Dear Sean


I just lost my mom, and now I have some hard decisions to make. I feel so lost and broken, I have been trying my best, but I feel like I failed. I was wondering if you had any advice on dealing with the loss of my mom.



The imaginary scenario I’m about to describe is going to sound far-fetched and weird. So just humor me.

But first, I want you to breathe. Seriously. Before you read another word.

In. Out. Big. Soft. Long. Deep. Breaths. Relax your jaw. Loosen your shoulders. Turn into a big blob of Jello pudding.

Seeeeeee the pudding. Beeeee the pudding.


What I want you to do is visualize a large white world. Not white like cotton sheets or snow. But white like sunlight. Like staring at the noon sun with eyes wide open.

White light is everywhere within this new world. In fact, you aren’t even sure how big this new space is because it’s too bright to see anything. It could be the size of a closet, or it could be bigger than Asia. No way to know.

At first the light hurts your eyes. It gives you a headache. And it doesn’t let up. It just gets stronger until it singes your hair and burns your skin.

Eventually, the brightness works its way into you. Past your adipose tissue, vascular system, kidneys, and spleen. It bores into muscle and bone and finally gets down into the Real You.

The Real You is an interesting thing. I don’t want to get all hooky spooky here, but think about it. A person’s soul is literally inside their body, but no surgeon can find it. No one can point to your ribcage and say, “Ah, yes, your soul’s right there. Just to the left of your colon.”

So for the purposes of this imaginary scene, right now, let’s pretend the Unseeable You is no longer attached to your rickety body.

Because here, in this place, there are no human bodies. Only brightness.

And it’s a glorious feeling, being here. You start to feel so good you can’t stand it. You feel better than you’ve felt in your entire life.

Suddenly you realize that this place is better than life ever was.

Have you ever noticed how merely being alive is difficult? Sometimes, life is nothing but sensory overload. It never quits moving, changing, pulsating. Neither do people.

Your heart is always pumping. Your muscle fibers always twitch. Even when you sleep your joints are deteriorating. It makes me tired just thinking about it.

Even your own happiness can be exhausting. Happiness is nothing but a form of stress. Certainly, winning the lottery is good stress, but it’s still stress. And it will wear your butt out.

But it’s not like that up here. Wherever “here” is. This is the most relaxation you’ve ever known. Here there is peace. Here there is rest.

Oh, and you’re flying, too. Like Superman. You’re zipping around like a gnat on Mountain Dew. What a thrill. You could do this for a million years.

Soon, your eyes begin to adjust to the light. You’re starting to see landmarks on the ground beneath you.

And, whoa, this place is huge. There are rivers the size of the Milky Way. There are trees bigger than Jupiter. Lakes, meadows, mountains, vanilla-ice-cream clouds.

And there is something in the air. It’s all around you. It’s some version of oxygen. You’re breathing it. Only it’s not air. It tastes like sticky buns. Like cinnamon cookies, and warm, melty peanut butter. Like Oreos and chocolate milk.

You recognize the aroma, whatever it is. It tastes familiar. You used to experience this stuff on Earth sometimes. You’d get a whiff whenever a child would hug you. When you rescued a shelter dog, you caught this scent. When you gave a few bucks to a homeless guy, you smelled this.

Love. That’s what this stuff is.

And it is plentiful here. In fact, one could argue, this whole new world is built from love. So was our old world, but we humans didn’t want to see it.

But you see it now. Every pine tree, serpentine creek, sprout of hay, spear of light, and whale-backed mountain. Love. Love. Love. And more love.

Your journey is abruptly stopped. Mid-flight.

What’s that you see in the distance?

Is it a silhouette? Yes. It looks like a person.

Someone is waving at you.

It’s a she. A female. You recognize her.

You knew this woman once. She looks so much younger than she did on Earth. And wiser, somehow. Her hair is satin. Her skin is buttermilk. Her eyes are bright, like two dollops of honey upon plate glass. She hasn’t changed a bit.

In this moment your entire soul is filled with smiles. This sensation gushes into you like a flash flood. It nearly drowns you in memories. You feel like crying, laughing, singing, and cheering all at once.

“Mom!” you shout.

You’re in a joyous frenzy when you see her. Because there is so much you want to tell her. So much has happened since she went away. You are full of words. Full of stories. Full of excitement. You want to tell her everything.

But all you can manage to get out is one breathless sentence: “I love you, Mom.”

But she doesn’t answer. For words aren’t needed here. Instead, she simply touches your face. Her tiny hand feels warm against your cheek. Your eyes fill with tablespoons of tears. And this reunion is, without question, the best feeling in all eternity.

Now, I want you to hold this imaginary scenario in your mind.

Because, you see, it is not imaginary.


  1. Kathryn M Wise - April 20, 2022 8:15 am

    Thank you.

