Monday, September 26, 2016

Sean-size Hole

Sean was a man full of life and laughter. He was a tender-hearted giver, and made a living serving others as a firefighter/EMT and in the CPR training business he owned. He was a loyal friend; it only takes a glance at his Facebook page to know he made everyone feel like his best friend. (Sean is the kind of guy who made friends with our resort’s activities director in Jamaica, and still kept in touch with him!) Sean was generous and lived sacrificially: he would give anything you asked for simply because you asked. He loved and lived well.


I need to stop this right here. Here’s the truth: I hate writing this in past tense, because my friend Sean died Saturday at age 46. I hate that I’m describing him by what he did instead of what he’s doing or has yet to do. I’ll never again be able to think of him in current terms, because he’s no longer here. His wife and his four sons don’t get to grow old and grow up with him, and they’ll only see his smile in fading photos.

And I’m sorry to complain or sound whiny, but fading photos can never capture the light that lived inside Sean McMullin. Photos are an empty substitute for a man who made us love him and laugh with him. I can’t make sense of his loss, although my mind keeps trying to shape and polish it in hopes of understanding it. It’s not working because it simply doesn’t make sense.

There’s a Sean-size hole in my heart, and the hearts of his wife, sons, and family: his parents, brother and sister. He has a slew of in-laws who adored him, and countless coworkers and friends – friends like me.

I loved Sean. I *still* love him. I wish I had told him that a lot more.

God, please be with the McMullins. Hold them close and comfort them. You keep track of our sorrows and collect our tears because You know they are precious, as the depth of our grief shadows the heights of our love. May we carry Sean’s memory so we can help his sons know who he was and remind them how loved they are. Show us how to love Beth and the boys well, and bear their burdens with them. Give us strength, God. And please take care of our friend now that he is Home with You. Amen.

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