Jennifer Aniston Breaks Silence On 'Little Brother' Matthew Perry's Death With Heartwrenching Tribute

Jennifer Aniston is the latest "Friends" cast member to pay tribute to Matthew Perry, who passed away on October 28. Matt LeBlanc and Courtney Cox — who played Joey Tribianni and Monica Gellar on the popular sitcom — were the first cast members to post individual statements in honor of Perry. The entire cast released a joint statement shortly after his passing, and now Aniston's tribute is stirring up strong emotions in fans.

On November 15, Aniston penned a lengthy message alongside a black-and-white throwback photo of her and Perry. "Oh boy this one has cut deep..." wrote Aniston on Instagram. "Having to say goodbye to our Matty has been an insane wave of emotions that I've never experienced before .... 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." She continued, "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."  Aniston also included a screenshot of one of Perry's past text messages. "Making you laugh just made my day. It made my day," Perry wrote underneath the photo Aniston chose for the Instagram slideshow. She responded, "Aww, the first of a THOUSAND times..."

Aniston closed out her tribute by including a clip from her and Perry's last one-on-one scene from "Friends." In the episode "The One Where Rachel's Going Away," Perry's character, Chandler Bing, got uncharacteristically sentimental as he said goodbye to Aniston's Rachel Green. The characters then admitted their love for one another as friends before sharing a sweet embrace. True to form, Perry's Chandler managed to sneak in a laugh at the end.

Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry shared a special bond

Although all of the "Friends" cast members forged close bonds, Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry were extra close. Just over a year before his death, Perry revealed during an interview with Diane Sawyer that Aniston had taken special care in helping him get sober. "She was the one that reached out the most," Perry said (via The Independent). "You know, I'm really grateful to her for that." Perry also admitted that Aniston also spoke on behalf of the "Friends" cast to acknowledge his alcohol use. "Yeah, imagine how scary a moment that was," added Perry. He continued, "I should have been the toast of the town, but I was in a dark room meeting with nothing but drug dealers and completely alone."

Fortunately, there was also a much lighter side to Perry and Aniston's friendship. In the same interview, Perry revealed that he had an intense crush on Aniston and even asked her out, before they landed "Friends." However, she didn't bite. Eventually, he got over his crush after Aniston started seeing her would-be husband, Brad Pitt. "I had long since gotten over her — ever since she started dating Pitt, I was fine," Perry wrote in his memoir, "Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing" (via New York Post). He also revealed that he'd figured out how long he could look at Aniston "without it being awkward."

Matthew Perry's death hits Jennifer Aniston especially hard

Jennifer Aniston reportedly struggled especially hard in the days after Matthew Perry's death. According to a source who spoke with Page Six, Aniston wasn't coping well after losing her former co-star and friend. "Out of the remaining five, Jen and Courteney [Cox] are reeling the most, and Jen is probably the one who is struggling most acutely," shared the insider. The source cited Aniston's recent loss of her father as one reason that she was taking Perry's death so hard.

Aniston also reportedly struggled at Perry's November 3 funeral. According to the Daily Mail, Aniston was one of the earliest attendees at the funeral, but she didn't interact much with Perry's loved ones — including her fellow "Friends" co-stars, Matt Leblanc, Courtney Cox, David Schwimmer, and Lisa Kudrow. "Nobody shed more tears for Matthew during the darkest points of his struggles with addiction than Jennifer," revealed one of Aniston's friends. They also revealed that Aniston wouldn't have participated in the 2021 "Friends" reunion if Perry hadn't been well enough to show up. "So his death just two years later has come as a bitter body blow to her," they added.