in the kitchen, like just completely broken. Every single ounce, an atom of my body felt everything, and nothing all at the same time.

06:08    It was like a rush of energy went through me and left my body. I collapsed into a ball on the floor and just bawled my eyes out, and thankfully my girlfriend was there with me at the time, to be there with me, and to like, kind of like, hold me and comfort me, because I don’t know what I would’ve done. Like, I lost it. And, I remember for the first few minutes, like not understanding anything, and just yelling and screaming, just saying, “Why, why, why?” And then, you know, after about 20 minutes, 15 minutes or so, I kind of got it together a little bit and I just told her, I said, “I need to be alone right now. I need to just process for like 20 or 30 minutes.” And so, she went and, you know, ended up getting food and I just…, I remember sitting there looking at God.

06:53    Now I have… I don’t talk a whole lot about my relationship with God on this podcast. I’m pretty vocal about my Christian faith, but I have a little bit of a different relationship with God, than maybe some people do. I have out loud verbal conversations with God just as like a human. And I remember looking up at him, and I remember saying like, “God, why? What the heck man? Like, what the hell? Like, why the F would you let this happen?” He didn’t deserve this. Kyle didn’t deserve this. Hope didn’t deserve this. His kid, my brother has a wife, my brother has a five year old kid. My brother has a baby on the way. His wife has a baby on the way. He was a foster kid. My brother was one of the best humans I know. And I remember just screaming at God and I said, “God, I want to trust you. I want to believe in you. I want to know that you’re going to make this okay. I’m going to ask you for the strength to get through this, but I need 20 minutes right now. I need 20 minutes just to be mad at you. I need 20 minutes to scream every single thing and emotion that’s in my head at you right now. I need to get that all out.”

08:00    And I did. And for the next 20 minutes I blamed God. I yelled at him. I screamed at him, and out loud, and I was like, “God, why? Why? Why? Why would you let this happen to such an amazing human?” My brother and I did not agree on everything, but oh my gosh, there was not a more genuine human being that I’ve ever met in my life. We’re going to get into that here in a minute, and I felt this entire rush of emotion, and then after I was done with that 20 or 30 minutes, and I just let it all out and bawled my eyes out and cried, I looked up at God and I said, “Okay, God. Alright, God. If you’re so powerful, if you’re all good, if you’re all my…, yeah, I trust you.”

08:39    I said, “I’m going to need some strength here. I’m going to need some understanding”, and I felt like this voice kind of come over me, this feeling come over me, that basically said, “Josh like, it’s okay for you to be mad right now. The emotions that I’ve given you; anger, grief, sadness, mourning, everything that you’re feeling right now, I gave that to you.” We as humans are programmed to feel emotion. And I think a lot of times we as humans, we think that emotions are bad, that they show a sign of weakness, that they show a sign of whatever, and obviously, this is an extreme case, so no one would say that at this point, but I think this is an interesting point to actually talk about and cover, because it is that way. We feel emotion and it’s okay to feel those things. And I felt this voice come over me in my head that said, “Josh, it’s okay for you to be mad. It’s okay for you to be sad. It’s okay for you to grieve”, but you’ve got to give that to God. You’ve got to go out there and do that, and I believe in God, and you believe in whatever you want to believe. It’s okay for us to feel that, as long as we don’t take that, and as long as we don’t dwell on that, we’ve got to give that to…, I call it God, you can call it the universe, whatever you want to call that, but I had to deal with those things, and it was natural for me to have to deal with that.

10:02    And so then I trusted and I sat there, and I went, “Okay. Alright.” I said, “Okay, God. Alright? Listen, you messed up man.” I was cursing at God. I was screaming at God. I was crying. I said, “God, if you’re all powerful, if you’re all mighty…”, I said, “You’ve got to show me one thing, one thing in the next 24 hours, that shows me that something good can come from this death, that something good can actually come of this, and that I can learn from it. Something that’s so overwhelmingly clear, that makes me believe, okay, Kyle didn’t die in vain.” And, that was my prayer. That was my request. That was the thing that I was like, “Okay, alright, God. If you’re so powerful and so mighty, you’ve got to show me this.”

