Andrew Orellana & Amber Kyle
Best Friends Forever
Remembering an Angel:
by Kevin Caruso
Andrew Orellana was an extremely caring, smart, handsome, outgoing, funny, popular, friendly, and amazing young man.
Andrew was a high school student living in Las Vegas, Nevada, and he greatly enjoyed school, hiking, camping, being with his friends, and being with his girlfriend, Whitney.
And he loved to wear bandanas! (You could always spot Andrew from afar because of his bandanas.)
And his great sense of humor always kept his friends and classmates entertained. Andrew loved to joke around! But Andrew also had a serious side – he was an excellent student, and, most importantly, always reached out to help others.
Andrew cared deeply for others, particularly for his family and close friends. He was very close to Whitney, his girlfriend; Amber, his best friend; and Shante and Jeni, two close friends. And he had great love and respect for his dad, Hector; his mom, Natalie; his brother, Jessie; and his sister, Alyssa.
On November 8, 2006, Andrew passed away from suicide.
He was 15.
“No one knows why Andrew left us; he never showed any signs of depression or anything of the sort,” said Jeni Crandy, a close friend.
Amber Kyle, Andrew’s best friend, let the world know how wonderful Andrew was when she made the following statement after Andrew passed away: “Andrew Julian Orellana was one of the most inspirational people you could ever meet. He was always there for you and always was fun. He was nice, sweet, funny, cute, loving, caring, everything a friend should be. If you didn't know him, I'm so sorry, because you really missed out on a great person.”
And Amber wrote a poignant letter to Andrew after he passed away in which she not only expressed her deep love for him but also talked about the searing pain and myriad of emotions that she was coping with because of his death.
She read the letter to Andrew at his funeral. Here is that letter:
I love you so much.
You knew everything about me, right down to the tee. You were my brother, my diary, my best friend, my everything.
You had the biggest impact on my life out of everyone I’ve ever met.
You made me a better person, whether others can see it or not, I can feel it.
You gave me memories that will last a life time.
I remember when you promised me you would make me that quesadilla. (I know I will get that eventually. Even if it isn’t in the next 10 years! I know you’ll bring it to me one day.)
And I remember how you used to think my father was a cop, and instead my mom said, “No! I’m the cop!” So you were afraid of both of them; yet loved them at the same time.
I remember throwing you in the pizza and you stood up with cheese on your butt. Man, that was great.
I remember our mold rotten loser posse – MRLP forever! Yo!
No one understand how close we were. They saw, but they never really understood.
I wish I could apologize to you for that time you got so mad at me. And even though I realize that you have forgiven me now, I never really got to say “I’m sorry.”
Gosh Andrew, I’m hurting for Whitney; I’m hurting for Shante; I’m hurting for your whole family – I’m hurting for every friend you have.
Just how could you leave us all? You were a huge part of our lives, and have changed us for the better.
I wish I could have stopped you – I know I had the chance, I just know I did.
I also wish I knew why I was the last person you talked to before you did what you did.
But God, Whitney was your girlfriend, the love of your life. Shante was your partner in crime – your Shanita. I was your best friend, the one you told everything to. Your family was great, the ones you could turn to when your friends couldn’t be there.
Andrew, I miss you. I need you here. You kept me sane.
I’m so mad at you for this.
“How could you do this?” I keep asking myself. I guess I just never realized how upset you truly were. Maybe if I looked a little harder, I would have seen. Maybe if anyone looked harder they would have seen.
You were a person that put everyone before yourself. You rarely thought of yourself before others.
Yesterday when your stepmother told me that you used to say you were worried about me, it hurt me so much, because I never knew that you had cared THAT much.
Andrew, you mean everything to me. I’ve never had a best friend like you, and I don’t think I ever will. It’s hard to cope with this. It’s hard to grasp it.
All I keep thinking is what Whitney told me what her mother told her. The spirit of death was in you. If it wasn’t now, it would have been later. I’m just glad I met you when I did, and we became so close.
I love you Andrew.
I just wish you would have known how much you would be missed once you did this stupid thing. I’m sorry, but you’re ignorant. I want to yell at you. I want to SCREAM at the top of my lungs at you. I just want to be SO mad at you.
But I can’t do that because I love you too much.
I hope you’re happier now.
If there was a way I could talk to you, see you, give you one last hug, I would.
Andrew, you were supposed to be here. You promised me you would always be here.
