I Am Not Dead

Dearest loved one,

I know you think I have died, but I’m not gone. Death is just a four-letter word—although you might want to double check my math on that one.

Do you remember how in high-school science class your teacher talked about the first law of thermodynamics? Yeah, me neither.

So let me refresh your memory. Your teacher told you that energy could neither be created nor destroyed, but only transformed. Well, I get it now.

Nothing dies, not really. And that’s not religion, that’s science talking. In fact death doesn’t technically exist—at least not the way you think. Only change exists. Only transformation exists. Particles get disorganized, then reorganized, then re-re-reorganized.

But death? Nope.

Take flowers. They wither and become mulch, which then becomes topsoil, which then becomes minerals, which then becomes pH and soil salinity. Then, these elements reassemble themselves to become the building blocks for new flowers. On and on it goes.

Or how about water? Water forms clouds, clouds make rain, rain gathers in rivers and lakes only to be used in swimming pools, iced tea, kitchen sinks, and vodka gimlets. Water then evaporates to become more clouds.

Now I ask you. Does that sound like dying?

Or maybe you can think about it like this. Long ago, when trains still ran through small towns, children would often run to the depots and watch the trains come and go. Do you remember those days? Children would marvel at the mighty engines with their clouds of steam and sounds of diesel and steel.

Then, it happened like this: Passengers would climb aboard. The train’s doors would close. The coach would disappear over the horizon. All those people vanished in a mere instant.

But were they gone? No way. They were just unseen. Death is like that.

I am no longer seen. You cannot touch me, but I am here beside you. I am still your dad, although I cannot embrace you. I am still your mom, even though I cannot kiss you. I will always be your sister, your brother, your child, your best friend, your spouse, your lover, although I cannot hold your hand or whisper in your ear.

All I can do is look upon your marvelous face and smile at you from behind this eternal glass. You might not be aware of me, but make no mistake, I’m still around, kid.

Nobody ever tells you before you die that there is no “up there” and “down here.” Most folks live believing that their deceased loved ones are far away. Some envision a heavenly place so remote that it seems more like Fiji or Timbuktu. But it’s not like that. And I see that now.

Heaven isn’t a geographic location. It’s not on a map, there are no coordinates. Therefore, heaven is neither bound by rules of time, nor measurements of space. Thus, your manmade concept of distance doesn’t hold water in this new realm.

Don’t you see? If distance doesn’t exist, then there is no distance between us. Meaning: I’m right here, reading this over your shoulder. There’s a reason our ancestors called it the “hereafter.” Because it’s right here.

I’m not lightyears away. I’m not on a sky island surrounded by cloud coverage and the booming voice of Charleton Heston. I am seated beside you. I can smell your shampoo. I can count your freckles. And I love you so very much.

I know you miss me. Believe me, I know. I see you grieve when you think nobody is around. I have watched you weep into your hands while sitting in traffic. I’ve seen you cry yourself to sleep.

Sometimes when you sob, I want to reach through the fabric of your reality to hold you like I once did, to make it better.

But again, that isn’t how it works. You and I are separated by a thin piece of silk which neither the strongest man could tear, nor the sharpest tool could pierce. Nothing can cross this membrane that divides us except art, music, poetry and love. But I promise it won’t be like this for long.

In the meantime, don’t stop remembering me. Don’t put away my photos. Tell stories about me. If you ever begin to wonder where I am, if you ever feel lost, if you ever need evidence of me, just look around you.

I am the humidity in your curly hair on a wet day. The morning dew on your kitchen windows at sunrise. The laughter around your supper table. I am the text on this screen.

You cannot grasp me. You cannot contain me. And you wouldn’t want to, either. Because I am free in this new place. And believe it or not, I am finally perfect. I am happy. I am healthy. I am whole. And I am with you always, even until the end of time.

But I am not dead. Not even a little.


  1. Sharon - August 17, 2021 6:25 am

    You best. Thank you.

    • Valerie O’Brien Edwards - November 10, 2022 10:44 am

      My husband passed a year ago exactly- 10 November 2021. It’s hard today more than any other day. I had read this many times before but I decided to read it again today. And I just washed my hair so that bit about him smelling my shampoo seemed so real! This is so encouraging yet so difficult when you can’t see the person. It breaks my heart! Please pray for me and my two little boys only aged 6 and 4 now

  2. Peggy ALEXANDER - August 17, 2021 6:25 am

    We walked through this hard time with you and your wife and family Sean. And praying for y’all now.