10:57    Now before I get into what happened in the next 24 to 48 hours after that, I want to tell you a little bit about Kyle, and the type of person that he was, and who he stood for. For those of you that don’t know Kyle, and that had never met Kyle, my brother was 29 years old. He married his high school sweetheart. They were together for over 12 years from the time they started dating, to the time that they ultimately got married, and then when he passed away. He had a five year old little boy. His wife was pregnant and they were the postcard of love, and of what a marriage should be like. They’ve been married I think six years, six or seven years now, and they’re still in honeymoon phase. Kyle loves his wife more than anyone I had ever seen love another human being, and they together made an incredible team.

11:44   My brother was an entrepreneur, was a business owner, was a political figure, was in the political realm, ran very successful political campaigns, was very, very highly respected, and very well known in his work, and in his field, but most importantly, my brother wanted to be known as a husband and a father. He wanted to be known as the person that loved his son, that loved his kids, that loved his wife more than anything else, and always put them first above all else. And that’s what he portrayed. Kyle understood human connection (and we’re going to talk about that on a future podcast episode because it’s so important) better than almost anyone I’ve ever met. And, Kyle made an impact on tens of thousands of people’s lives and he did all of it without using almost any social media. He did it with actual real human connection.

12:39    He did it by actually talking to people, and by being around people, and by bettering people’s lives. Kyle was a foster parent. He was in the foster care system. Not only was he running political campaigns and being on the boards of different prominent events, and things in the Colorado field. He was from Denver, in Colorado Springs area. He also was on the board for the foster care system, and so was Hope, his wife. They have had multiple foster care children. They were people that were out there, that we’re trying to make the world better. And Kyle wanted nothing more than to show love to people, and to bring people together. Kyle had a overwhelming desire in his heart to know truth, and to search for truth above all else. And, when Kyle ran political campaigns, when Kyle worked in the political spectrum, which he did a lot, and was very, very highly respected, he was asked to work on presidential campaigns for candidates that went very, very far. Kyle did not see parties though. He did not see Democrats or Republicans. He did not see Libertarians or independents, or whatever you affiliate yourself with. Kyle saw people, and Kyle saw humans, and Kyle wanted nothing more than to bring people together with love. And Kyle put love above all else. He said, “We need to see humans as humans no matter the color of your skin, no matter the race, no matter who you identify as, no matter what, we’re all humans. We were all created by God.” And Kyle recognized that fact.

14:08    Kyle was, as my sister put it, and as many, many other people put it; the definition of what was good in this world, and there are so many things about him that we can strive to become, that we can strive to follow and model after. Of course, Kyle was not perfect. Kyle had his struggles. Kyle had his vices, but Kyle was someone that tried his best, that gave it his all, and that was so selfless in so many ways. You would never see Kyle sitting around watching Netflix, or chilling on the couch. You would never see Kyle doing things that only served himself. It was to spend time with his wife. It was to better his kid. He brought Max. He has a son named Max, the cutest five-year-old you’ll ever meet.

14:46   He would bring him to work almost every single day to downtown offices in Denver, and travel the world (for Max’s fifth birthday, Kyle took him to Shanghai), for his fifth birthday, because he wanted Max to experience life. He wanted Max to see the world, hoping that… Kyle just went on a trip to Chile. Like Kyle was an amazing human being. And so when I prayed this prayer of like, “Alright, God. You’ve got 24 hours”, basically put God on this stopwatch. I said, “You’ve got to prove to me, you’ve got to prove to me that this was worth it”, because I was a mess, still am. Over the next 24 hours to 48 hours, what transpired during that time-frame was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever personally experienced in my life. There were literally thousands of Facebook posts, that is not an exaggerated number, they were actually in the thousands of posts that were giving their support, and their condolences to Kyle. Hundreds of messages, and emails, and texts from people sending their love, and sending their wishes, and sending their support to our family.

15:53    A GoFundMe was set up. Somebody donated $100,000 match to everything that was raised in over $120,000, or $220,000, I apologize, was raised total, in that GoFundMe within a three day period. CNN, NBC, CBS, Fox News, all did stories on it. He was on Good Morning America. Kyle’s legacy, and what everybody remembered him for. If you go look through the hundreds and thousands of posts, was that Kyle brought people together. Kyle was the definition of a good human. Kyle was what everybody wanted to be more of, and what we needed more of in this world. Kyle left a positive impact on every single person that he came in contact with. And, there were posts from prominent political figures saying that, “You know, Kyle and I disagreed on so many different things, but I truly come together today knowing that Kyle wanted what was best for people, and Kyle wanted good in the world.”