  2. Dewayna Tigner - April 20, 2022 8:32 am

    Beautifully written!

  3. Debbie - April 20, 2022 10:08 am

    Simply beautiful 💕🕊

  4. Lisa K Riley - April 20, 2022 10:45 am

    Thank you.

  5. patp - April 20, 2022 10:45 am

    I love your work. Eternity is real, and we all need to spend more time thinking about that. You encourage that in such a beautiful way. Your work has a big impact on people’s lives. Keep writing! You are a blessing!
    You column today reminds me of a book by one of the greatest writers of all times. CS Lewis. And his book The Great Divorce. Which you have probably read, but if not, you might really enjoy it. It’s not about divorce at all, but a fictional bus ride from Hell to Heaven. Highly recommend.

  6. Jan - April 20, 2022 11:05 am

    A joyful blessing to wake up to this morning! Thank you!

  7. Patricia Collins - April 20, 2022 11:20 am

    That was absolutely the best and most beautiful way to tell her that her mom is still around!

  8. Angela A Porritt - April 20, 2022 11:43 am

    I lost my Mom Dec 6th 2020. I am 60 years old and I still feel lost and alone at times. I hear her voice calling my name and the tears just start and won’t
    stop. Life does go on and it does get better. I know she is sitting at the feet of Jesus soaking in all the love that he can give. It will get better but let the bad days come and cherish the tears and memories of a wondrful mother

  9. GaBee - April 20, 2022 12:01 pm

    Today would be my husband’s 76th birthday and he moved into that wonderful place 18 months ago. We were best friends and partners and our love was a God gift. I know he is happy to be in the bright place you describe here but the ache of missing him never leaves me. I try not to look back on how long he has been away but rather to think that with each day that passes I am one day closer to Him and him.

  10. Connie Oexman - April 20, 2022 12:24 pm

    Ahhh, Sean,
    Another beautiful column. I am now a leaky sniffling pile of pudding. Thank you.

  11. Ruth Mitchell - April 20, 2022 12:37 pm


  12. Amanda Huber - April 20, 2022 12:42 pm

    The most beautifully written words I’ve read. Thank you.

  13. Steve - April 20, 2022 1:03 pm

    Oh my.

  14. elliemac3 - April 20, 2022 1:06 pm

    LOVE THIS!!! Thank you so much!!

  15. mikec4193 - April 20, 2022 1:07 pm

    Very wise words right there…thanks or sharing

  16. Shelton A. - April 20, 2022 1:08 pm

    Great story! Makes you feel better just reading it. The best part…it is true. God’s love will do that to you. Thanks for sharing! Blessings and peace

  17. Leslie Lentile - April 20, 2022 1:12 pm

    Yes! Love! God!

  18. Susan W Fitch - April 20, 2022 1:32 pm

    AMAZING! I can’t imagine Eternity without God.

  19. Lee - April 20, 2022 1:38 pm

    Sean, never, never, never let go of this type of writing. Without it, you won’t be you. You won’t be real.

  20. Letty - April 20, 2022 1:39 pm

    A fabulously comforting visualization! Thank you!

  21. hiwayflyer - April 20, 2022 1:39 pm

    Having lost 2 people I loved very much within the last 5 months, I can relate to this. This is a story I just posted to my site, if you actually read these comments, maybe you’ll relate:

  22. Debbie Richards - April 20, 2022 1:40 pm

    Thank you!! What a way to start my day!!

  23. Mamacita - April 20, 2022 1:47 pm

    Sean, for Goodness’ sake! You are gifted with a LARGE dollop of love from the place you have described today; and with the ability and desire to so eloquently share it.

  24. LYNDA K RIDLEY - April 20, 2022 2:09 pm

    I have never read anything that touched me more than this did. I saw my sweet mom as I read this and felt her touch my cheek…priceless!!

  25. Cathy M - April 20, 2022 2:14 pm

    Beautifully written and so comforting to all. I have several people in my life who are in the middle of a grief journey and my heart aches for each one of them. It is painful both physically and emotionally. You have to walk through the river of sadness to get to the other side. When you get there you realize that they are still with you . You helped each person who read this today. ❤️🙏🏻😇

  26. steveleachman - April 20, 2022 2:50 pm

    Sometimes your columns move me to tears. This was one of those. Cancer took my brother-in-law just before Christmas last year. My wife’s brother was one of my best friends. I miss him a lot. I’m sure he’s in the loving embrace of the Lord. Of course he would prefer beer over milk and cookies; just saying.

  27. Allison Cobb Gilmore - April 20, 2022 3:23 pm

    Sean caught me off guard with the idea of the “aroma of love.” We all have memories of scents that remind us of people we love and of good times from the past and of good places we’ve been. What a wonderfully comforting idea to begin being more intentionally aware when we encounter the scents of love from our memories

  28. Stan Ingram - April 20, 2022 3:32 pm

    Sitting with mom right now in hospice. We know where she is going and that we will see her again. You have an amazing way with words and I look forward to each new post. God bless and keep you!

