In memory of Dylan O’ Hagan

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I can’t say I’ve ever met someone as positive and upbeat as Dylan O’Hagan.

At the age of 24 my friend Dylan, a graduate of Trent University, died on Sun., Jan. 29 in Peterborough.

Dylan and I were two of the first Trent students to join the Journalism program. Real trendsetters, if you will. For the program students would spend two years at Trent and in Belleville at Loyalist College.

None of us knew each other – if a couple people did it was a very casually manner – so suffice to say we were pretty hesitant and nervous heading into a new environment.

But not Dylan. Dylan walks into our residence building the six guys in the program shared, smiling from ear to ear.

“Hey, man. I’m Dylan, nice to meet you. So what are we doing tonight?” he asked.

There’s no way he’s this upbeat, the rest of the boys would say to each other. He must be just putting on a character!

Nope. That’s the real Dylan O’Hagan.

It’s hard to put into words what exactly made Dylan such a good person, because really it was the little things and the small moments that stick out most. There were the small compliments he’d give you, the pat on the back if you’re frustrated with something or seeing him become more upset over something that made you mad because no one treats Dylan O’Hagan’s friends like that.

He was a friend to anyone who needed a friend. He was the first person who would come up to you and welcome you into a group, and in our case at Loyalist, was really the first person to help bring us together.

We joked around a lot with each other and Dylan was never shy of firing back with a zinger or being the first to laugh at a joke about him.

“Hey Dylan, you’re a close-talker.”

“I guess I am,” he’d say with a laugh.

And boy, was his wardrobe something else. I’ve never seen someone where bright yellow sweatpants and a yellow T-shirt before. His banana outfit would always make us smile and I’m sure that’s the only reason he’d do it… That and it was probably pretty comfy.

When the news came out of his passing time seemed to stop for all of his friends and family. Dozens of posts filled up his Facebook and there was a ton of discussion amongst us, his friends.

It’s hard at times like these to be happy and only view the way things come to an end. But it wouldn’t be fair to Dylan to not remember him the way he would’ve wanted to be remembered.

He was always the life of the party. If you were down he’d try to cheer you up. For those who knew Dylan, whether you were close or not, make sure you remember the good times. Remember that time his wide smile forced a smile of your own. Remember the time you saw him dancing with his arms down at his sides – I think he called that move “The Bernie”. Remember his (at times) questionable fashion choices when you passed by him in the Trent hallways.

If you didn’t know him, believe me you would’ve liked him. I’m sure he would’ve liked you too.

Rest in peace, buddy.