16:47    And that is the type of human that we lost. So not only did I lose a brother, not only did Max lose a father, did Hope lose a husband, and my mom and dad lose a son, and my siblings lose a brother, the world lost someone that was trying to do that better, or trying to make the world better. And, as I sit there and look back at his life, what Kyle wanted more than anything else, was to bring people together, and that’s what his death did. And so, as I sat there, 24, 48, 72 hours later, in tears, in sadness, in a very grieving state, I couldn’t help but kind of kind of laugh a little bit and go, “Alright, God. Like, you delivered.” And, the good that came from this, not that his death was good, but the good that came from it, and the legacy that he left behind, will not be soon forgotten.

17:39    And Kyle, I know you can hear me right now, and so I just want to say, “Man, I miss you so much. And, thank you for being an example of what was good in the world. Thank you for putting people above politics, people above all else, and for loving Hope, loving Max, loving… just everyone, like I’ve never seen anyone love before. Truly an unconditional love for them.” And so, you know, as I sit here, and as I look, and as I deal with the struggles of going through this, I would not wish that phone call, I would not wish someone losing a sibling to my worst enemy. It’s the worst thing. There’s nothing that can prepare you for that phone call. There’s nothing that can prepare you for your mom screaming on the other end that your brother’s dead. There’s nothing that can prepare you for your brother’s wife and son to be husbandless and fatherless.

18:49    And, you know, as I go through life right now, and as I look at what I have been focused on over the last two, three, four years of my life, it makes me really re-evaluate what’s important, because while I love social media and I love business, and I love those things, there’s always got to be something that keeps you in check with that. And I look at Kyle’s life and, Kyle ran a successful business. His business was bigger and more successful than mine is, and Kyle never focused on that. He simply used it as a means to an end to accomplish something good. For him it was being a dad, being a father, and being involved in the foster care system, because that’s what he believed so strongly in. And he was such a prominent leader in that space, because he believed so strongly in it. And, as I look at myself, and my plea to each one of you, as I go through this and I’m dealing with this is; remember to love people, remember to put people first, and remember to use whatever it is that you’re passionate about, and the business, and money, and influence, as a means to an end. It is not the end.

20:09    And, in future podcast episodes, I want to talk about dealing with grief, and I want to talk about dealing with major loss, and I want to talk about just so many different things, but right now, I just want to plead with you, and beg with you, and say; the biggest thing that I have learned so far, during this tragic loss, is the power of love, the power of what when you focus on the right thing, the legacy that you can leave behind, and the importance of focusing on what matters. Not focusing on Instagram followers, not focusing on how much money you make, not focusing on anything material, but focusing on your impact to the world, and those around you. Kyle was the definition of someone that was selfless. And I want to thank him for that. And, I miss him. And, if you’ve ever gone through the loss of a brother, a sister, a parent, a loved one, you know what I’m talking about. And I’m just so thankful and so grateful for Kyle, and for God to show me the next 24 hours and how it unfolded, and the absolute incredible impact that Kyle had.

21:29    It was just… it was absolutely incredible, and it truly was. And so, for all of you that reached out, and that gave your support, we appreciate it. I appreciate it. It means more to me than you know, and I’m just…, I’m very, very thankful, and grateful for all that. And so, as I kind of bring this podcast episode to a close, I want to focus on, and I want to bring the attention to, what we can do as humans, to start making the world better. I’m a very actionable person, action steps based person, and I want this episode to be focused on that. And there are so many topics that I want to talk about this. I want to talk about how to deal with the loss, that’s going to probably be the next podcast episode, and specifically focusing on the emotions that we’ve all felt.