  3. Martha - August 17, 2021 6:28 am

    This is perfect. Thank you❤️

  4. MyPlace - August 17, 2021 6:33 am

    Oh Dear Sean,
    My husband “died” a year ago, and I have been so lost without him. Then I saw your words I could hear his voice speaking them to me here. I have been bereft at this loss of my heart and breath, and then you gave me this connection I have been desperate to have for so long. Yes I cried, out loud and ugly, but it was a comfort the likes of which I have not had in this entire year. You brought him back home to me.
    I am more grateful to you than you will ever know.

    • Gale Smith - August 17, 2021 7:41 am

      Exactly. Same story in a beautiful song I want played when I reach my final location: Even Though I’m Gone….by Chester See. Prayers for her family and friends to know…this is not the end.

    • Jen - August 17, 2021 10:13 am

      Sending gentle loving hugs❤️

    • William G Dyson - August 17, 2021 1:42 pm

      Thank you, MyPlace for saying what I have been feeling since my wife “died” six months ago. Thank you, Sean, for this column. It helps more than you will ever know.

    • Karen Etling - August 17, 2021 11:17 pm

      I like your take on this. I read the one by Aaron Freeman about “You’ll want a physicist to speak at your funeral…” at my best friend’s funeral in April this year. It was so comforting to his wife and children. I wish you and your family Peace.

  5. Deborah Blount - August 17, 2021 6:34 am

    Beautifully said.

  6. Jo K - August 17, 2021 6:51 am

    Thank you Sean, beautifully written & heard.

  7. Regina - August 17, 2021 7:01 am

    With everything going on in your life right now you still are able to write something so incredibly beautiful and profound. Thank you. Thinking of you and your family as you get through this. Love and prayers to you all

  8. throughmyeyesusa - August 17, 2021 7:09 am


  9. Lucretia Jones - August 17, 2021 7:42 am

    Beautiful. Thank you, Sean

    • Jeanna - August 17, 2021 1:16 pm

      Prayers for you and your family.
      This is my favorite piece you have ever written. Thank you, and God bless you.

  10. Bob E - August 17, 2021 7:50 am


  11. Catherine - August 17, 2021 8:21 am

    Exquisite… thank you, Sean.

  12. Anne Stokes Haas - August 17, 2021 9:09 am

    Thank you for so beautifully putting into words what we could not. Miss Mary is fondly remembered by all of us who had the privilege of knowing her 💕

  13. Christine M. Peppers-Duggan - August 17, 2021 9:41 am

    Well put, Sean..
    My dad was a touch nut. He was a man who would tell the truth, and then it was your decision 9n how you were going to handle it.
    So when

  14. Leslie in NC - August 17, 2021 9:41 am

    Dearest Sean, as I sit here pre-dawn on my porch after a rain, the humidity in my own curly hair, without the slightest doubt in my mind after reading your words…even after she left this earthly realm close to 50 years ago…I know my mom is here with me now. Just as Mother Mary is with you and Jamie, forever sealed in love and wonderful memories.

  15. Vincent Boles - August 17, 2021 10:24 am

    You’re on it doggone it

  16. Ernie - August 17, 2021 10:34 am

    What an elegant explanation. And comforting. You have made the phrase, “Our Father, who art in heaven…“ much easier to grasp. Our father, along with those we love who have gone before, are as close as a breath. Thanks.

  17. Heidi - August 17, 2021 10:36 am

    You wrote it perfectly. Every single person in our family knows that my Mom (Nanny) and Dad (Poppy) are still with us and help guide us. It’s a gift from the Afterlife and so comforting. Mother Mary will never leave you all.

  18. Donna K. Taylor - August 17, 2021 10:45 am

    what a masterful gift of grief defeat and agonizing comfort-can you feel MM’s thump on your shoulder and hear her cackle confirming her perception of your brilliance-so very well done. Much love to you and her lovely daughter Jamie-hold each other close-within that still complete triangle of adoration.

  19. Leigh Amiot - August 17, 2021 10:51 am

    “Thank God for small favors.”—something my mother said often enough that I acquired that good habit, and she comes to mind every time I think or say it. Within minutes of waking this morning, I said that aloud when I recognized a small favor and the delight of gratitude combined with the memory of my mother was sweet. It’s been 18 years since she was fully healed of heart disease.

