The purpose of this blog, since 17 October last, has been to document the life of my son Sean, who died on that day at the age of 19. I hope to build up as detailed a picture as I can.
I will never manage a true representation of Sean … he was too complex and multifaceted for that, and I, like everyone else that knew him, knew him only partly. I loved him, as did many others.
The fragments I present on the blog – photos of moments and people in his life, anecdotes, poems, the things he liked, what he said, the games he played, his music, what people said about him – may form a kind of wall mosaic that, from a distance, looks like a reasonable likeness of Sean. Up close, only the fragments will be visible, but it’s the best I can do. The more fragments I add, the truer the mosaic … or at least that’s the theory.
It will be a sort of memorial to Sean, though the very fact that one is required still breaks our hearts. It will be good for me and, I hope, for others. I know that many people who knew Sean read this blog (they are very welcome to comment here, by the way). It won’t bring Sean back, but it may help him to be held in the memory, as he so deserves to be.
Here are some fairly random snippets from my diary, a few years back.
4/4/04 – Sean watched Good Will Hunting upstairs, and the rest of us watched a movie called The Wedding Dress, which was pretty weak. Sean was very impressed with Good Will Hunting, and we discussed it.
6/4/04 – I cooked rice, with dhal for three of us and pork for Sean. We watched Arsenal exit the Champions League at the hands of Chelsea – a bitter disappointment for Sean.
27/5/04 – Sean had a school trip with his class – to museums in Dublin. All he brought with him was a Bob Marley CD and a Jimi Hendrix one.
5/6//04 – I went back to Virginia to collect Sean. Just after we pulled out of Eoin’s lane, turning right, another car smashed into the back of us. Our car was knocked onto the driver’s side, righted itself, and ended up facing in the opposite direction. Luckily, neither Sean nor myself was badly hurt. Sean got a bump on the head. We both were able to walk away. Immediately, people came over and said that the young guys in the other car had been drunk in town earlier, and had been seen speeding.
30/6/04 – Sean’s school report came – he generally did quite well, but there are lots of comments from teachers along the lines of ‘has great ability but needs to concentrate’.
2/7/04 – Sean was away for most of the day, swimming in Lough Ramor and so on.
13/7/04 [Sean and two friends had] been to the cinema to see a movie called Twisted, which was 15PG – one of them had to be 15, and Sean was the only one who passed for that age, to his delight.
29/7/05 – The day after Sean’s fourteenth birthday. As I write, he is off at Yamo, the heavy metal gig in Navan with numerous friends from Munterconnaught and school and even some from Navan – Sean knows an awful lot of people; he’s terribly sociable and popular, not least with girls a year or two his senior. He runs like a thoroughbred and is turning into a fine young man.
17/11/05 – Last week I had Sean’s parent–teacher meetings – Pauline wasn’t able to go. The general consensus was that Sean’s attitude, and hence his performance, had improved greatly in the past couple of months (previously we had generally been told that he had high ability but needed to concentrate and so on).