February 14, 2015.
It's now been one year since we lost Drew. Although it's been a difficult year, we've been amazed at the outpouring of love and support, and we continue to marvel at the signs of Drew's presence in our own and so many other people's lives. We thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers, and for keeping Drew's spirit alive.
Before Drew died, he started writing a letter, titled "Saying Goodbye To A Friend," that he had intended to send out when finished. Although Drew wouldn't have the chance to complete this letter, we invite you to finish the last sentence and to share with us what you realize from your memories with him.
- The O'Donoghue Family
Saying Goodbye to a Friend
by Drew O'Donoghue
It is something that you should never have to do. You can’t, you shouldn’t, you won’t. Nonetheless, there will be a moment thrust onto every relationship where we must close the book. That chapter of your life may be a short one, or it may be the theme of your entire story. Either way, goodbyes are never easy.
With every friendship, memories are plentiful. They make you laugh, they make you cry, but like a good dream, they represent only a moment in time. Memories are mile markers on the highway of life, but no matter how many you pass or how far you travel, they are every bit a part of you as your skin and bones are. Nostalgia makes you want to go back to relive those times, but hope carries you on, whispering of the possibilities and treasures that lie ahead on the horizon.
You know you have found a good friend when you look back on those memories and see the same face constantly come and go like how the sun rises and sets. A good friend not only shares the glory days with you. They offer so much more. They’re thoughtful and caring, wise and sharing. They share advice, success, heck they’ll even share their slice of pizza. Despite all the positives in life, there is nothing like a friend who knows how to share the pain and suffering, to take the weight off your shoulders. They make the good times great and the bad times bearable, and when all seems lost, when you have been cloaked in darkness and despair, a great friend is there to offer a shoulder to cry on, a hand of strength to carry you through the storm.
But, again, how do you say goodbye to that? We find saying goodbye so hard not because of the memories of past. We find saying farewell unbearable because of the future memories we won’t be able to make. God, I have had my fair share of memories that I am so thankful for. As much as I would like to go back to relive and cherish those moments, they give me hope that tomorrow will be a better day. We have so much more to live for. The reunions, the late night phone calls, the weddings, being called an uncle to your best friend's kids, the backyard barbecues are all future memories to be made. All these good times to be had will be shared with those we love and cherish, a truly good friend. Friendship is something that transcends life. It’s a bond that can never be broken. A sense of brotherhood that carries on beyond our time on this earth.
What if that friend that you had to say goodbye to was you? All those future memories become an absent dream, a reality that never materialized. They wash away like chalk on a driveway following a rain storm. It’s something you don’t expect, something you would never think would happen. You feel your invincibility fade away and dissipate, and as you reach that moment where you try to define your life, discover your place and meaning in this world, you are left with very little. Nothing material means anything to you. The only things that matter are the intangibles, the basics. All you are left with is friendship. No matter how many conversations you have with your good friend saying that everything will be alright, you see the boulder of pain and suffering taken from your shoulders in their eyes. In those moments, gratitude is an understatement. You go back to those memories and realize...
Please feel free to share your thoughts with us here on the Contact Us page.
You can also email them to us at: TheDrewODonoghueFund@gmail.com.
We'll post some of them here on the website.