    The ways Mother Mary is with Jamie and you indeed will be countless.

  20. Jimmy Stewart - August 17, 2021 10:52 am

    “Someday you will read in the papers that D.L. Moody of Northfield is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now. Out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal. I was born in the flesh in 1837; I was born of the Spirit in 1856. That which is born of the flesh may die; that which is born of the Spirit will live forever.” Dwight L. Moody

    Sean! Thank you ~ Thank you! I thank the good Lord for giving us you and your words. Inspire me again!

  21. Cindy Peterson - August 17, 2021 11:13 am

    Bless you and your family. This is beautiful. Hope I don’t mistype because of the tears from this and yesterday’s post. I was going to say sorry for your loss, until I read this…she is not lost.

  22. Joy Taylor-Lane - August 17, 2021 11:24 am

    I love this article. This is the most well thought out and expressed article about death that I have read or heard. The first law of thermodynamics and the ideas expressed in 1John 4:7-8 have always comforted me. I hope that your words bring comfort to the bereaved.

  23. Suzanne Cahill - August 17, 2021 11:27 am

    Thank you for this.

  24. Karen - August 17, 2021 11:29 am

    So true and comforting. Thank you.

  25. Maggie Priestaf - August 17, 2021 11:32 am

    Thank you <3

  26. I Am Not Dead – Sean of the South – Having Coffee on the Porch - August 17, 2021 11:39 am

    […] I Am Not Dead […]

  27. Steve Scott - August 17, 2021 11:43 am

    Powerful Sean! One of the clearest explanations I have every heard on death. Thank you.

  28. charmaine riley holley - August 17, 2021 12:00 pm

    Exactly what I believe and how I feel! This is beautiful 💙

  29. Kate - August 17, 2021 12:01 pm

    The best I have ever read. Thank you Sean.

  30. Daisy - August 17, 2021 12:03 pm

    Today is the 39th anniversary of my mothers passing. Thank you for writing this.

  31. Becki McCallum - August 17, 2021 12:05 pm

    Amen! I believe this wholeheartedly.. Heaven is just on the other side of the glass window.

  32. Suellen - August 17, 2021 12:10 pm

    That must be why as I grow older I think more and more of those I love who have passed on. I’m edging closer and closer to the hereafter and the world is falling away.

  33. Nancy Loftus - August 17, 2021 12:13 pm

    Burying my mom in-law today…these are some perfect words. Bless y’all in your grief…

  34. Suzanne DeBoer - August 17, 2021 12:16 pm

    Good morning Sean
    Please accept our heartfelt sympathy for what you are experiencing as you mourn the earthly passing of your beloved Mary.
    It might be lovely for you to know how you encourage a rich friendship. I am not on Facebook. My friend is. Every morning, she sends me your reflection and adds her thoughts to yours. Your messages to the world have enriched a precious and meaningful friendship. I am grateful for you.
    You are in our prayers.

  35. Kathy - August 17, 2021 12:18 pm


  36. Beverly Bennett - August 17, 2021 12:19 pm

    This post is beautiful. May you and Jamie be comforted in the moments ahead.

  37. Gloria - August 17, 2021 12:25 pm

    Oh my goodness!!! I’m crying like a baby!! So wonderful!
    I love you Sean!! Thank you!
    Gloria G.,
    Loris, SC

  38. Darlene - August 17, 2021 12:28 pm

    When you love deeply is when you know your loved ones are really still with you. They comfort me now as much as my arms comforted them when they were dying… always be open to their being about you and you WILL feel, smell, and hear their presence

  39. LauraD - August 17, 2021 12:30 pm

    Perfectly stated, thank you.

  40. Catherine b - August 17, 2021 12:35 pm

    One of my favorite quotes that is forever etched in my heart she mind: “Nothing loved ever dies.”

  41. mccutchen52 - August 17, 2021 12:36 pm


  42. Sheri K - August 17, 2021 12:36 pm

    Thank you, Sean!! This is the most beautiful and comforting explanation of death I’ve ever encountered. You and Jamie are in my prayers and I hope you feel the love sent to you by all us “extended family” out here because that’s how you make us feel. Thank you again and God bless you!!!

  43. Karen Snyder - August 17, 2021 12:40 pm

    I believe this with all my heart, but I could never in a million years have said it so very beautifully. 💕

  44. Ann Cobb - August 17, 2021 12:40 pm

    Beautiful and so, so comforting. Peace be with you.

