Letter: Remembering a friend

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Thank you for publishing the article on the passing of Jay Ogawa [“Malibu mourns loss of two young locals,” Feb. 7, 2013]. Jay has been my best friend for 12 years. 

The three weeks since his passing have been the most tragic, traumatic and emotional experience of my life, and yet, some of the most moving and inspirational due to the overwhelming response from friends and the whole Malibu community. Friends of Jay flew from all corners of the country to rally around the Ogawa family and celebrate Jay’s life. Calls and Facebook writing from all over the world are true testimony to Jay’s unconditional love, respect, and energetic influence upon all he befriended and who had the honor of meeting his acquaintance. 

For his family and friends, the past three weeks have forever changed our lives as we begin a new relationship with Jay post-mortem. To those who did not know Jay, I invite you all to look at his Facebook page: In Honor of Jay Ogawa. Read the testimony of friends who had known him since birth, or had just once spent an evening with him at one of the memorable parties at his epic house. 

Jay’s impact on a half decade worth of Malibu youth was his biggest legacy. Jay’s house was open to all kids who wanted a safe haven from the usual Malibu party, no matter if you were popular at school, a surfer, a jock, a musician, a slacker. If you came and had a good attitude, wanted to enjoy the positive energy, and removed your shoes (in keeping with Japanese tradition, and a gesture of humility), you were a friend. Hundreds of people partied with Jay, and lifelong friendships and loving relationships blossomed and will continue for life in each respective case. I am so incredibly grateful to have had a front row seat for the duration of Jay’s teens and twenties. 

Nick Brokaw