Sean’s nature

Sean was streetwise, adventurous, hyper-sociable, good-natured, fun-loving. He befriended waifs and strays. He knew how to take care of himself, to avoid trouble, to defuse fights. He was a calming influence on his more hot-headed friends.

Notwithstanding his somewhat hedonistic, partying lifestyle, there was a certain air of innocence about him at times. In some respects, the little boy was still there. He was thrilled with himself when he handled the pressure of bar-work at the Fleadh so well, for example.

His friends have spoken about how there was no badness in him … he never had a bad word for anyone; he would always forgive and forget, never hold a grudge. He was the life and soul of every party.

One of my regrets is that we do not have a photo of him taken on his last day, or close to it. He was better looking than ever, having turned from a handsome youth into a handsome man. He had a stubbly beard; there was a glow about him. He had those bright eyes, that lovely smile. Sean was always so beautiful … it’s a word that many, many people have applied to him.

He was strong and physical … in sport, in horseplay with his friends or with me. He was not bookish, as I had been as a boy. Throughout his life Sean liked to run; to ride his bike or a trolley; to slide down the hill across the road on a toboggan in snow time, or down the shiny sheep-grazed grass of the Lough Crew Hills on a sheet of plastic or simply by running and flinging himself to the ground; to race madly along a school corridor with a friend on his shoulders. He was so full of life that he was overflowing.

My body remembers his physicality, the resistance of his muscle and bone as we pushed each other playfully round the kitchen or collided while playing soccer. After all that, to see his dead body, with no will, defiance or resistance remaining, was strange.

Where has he gone? Has he gone anywhere? If so, he has not taken his body … his spirit’s vehicle for acting in this world of ours that we occupy for just a while. It was put in a box and buried.

Shall we meet again? I hope so, Sean. I always believed that things happened for a reason … there is no reason for me to stop believing now.

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14 Comments

Filed under Death, Memories, Philosophy of life

14 responses to “Sean’s nature

  1. Marya

    There are moments, Brendan, when we touch and understand the profundity of eternity .. these are the moments when we know and understand in the depths of our being that love can never die.

    Marya x

  2. Jan

    I’m not sure about things happening for a reason but maybe they do. However, I believe with all my heart that we will be reunited with those we have lost. I wish I could share that conviction with you but who knows, you may find it yourself by some means.

    That physicality you write about must have made you feel somewhat in awe of this fine strapping bloke you and your wife produced and nurtured. Miraculous really. A separate being but so much part of you both – as he always will be.

  3. Metin YILMAZ

    “Shall we meet again?”
    Brendan, now i cannot find a word to console you and decrease your indescribable pain, i belive you will meet again Brendan, this world is an exam world for all of us.

  4. papaguinea

    “To race madly along a school corridor with a friend on his shoulders.”

    Boy, that’s the sort of friend anyone would want, a travelling companion for life. “He was so full of life that he was overflowing.”

    Brendan, this piece is so lyrical, so well written, that you bring all the essence of Sean to the page. He would be proud of you for these words. Where is he now? Where is love? Is not love all around? Marya lovely comment says it all.

    How I wish to see those gone before me. In my vision we all will feast on a wedding day, we all rejoice with song, love and laughter, and in your case I wish you again to know the resistance of muscle and bone and I bet Sean is up to it. What does a caterpillar know of becoming a butterfly? How on this earth can we understand the majesty and mansions of things eternal? Are rooms being prepared for us? Well if there are, they surely come with playing fields. I do believe there is a continuity of thread from this life to beyond, and that all threads meets to form a vibrant tapestry of life and love. Perhaps Sean was angel on this earth, sent only for a fixed time. Certainly he was and is a blessing to you and your dear wife.

  5. We shall meet again in a place where there is no darkness. (Nineteen Eighty-four). It is spoken by “O’Brien” who Winston is interrogated by. Afterlife. Tricky subject. Big. Got to believe in something. OK off to the gym now, I have a mammoth busy weekend (makes a change!) I believe in cougars called Francesca.

  6. There’s a children’s book I often read to my mother called No Matter What by Debbie Gliori.
    It’s about a baby fox, Small, who is grumpy and thinks no one loves him. The book is a conversation in rhyme with his mother, Large.
    As it goes on, Small t gets a little bit philosophical and asks if love wears out, breaks or bends and wonders if it can be fixed, stuck or mended. Large isn’t sure but reassures him that she will love him forever. The book ends with Small …
    …would you love me then, does love go on?’ Large held Small snug as they looked out at the night, At the moon in the dark and the stars shining bright. ‘Small, look at the stars – how they shine and glow, but some of those stars died a long time ago. Still they shine in the evening skies Love, like starlight, never dies.'”

    Give love and love stays with you; The Beatles “the love you take is equal to the love you make”.

    You may not ‘meet’ Sean again, but having a son you loved so much and love still, will be with you forever.

  7. Cymbeline

    There is nothing finer than a father with his baby, a wedding ring on his hand. Nothing finer.

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