  45. kathymmonfort - August 17, 2021 12:50 pm

    Thank you. “May the Lord lift up his countenance upon and give you peace.”

  46. Anne McDaniel - August 17, 2021 12:58 pm

    This post is so beautiful!
    Thank you, Sean, for the way you can get to the very heart of a matter!

  47. Sharmen Oswald - August 17, 2021 12:59 pm

    Sean….you get it! I lost my parents within two years of each other, my mother the last to depart. I hear her words in myself when I talk to my husband. I hear my father’s words in things my son says. Before they passed, I didn’t notice that as much. When I make meatloaf, my mother’s recipe, I feel her in the kitchen with me. Thank you for your reminders of how we are to live….and die.

  48. Pinny Bugaeff - August 17, 2021 1:03 pm

    Sean, thank you doesn’t begin to express my gratitude .Every day you lighten my soul and touch my heart.

  49. Donna Johns - August 17, 2021 1:08 pm

    Oh how I needed this today!! Thank you so much Sean for putting into words what my heart needed to hear!!

  50. Mike Morello - August 17, 2021 1:10 pm

    Your words produce comforting thoughts and sound so good. I agree that one never dies but God says “it is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgement”. Afterwards those that believe in Jesus Christ will spend eternity with God and those who don’t will be apart from God. Exactly what this after death existence looks like is a mystery. We do know there will be no sorrow, no sickness, a new body and joy for those with God.
    I really love reading your site. Your writing makes me feel good and laugh all while bringing to light many serious and important issues. Thank you.
    Mike Morello

  51. Patricia A Schmaltz - August 17, 2021 1:11 pm

    Sean, I wholeheartedly believe this is true. And since my mom died, 21 years ago, she sends me signs periodically. Thank you for this affirmation. Hope you enjoyed Fred… we got a sprinkle with a faint breeze here in FWB

  52. Betty F. - August 17, 2021 1:11 pm

    Sean and Jamie- when the dust settles after a while would you tell us a cause or a charity or such that means a lot to any of the three of you, so we can send a gift in honor of Mother Mary? It would be a tremendous gift for us who have been reading your daily post and don’t know what else to do.

    • Crabby Cakes - August 17, 2021 2:10 pm

      What a generous, loving idea! There is still hope for humanity through people like you!

  53. Doug Clements - August 17, 2021 1:14 pm

    If only in this life we have hope, we are among the most hopeless.

  54. Te - August 17, 2021 1:14 pm

    You nailed it. Human beings live in such delusion, they cannot see – nor are they meant to — beyond that veil. My only grief over deaths (and there are few for whom I feel that) is my own selfish sense of loss. The saddest part is forgetting – although you will never forget Mother Mary. I have a trick to prevent that: I keep the emails in my system. Every time I run across one, I am reminded of good times and good memories. Because I”m old, the number of dead are about equal to the live ones! Oh, and you should know, Mother Mary will probably attend her own funeral. We’d all come, if we could, but we’ll be with you. And we’ll bawl with you.

  55. Jan - August 17, 2021 1:20 pm

    Truth spoken in beautiful words … Thank you, Sean!

  56. Linda keenum - August 17, 2021 1:20 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. You always made your mother in law sound like a very special person!

  57. Nick - August 17, 2021 1:30 pm

    Amen, Brother Sean! We Catholics call this the Communion of Saints!

  58. Ellen - August 17, 2021 1:30 pm

    Absolutely beautiful, Sean.
    Hugs for you and Jamie

  59. Carol Leeth - August 17, 2021 1:40 pm

    Beautiful! That is the way I feel about my Dad, Mom, and Brother who have gone to that place.

  60. Beverly Schaffer - August 17, 2021 1:49 pm

    Sean, for those of us who have lost a loved one, this column is perfect. Thank you.

  61. Marcia MacLean - August 17, 2021 1:51 pm

    It’s not life after death, it’s life after life. I don’t speak of my son in past tense because I know he’s still sweet, funny, talented and watching over us. Thank you Sean. Prayers for you and Jamie.

  62. peggybilbro - August 17, 2021 1:55 pm

    This is the most touching, beautiful, loving piece you’ve ever written, and perhaps one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve ever read. Ever. Your concept of the hereafter is the same as mine, but sometimes i need to be reminded of how it is. Thank you for doing just that.

  63. Erv Riley - August 17, 2021 1:55 pm

    I don’t have the words. Thank you.

