Dearest Dana,

As I sit up in bed with a mug of coffee on this beautiful October morning writing this, I'm forced to bring myself to this day two years ago. Two years! and it feels like forever. I can remember where exactly I was when I finally found out what happened. I was at the vet with Charles bright and early. I was waiting at the register for my transaction to go through and I was checking FB on my phone and suddenly my eyes focused in to Jeff Fagan's status "RIP Dana Poole". I was in total disbelief. "What? The Dana Poole I KNOW? No." After writing Jeff a private message then a quick response back the news was verified, I kept updating FB and more status were being posted that you were gone.

My favorite photo of us. 
September 2008.

 I could not breathe, the entire drive back to my home I fought back my tears. The moment I got into my apartment I collapsed on my bed into a big hot crying mess. My heart was aching for your family, I kept praying quietly to myself that I hope you did not feel pain, speaking it out loud was too difficult. I think you even rolled your eyes at me for listening "I'll be Missing You" on repeat. I went apple picking that day to keep my mind busy, the entire time I just wanted to drive to NEC and be with the people who knew you and that were familiar to me, it was not my place though. I will never forgive myself for missing your wake and funeral, I hope you know it was because I could not miss class, it is such a weak excuse. I kept you in my thoughts the entire day, I prayed for strength for your family and your MILLION friends who attended.

The last time I saw you was when that huge ice storm happened right before Christmas break and the whole campus got evacuated. At that time I had not told anyone that I was leaving school because I was so unhappy there. We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways, you to CT and me to ME. Never had I imagined that would be the last time I would get an epic Dana hug, see that smile, hear your laugh or for you to call me "Magabella" just one last time.

At my very short time in NEC you made it easier for me. Thank you for always piping in for wine over beer with me, driving your sweet red car to wherever destination (Wal-mart, McDonald's, etc) with Tom Petty, Lil Wayne or Biggie being blasted and you always singing so loud, but that was you. I think this is what still gets me, you were just so damn full of life. I wish I would have kept in better in touch with you, you were one of my best friends in a very dark time in my life. I will never know how you really felt about me, for all I know you probably really disliked me but it's always easier to kick yourself for things you can't change and really not a day goes by when you don't cross my mind in some way or another.

It not far from the truth that you were an amazing soul and you were too young, you were just larger than life. You will never be forgotten, you are in everyone's hearts and set in stone in two places. I would consider myself a very lucky person to have known you and to have called you a friend. This pain I carry from your loss has left an imprint on my heart. I'm truly a better person for knowing you.

I hiked a small mountain this morning in your memory and to just be a little closer to you.

Rest easy, my friend.
You are missed more than words could ever express.

Cheers to you, big guy.


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