  29. Jane Sparacio - April 20, 2022 4:41 pm

    When my loved one passed I was told these words of comfort. ” You know where she is, You know who she is with, and you know you will see her again.” I needed to hear your words today Sean.

  30. belcherd6bellsouthnet - April 20, 2022 5:45 pm

    How beautiful! Thank you.

  31. Linda Moon - April 20, 2022 7:54 pm

    I’ve noticed that being alive is difficult, often filled with problems and pain. Dr. Peck didn’t need to tell me that, but I sometimes return to his written words just as I do with Sean of the South’s words…like these I read just now. I see.

  32. MAM - April 20, 2022 9:03 pm

    You may have surpassed yourself today, Sean. That was beautiful! Keep it up. We rely on your reminders of what is important!

  33. Dean - April 20, 2022 9:34 pm

    Your words/writing is amazing! What a gift!

  34. Sherry McGinley - April 20, 2022 10:14 pm

    Dear Sean, thank you. I loved my daddy and mama 65 years. I physically took care of them the last four years of their lives. I did things for them that they did for me as an infant and toddler. Daddy died 8-26-2021. Mama died 10-23-3021. It’s hard to comprehend. I know without a doubt where they are but I sure miss their physical bodies. I love you and hope you know it inside your heart. Sherry

  35. Dee Thompson - April 20, 2022 10:51 pm

    Nicely done. I lost my mom in 2020, after taking care of her for years. I miss her very much. I believe she is in a place of perfect peace and joy, something like what you describe. She is back with Dad, and with her parents and brother. I miss her terribly but I am happy for her spirit. The other day I unpacked a box and found a box of kleenex and it smelled like her perfume. I almost cried, because the scent reminded me of her, of hugging her. I think she wanted me to find it. / The difference between our world and the spirit world is very slight, but when you are mired in grief it feels like a steel door. I pray this lady in Kansas will realize that one day. I am praying for her.

  36. bob - April 20, 2022 11:23 pm

    Amazingly poignant and amazing accurate. How did you learn this since you are still a wet behind the ears, whipper snapper? We are without question, eternal beings and loss is but a fleeting moment, as it the short window of our lives. Another very good job.

  37. Patricia Gibson - April 20, 2022 11:37 pm

    Really good one,Sean!

  38. Beverly Hatcher - April 21, 2022 2:15 am

    Amazing…Thank you. You, Sir, are a Saint.

  39. Julie, RN - April 21, 2022 1:17 pm

    Oh, thank you Sean, for this powerful imagery of Heaven. It will be my beacon for the rest of my time on this earth, guiding me to where we all hope to eventually be. Bless you✝️

  40. Cheryl Andrews - April 21, 2022 1:58 pm

    Oh, wow! Thank you!

  41. Debbie - April 21, 2022 3:41 pm

    You amaze me with your writing and imagination! This is a beautiful picture of heaven. Don’t stop writing!

  42. Tom Wallin - April 21, 2022 3:56 pm

    Sean, please stop saying you can’t write. We all wish we could put our thoughts and images on paper like you do regularly. One of your best!
    Even I feel better about his mother.

  43. Dru Brown - April 22, 2022 6:18 am

    If you had been hanging at the beach when Jesus was out collecting fishermen, you’d have been a top draft pick. We would be reading all about you. Funny, we do that anyway. Thank you, Sean.

    • Dru Brown - April 22, 2022 6:49 am

      Uh oh. I thought this was lost.

  44. Dru Brown - April 22, 2022 6:48 am

    I hope this won’t appear twice; my first attempt flew away and hasn’t returned. Sean, if you’d been hanging at the beach when Jesus was picking his team, you would have been high in the draft. I can picture you with all our favorites, comforting when they were tired, maybe playing a song to earn a coin when there was nothing to buy bread, listening when they missed their families. I can see you walking with Him, perhaps in the garden. You would have been a great addition, but here you are with us instead. We’re blessed that we can listen to you. Thank you for singing the only song we need to hear, the everlasting song of Jesus and Matthew and John (and Walt Whitman’s mockingbird): Love Iove love love love.

  45. Kathleen - April 22, 2022 3:01 pm

    That is the most beautiful thing I have ever read. I lost my Mom last year and this just gave me such a feeling of peace. Thank you Sean!

  46. CHARALEEN WRIGHT - April 23, 2022 12:46 am

  47. Luana Borges Ferreira - April 23, 2022 2:44 pm

    One of my friend send this to me that.. im and tears!but I just love it!it’s beautiful!

  48. Christine Erdmann - June 26, 2022 4:08 pm

    Whoa,Sean. Hope that helped the questioner because it sure helped me!!!


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