22:13    And I touched on that at the beginning. Our emotions are natural, and I want to touch on that more. So stay tuned for that. But the thing that I want to leave you with, the thing that I’m trying to do is, in my own life now, is just, first off, go appreciate your family and your loved ones. And I know that’s so cliche, so cliche, but I have had conversations with my family, with my brother (other brother), with my sisters, with my sister-in-law, that I would’ve never had, and that should have happened a long time ago, and got to know them so much better, and connect with them so much more through this. And we just take those relationships for granted so much. So I want to encourage you to just go call your mom, your dad, your brother, your sister, and just connect with them. Second and just as big, love people, just like love people. Just like, see humans as humans.

23:10    Don’t see a human as another client right now. Don’t see a human as another, you know, potential Like, or potential follower, how great you are. Just go love people as people. Don’t judge, don’t think you’re better than someone. Go start focusing on how you can connect with people and make their life better, because that is how you leave an impact. I got a call from a friend of mine who has never met Kyle, never even knew Kyle existed outside of the fact that he knew I had an older brother. And, he called me and he said, “Josh, you know, I’m wishing my deepest condolences and prayers to you and your family. I’m so sorry for your loss”, but he said, “Dude, if I can give you a sliver of hope in this”, he’s like, “I had never met Kyle, but oh my gosh, the amount of support that he has received all over the world, from Washington DC to Denver, to Fort Wayne, Indiana, to California, to other countries, to national news. The legacy that he left behind”, he’s like, “Dude, it makes me realize that I have to step up my game. And you can see that he did it through caring about people, and through just loving people, and through actually being a good human.” And he goes, “That’s an inspiration, and you should be proud to have called him a brother.”

24:40    And I am. And I am so blessed and so thankful to have had him as a brother. So love people, and just go out and appreciate that. Get off social media for a minute. Put business aside for a second. Put your dreams on hold just for a second, and go out and just appreciate people, and the absolute amazingness of human life, and don’t see people as political figures, or clients, or anything of that nature. Just see them as humans. Alright, I’m going to wrap it up here.

25:13    I made it through without completely breaking down. So, that’s good. The next episode, we’re gonna talk about a bunch of other stuff related to this, and kind of walk you through this whole process. I want to thank each and every one of you for listening to the episode, and I want to thank each and every one of you for being a part of my life. And I really hope that at some point, I’ve had a positive impact on your life, and that your life has been bettered. And I know that I’ve interacted with hundreds, if not thousands of listeners here, and people in my Facebook group, and people online, and whatnot. And, I just…, I want to extend my deepest thanks to all of you for your support along the way. It means the world to me. If there’s ever anything that I can do, please let me know.

26:00    If you would, just reach out, and send me a message on Instagram, or Facebook, or an email, or a text, or however you choose to get in touch with me, and just let me know if you’ve been impacted, and how I’ve impacted you. It just means the world, and I’ll gladly reply to as many as I can, and let you know, vice versa. That would just mean the world to me. And, I would just appreciate that a lot of you, if you’d be willing to do that. So, “Kyle, as I said at the beginning. This is dedicated to you man. I appreciate you. I love you. I know you can hear me right now. I can’t wait to see you again some day. And, the last conversation we had, you told me that you wanted nothing more than to love people, know truth, be a stay at home dad, understand consciousness, understand God, and not really care about business. Just focus on that. And right now you’re in the presence of God. You understand consciousness, you know absolute truth, and I can’t wait to share that experience with you, man. I love you.”

27:10    Guys as always, hustle, hustle, God bless. You should not be afraid to think different. Go love someone today. Go put in perspective what really matters, and think about the legacy that you’re leaving behind. I love you all and I will see you on the next episode. Take it easy fam. Peace.

27:28   Yo, what’s up guys? You’ve been listening to The Think Different Theory, with myself, Josh Forti, which I like to call, “A new paradigm of thinking” and real quick, I got a question for you. Did you like this episode? If you did, I want to ask a huge favor. See, the biggest thing that helps this podcast grow, and that will spread this message of positivity, and making the world a better place, is if you leave a review, a rating, and subscribe to the podcast. What that does is, it basically tells the platforms that this is out on, that you like my stuff and that I’m doing something right. So if you could take like three seconds out of your day and subscribe, leave a rating, and a review, I would be forever grateful for you. Also, I want to hear from you. I want to know your feedback, your ideas, and your questions for future episodes. So be sure to hit me up on Instagram in the DM @Josh Forti, or via email