To lose a friend is one of the worst feelings. Straight away I got the “But I only spoke to him a couple of days ago…”, followed by the tears and confusion.
I didn’t know Paul was ill, and apparently he has kept it from a lot of people. He had cancer and didn’t want the fuss. That’s what I loved about Paul – no fuss. Although he liked to make people laugh and entertain people with his guitar, and practical jokes, he didn’t want any fuss.
So I was so shocked to hear that he had passed away. Everyone was posting RIPs on his facebook and at first I actually thought it was one of his jokes. I messaged a close friend of his and asked what was going on, to the reply: “Sadly it’s true, Paul passed this morning”.
I ran out of my uni gym in tears, calling people and telling them. They didn’t believe me. Just as I hadn’t believed what I was seeing. Once sunk in I was still in confusion. I quickly booked a ferry ticket to get over to Ireland for his funeral. It was a horrible drive, with him constantly on my mind. I was thinking: “What a complete waste”. Paul was a self taught guitarist, and an amazing one at that. We both shared out love for metal in particular a band called Deftones. He would post covers and originals on Youtube and I was always in awe. You don’t always get such talented people in life who stay humble and keep it quiet.
Above are a couple of links to Paul’s covers. One Deftones, one Nirvana.
It still feels wrong and confusing to think Paul’s not here to talk to, and I will always remember the times drinking too heavily in Tallow, Ireland and smoking till we couldn’t take it anymore.
The funeral was different to any funeral I’ve been to. He was buried to My Hero by Foo Fighters blasting though the graveyard. Tears everywhere. We left a Nirvana Live VHS on his grave, along with a letter.
Paul is one of those people who you could never forget. I selfless self, kind lad with the most hilarious wit.
RIP Paul Donnelly