Dear Corey La Barrie,
The past couple days have been filled with me writing, deleting, staring at the screen wondering why everything I type doesn’t seem good enough for you. This time around, I think I finally got it right.
“Nothing’s guaranteed in this life, go out and live every day like it’s your last. Spread nothing but love and positivity.”Corey La Barrie / Twitter, January 26th 2020
I must admit that I’m not sure what the after-life brings, what heaven actually is, and what happens when someone passes away. But if it’s true that you are able to read and hear all of the messages people have been sending you, including this one, and feeling all of the love, then I hope this letter finds you well, peaceful, and with a smile on your face.
I started watching YouTube at the beginning of high school. In college, watching YouTube became more ingrained into my daily schedule. I rewatched my favorite channels and discovered news ones too. Having graduated, the YouTube community still means a lot to me, especially those who are behind the channels I watch most. In many ways, YouTube is comparable to music. Watching goofy, comedic videos is something I enjoy and rely on to improve my days, lift my mood, and destress at the end of a hectic day.
Corey, your main and collaboration channel with Crawford made YouTube 100x more exciting and special. I feel lucky that I was able to watch all of your videos and can remember how much they made me laugh.
Another part about YouTube that felt special is how I became a big fan of who I consider to be the most entertaining friend group. You, Kian, Jc, Crawford, Oscar, Harrison, Anderson, Dom, Bobby, David, Franny, Nezza, and more. Together, you were a little family and I always looked forward to your feature in each of their videos.
On Monday afternoon, I logged onto Twitter. What I began to notice was nothing I ever expected. The world around me seemed to stop. I caught sight of the story as it began to flush across my timeline. I felt nothing, yet everything, all at once. Like everyone, I hoped it wasn’t true and that the media had gotten it wrong. I had to switch from my phone to my laptop, just to make sure I was reading it all correctly.
Instantly, your videos flashed across my mind at once, your on-screen moments with Crawford, your Tik Tok dances, and more. Your voice, jokes, and catch-phrases like “Half-circle” and “Oh wells, not what-ifs” replayed too. I just couldn’t believe what had happened. Seconds ago, everything felt perfect, but now it just feels destroyed, upside-down. The world has grown lonely without you.
Messages and condolences of supporters and friends began to flood my timeline, making it harder to comprehend and realize what had happened. It also wasn’t long before profile pictures turned blue with the hashtag #blueforcorey. Each written message to you was personal, but many of the same themes kept occurring, showing the type of person you really were. You were polite to everyone, whether a video creator or not. You were kind to those you were closest to and even to the people you just met. You reached out to everyone, wanting to help, make a difference, and make their own struggles feel less intense. You were selfless and put others before yourself.
“Corey, I wanted to personally thank you. You always had my back and made me feel good about myself. I can’t tell you how many times I was in a sad mood and you would tell me how funny I was or how happy you were that we were friends and it would make me feel so much better about myself.”Ryan Abe / YouTuber
“I remember hanging out in the back of this event that I was at because I didn’t really know anyone and I was feeling a little social anxiety. Corey came straight up to me with a huge smile on his face and gave me a hug and said what’s up. I didn’t really know him too well then but from that moment on I knew what a great person he truly was. We talked for the rest of the night and the conversation flowed effortlessly.”Grayson Dolan / YouTuber
“Corey was hands down the most kind person I’ve met through this entire journey of social media. Constantly lighting up the faces of EVERYONE the second he would walk into a room. This is heart breaking. Rest easy Corey.”Imari / YouTuber
These three messages do not even begin to showcase all of the notes people wrote expressing their sadness and reminiscing of memories.
Your clothing brand may boast the phrase, “Under Appreciated” but I hope you know how truly appreciated you are in the eyes of many – yesterday, today, tomorrow, forever.
You were a video creator, an entertainer, and even though I am not a YouTuber, I am a type of content creator. I feel like this makes us sort of similar. Even more than that, you were always happy and seemed pumped-up to be in front of the camera, whether solo or with friends. You genuinely seemed proud to have the career that you did.
Reflecting on your life, profession, and recent events made me realize something important. It helped me to realize how much I should enjoy the process of creating content. I should feel endlessly inspired about always making something and feel lucky to have the opportunity to create. I never know when all of this could be taken away from me.
Many messages friends wrote to you discussed how big of a dreamer you were and all of the plans you had that would have made your life extra bright. I will miss seeing you pursue your goals, but I will dream bigger and brighter just for you.
Thank you, Corey La Barrie for the first time you made me laugh to all the moments in the future, as I will always return to your channel.