Happy Birthday, Sean.
You deserved so much more.
Friday, March 21, 2014, the world lost an innocent boy. Today he would of been 16 years old and it kills me to think his life was over before it even started. He was suppose to live a long and happy life but it ended much too soon. Sean, I’m so sorry. I’m so very sorry.
Sean was in my freshman P.E. class for a few days before he transferred out. In that time, I only spoke to him once; to tell him he was in the wrong P.E. line. As insignificant as that moment seems, it’s all I have of Sean. I have the image of him smiling and awkwardly side-stepping over.
On Thursday I had heard a student had been hit by a car. I had wished that they were safe and sent good thoughts to their friends and family. On Friday I found out his name was Sean. Later that day, a student in my sixth period class stared at her phone in shock and whispered, “He died…” Word spread quickly and it was true: Sean had passed away. It came so quickly I couldn’t comprehend any of it until now.
Now, I’m awake and I see that Sean isn’t going to come back. There’s no undo button in life for you to replay and fix events. I believe things happen, but I don’t believe everything happens for a reason. Why would you take away the life of a 15 year old? One who had rarely lived his life. One who had so much to mess up in and learn from and effect. Who would dare make this dark and evil world an even darker place?
All throughout Monday I had teachers telling me to console those around me and reflect about life. I wore black to commemorate Sean’s passing and didn’t realize how sad I was until my teacher mentioned it. “Everyone grieves differently. Everyone grieves differently.” When he talked about those not knowing Sean, but being deeply affected by his death, I choked up. That was me. I was never an actual friend or acquaintance to him, yet he had such a large affect on my life.
He then gave us time to write or draw or just reflect about the past weekend. I wrote Sean a letter. One that I later folded into a paper boat along with a page I tore out of a book. In my belief, we fold gold paper into boats, which we burn as a gift and message to our ancestors and those who have past. The ashes that float away, carry the messages we have to say to the dead. In my folded boat was the page I ripped out of a book and highlighted a few lines. I hope wherever Sean is, he received my letter and acknowledged that I cared. Originally, I wanted to share a picture of the burning boat, but it was a moment too personal to just share.
Soon enough, I found tears rolling down my face as I read what others had to say about him through social media sites. I even Facebook searched his name and saw that we had several friends in common. What really stood out to me though, was his cover photo.
I can only hope, that wherever Sean is now, he is happy. I hope he’s living in paradise and smiling down on the rest of us. I hope that one day, I can finally see him again and let him know how important he was in my life. I hope that Sean knows he was loved and he had the support of his community to rely on.
“We all need to be more aware and stop paying attention to less important things. There’s always someone who needs help. I think you just have to accept some things. Think of Sisyphus. Maybe he’s happy because the task is supposed to punish him, and since he’s a rebel, he’s going to be happy to make the gods mad.”
– Sean Severson
Rest in peace, Sean. It won’t be long before I see you again.
You can help out his family here: