Derek Murray

Derek Murray


There are no words. I lost my best friend and soulmate days before his birthday. He was the greatest source of joy in my life. I cannot imagine my future without him. His demons were stronger than he was and we failed him. He could be friends with anyone, turn any bad situation around with his good nature and ridiculous sense of humor.

Photo submitted by
Cammyle Banks
Tell us about your loved one.

Derek loved to stay in with his friends and family. Nothing would make him happier than to get together and binge a good show or game with his friends over some food and drinks. He was fantastic at impressions and would randomly just bust one out mid-conversation. His laugh always made him sound like he was a little kid that was just caught doing something bad. He was tall, very handsome, and gave the best bear hugs when he really liked you. He would always shake his guy friends' hands when they would part ways for the day. He loved betta fish, anime, comics, and Claussen's pickles. He was always cold. He pronounced bagels as Baah-gels just to make fun of the fact I was a from Chicago and he was a New Yorker. He also had fibromyalgia and a terrible physician who prescribed him oxycodone in large amounts.

Tell us about Derek's struggle with addiction

Derek started using before he hit puberty and there were years where he was sober but he spent the majority of his life using something. He would show up to family dinners high. You would be on the phone with him and slowly start realizing he had taken something and would slur. He was found face down in his apartment by his mother three days after Thanksgiving. He had gone to a dealer for heroin after leaving the meal and probably died that night or the morning after. It was our worst fear come true.

What made Derek smile?

Anything. He could turn anything into a laugh. He especially loved parody videos on YouTube. He'd binge them at night and you just accepted that part of being friends with Derek were the 3am notifications going off on your phone as he sent you something he thought was hilarious. He also secretly loved ice skating and dancing. He was envious that they moved so beautifully. He also loved to watch singing competition shows for the same reason.

What do you miss most about Derek?

Right now I miss his smell and physically being able to touch him. In a long friendship, we rarely, RARELY went a day without talking. There were many times that our conversations would hit the 8-12 hour mark. We've even fallen asleep on the phone together after I moved away. He's become such a part of my daily life that I can't breathe at the thought of never seeing or talking to him again. He was my first love and my best friend.

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