Jennifer Aniston Shares One of the Last Messages She Received from Matthew Perry: ‘This One Cuts Deep’

Jennifer Aniston is reflecting on the loss of her longtime friend Matthew Perry.

For the first time since Perry, 54, died from an apparent drowning on Oct. 28, Aniston has spoken out about her Friends costar and his enduring legacy after his death.

Aniston’s Instagram tribute for Perry featured a photo of the pair on set together alongside their loving text exchange containing the same image. Additionally, she included a scene of the duo during the sitcom’s 2004 series finale, where their characters Rachel Green and Chandler Bing expressed their love for one another.

“Oh boy this one has cut deep … Having to say goodbye to our Matty has been an insane wave of emotions that I’ve never experienced before,” began the actress, 54. “We all experience loss at some point in our lives. Loss of life or loss of love. Being able to really SIT in this grief allows you to feel the moments of joy and gratitude for having loved someone that deep. And we loved him deeply. He was such a part of our DNA.”

“We were always the 6 of us. This was a chosen family that forever changed the course of who we were and what our path was going to be,” she continued. “For Matty, he KNEW he loved to make people laugh. As he said himself, if he didn’t hear the ‘laugh’ he thought he was going to die. His life literally depended on it. And boy did he succeed in doing just that. He made all of us laugh. And laugh hard.”

Noting further how she’s continued to process this loss, Aniston said she had been looking back on their many text conversations, even sharing on of them in slide two. “In the last couple weeks, I’ve been pouring over our texts to one another. Laughing and crying then laughing again. I’ll keep them forever and ever. I found one text that he sent me out of nowhere one day. It says it all. (See the second slide…),” she said.

“Matty, I love you so much and I know you are now completely at peace and out of any pain. I talk to you every day… sometimes I can almost hear you saying ‘could you BE any crazier?'” she added. “Rest little brother. You always made my day… ❤️🕊️”

The actors had been friends since meeting on the hit ‘90s sitcom, and Perry had publicly praised Aniston for her constant support and presence in his life just a year before his death.

She was the one that reached out the most. You know, I’m really grateful to her for that,” he said of the actress in an October 2022 interview with Diane Sawyer.

In his memoir Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing, Perry also revealed that Aniston was the person who initially confronted him about his addiction problem.

“Imagine how scary a moment that was,” he recalled of the difficult conversation during his interview with Sawyer.

Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow return to the set of ‘Friends’ for HBO Max’s ‘Friends: The Reunion’ special.
Terence Patrick/HBO Max

The following month, he told Access Hollywood that Aniston was “wonderful” and “terrific” before sharing that he was eager to reunite with the full cast soon.

“We don’t see each other as much,” he added. “I wish the group would see each other more times, but she’s the greatest.”

Perry was open generally about how integral the support of his Friends castmates was when he was battling addiction and alcoholism.

During the 2021 Friends: The Reunion special on HBO Max, he became emotional as he described the cast’s enduring bond. “The best way that I can describe it is after the show was over, at a party or any kind of social gathering, if one of us bumped into each other, that was it,” he explained. “That was the end of the night. You just sat with the person all night long and that was it.”

He continued, “You apologized to the people you were with, but they had to understand you had met somebody special to you and you were going to talk to that person for the rest of the night. And that’s the way it worked.”

Aniston agreed with Perry’s sentiment, and it made fellow series alum Courteney Cox cry as he added, “It’s certainly the way it worked with all of us. It’s just the way it is.”

The Morning Show actress also described the group as people who “will always have your back.”

We’ll be family for life,” she said of the group, which also includes David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow.

‘Friends’ TV show poster starring Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow.
Jon Ragel/NBCU/Getty

PEOPLE’s newly expanded Friends special edition issue is celebrating Matthew Perry’s life, humor and the show that made him beloved by millions.

In his 2022 cover story, the actor told PEOPLE that his castmates were “understanding” and “patient” with him as he navigated his recovery and sobriety.

“It’s like penguins. In nature, when one is sick or very injured, the other penguins surround it and prop it up and walk around until that penguin can walk on its own,” he said. “And that’s kind of what the cast did for me.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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