This isn’t fair. I just hope you can hear me now, you can hear and see what is happening. I want you to be able to see how much you have affected those here today.
Receiving that phone call Friday night was probably the worst phone call of my life. Having to answer the phone cheerfully only to hear: “I’m sorry Amber, Andrew is dead.”
I couldn’t help but cry. I couldn’t help but yell. I couldn’t help but collapse to the ground.
Now all I can do is hope while you’re in Heaven, that you’re watching over everyone and me.
Keep us safe Andrew, like you always have.
You will forever be in my heart and others.
Whitney, Andrew’s girlfriend, wrote the following moving statement about Andrew and her deep love for him:
I don’t know why God choose to take Andrew that Wednesday night, but he did. And that’s something no one could have changed.
For the rest of my life I will love Andrew. Our love was real. We always said we were in a REALationship.
Every moment, I’m reminded of him. Sometimes I can see something as small as an eraser and I’ll think of him; and that makes me think if something so insignificant reminds me of him, then everything must remind me of him.
Each morning the sun shines and the birds sing, the world doesn’t stop no matter how badly you want it too.
I want everyone in the world to feel this pain and to know that forever really isn’t all that long.
If I would have known that Wednesday was the last time I would kiss him, I would have never stopped. If I would have known that was the last time I’d hold his hand, I would have never let go.
Andrew was the most amazing boy I’ve ever met. He was perfect. Even when we were mad at each other, the moment we saw each others faces we smiled.
We were meant to be: Whitney & Andrew.
It was supposed to be forever and ever, but our time got cut short.
There are days when I wake up not knowing what to do. Sometimes living doesn’t seem like an option – I know this pain won’t ever go away.
If you never met Andrew, I’m so sorry for you. I guarantee he would have changed your life.
Andrew will always be my first love, my first everything – my life.
He will live on forever, because great people never truly die.
He was the love of my life.
People always assumed that because we were in high school that we didn’t really know what love was – but Andrew WAS love.
And he was MY love.
He changed me in a way no one could have, and even if God put him on this planet to teach me and show me what he did, then that was enough.
He changed many peoples lives. He had many friends. He was an amazing boy, and he would have been an amazing man.
And Whitney wrote the following shortly after Andrew passed away:
Last Wednesday he walked me to the bus; we kissed and we said goodbye...
Andrew: “I really love you.”
Andrew: “Whitney, I love you with all my heart.”
Me: “Andrew, I love you too, forever and ever.”
If I would have know that was the last time I'd see him, I would have kissed him just a little bit longer, and looked at him a little bit harder.
I believe with all my heart that he is with God in Heaven.
I know that he loved me.
Andrew was my soul mate. We had so many plans. He was the boy I was going to marry. He was going to take me away from here; we were going to buy an apartment in a New York skyscraper; we were going to change our lives and live happily ever after.
I’m going to miss holding his hand, and having him walk me to the bus.
Andrew was my everything – there will never be another boy like him.
His MySpace will always say “in a relationship.” Even years from now.
He died loving me, and for that I am the luckiest girl in the world.
He was sweet, and seeing him every morning made me tingle. Even when we were fighting, I always smiled.
I love how all my friends grew to love him: Jessie, Reesie, Cheyenne, Amanda.
He promised to get my lips tattooed on his neck!
But he died Wednesday night. How is that possible?
He promised me we would die together old in our sleep.
None of you know what life was really like for him. He did what he needed to do. He felt pain that controlled his mind; no one could have stopped that.
He already knew what he was going to do, and he did it.
Right now he's looking down on all of us with the biggest smile on his face – I didn't lose a boyfriend; I gained an angel.
I will never forget the time he took me to Long John Silvers and spilled fish sauce all over my shirt – we spent 30 minutes cleaning it off, so we missed the bus!
And his favorite color was purple; his favorite drink was grape juice and orange spiced tea.
I remember telling him the line on his hand was his lifeline and because his was broken halfway through he was going to die young.
But I didn’t think anything like that would actually happen.
Andrew is happy where he is.
He's happy because he can see now how much everyone loves him.
I loved how Andrew and I would be surrounded by tons of pretty girls and he never looked away from me for a moment – He always had his eyes on me.
I'm never letting go.
Andrew & Whitney – that's the way it's always going to be.
Andrew will live on forever,
because great people never truly die.
We love you Andrew.