  64. Nancy - August 17, 2021 1:59 pm

    This is by far the best column you’ve ever written. It will be saved in family bibles, posted on refrigerators until it turns yellow and brittle. It will be a comfort to so many who have someone gone just beyond the veil. Thank you Sean and I think maybe you had help writing this from that someone who has passed just out of sight.

  65. Lynn Carol Owen - August 17, 2021 2:05 pm


  66. Denise E Northcutt - August 17, 2021 2:11 pm

    Wow, what comforting words. My mom will be gone two years next month, but I hear her voice and see her all around me.
    Thank you for these comforting thoughts.

  67. Stacey Wallace - August 17, 2021 2:16 pm

    Love you and Jamie.

  68. Cindy - August 17, 2021 2:17 pm

    With words so perfect the heart can hear.

  69. Crabby Cakes - August 17, 2021 2:19 pm

    You don’t claim to be a good writer. I beg to differ. This column today is proof enough of that. This is exemplary, exceptional, honest and heart-felt. I pray you feel the love and comfort of our heavenly Father today. I pray He strengthens you, Jamie and those who loved Mother Mary the best. We share in your grief. Thank you for being so real and sharing your life with us. We are better for it because we are blessed by you and what you write. You’ve left your mark on this planet and in our hearts. You did it. You’re amazing. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.

  70. Shelton A. - August 17, 2021 2:24 pm

    Amen, Sean.

  71. Gayle Wilson - August 17, 2021 2:28 pm

    Sean, you have articulated this mystery in such a beautiful way. Many blessings on you, Jamie, and all of Mother Mary’s family, friends, and each of us who loved her through your gift of words.

  72. Sally S Russell - August 17, 2021 2:29 pm

    This is the most beautiful explanation of death I have ever read. My mother wrote something similar when she was in college about not visitng her grave as she’s not there – she would be in the wind and the rain and the waves and the mountains. You’ve encapsulated that. So – two things.
    Thank you for that on this 20th anniversary of my Mother’s death. She is still here with me – not as I would like, but here all the same.
    And second – do not EVER again say you can’t write well. You write from the heart, and that’s what we all need and look for every day in our mailbox. Thank you for being there

  73. Ruth Mitchell - August 17, 2021 2:31 pm

    That is so heartfelt and inspiring. Your mother-in-law was a blessed person and now a blessing spirit. Thank you for sharing.

  74. PJ Anderson - August 17, 2021 2:33 pm

    Beautiful. Thank you. Prayers for you and Jamie. As much as Mary was a blessing to you, you can bet she was thankful and felt blessed to have you in her life, too.

  75. Connie Faivre - August 17, 2021 2:39 pm

    This has touched me so deeply, and for that I thank you. May your mother-in-law’s memory be forever a blessing.

  76. Rikki - August 17, 2021 2:46 pm

    Once again my heart is full……don’t ever stop talking to us in this way. We need it more than ever. Thank you!

  77. maxnayagus - August 17, 2021 2:47 pm

    ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

  78. Sue - August 17, 2021 2:50 pm

    GENIUS! 🙏

  79. Andy Gartman - August 17, 2021 2:51 pm

    Wow! Profound!

  80. Patricia Gibson - August 17, 2021 2:52 pm


  81. Larry Wall - August 17, 2021 2:54 pm

    Yeah, Sean, what everyone before me has said, I agree with in regards to this magnificent piece. So, if you ever write that you “aren’t a writer”, this old man is coming down there to Destin/Pensacola and kick you squarely in the butt. May Our Father bless you, Jamie and the others in MM’s family with peace and tranquility.

  82. Christina - August 17, 2021 3:00 pm

    I can hear Mother Mary cracking jokes and sharing that big smile of hers wherever she goes.

  83. AlaRedClayGirl - August 17, 2021 3:05 pm

    What beautiful, comforting words you have written! Peace and blessings to you all

  84. Christina Cook - August 17, 2021 3:27 pm

    Thank you Sean for your gifts and for filling us with hope and light. You are helping so many people deal with the sadness of death by offering another way of looking at it. It is hard to lose what you love, but these words, these ideas, I will carry for comfort when I grieve.
    I’m sorry for your loss and hope you find peace. Mary will be with you always wherever you go- watching, smiling and loving you.

  85. Martha D Laska - August 17, 2021 3:32 pm

    Thank you for the reminder. Love to you and your wife

  86. Jackie Clements - August 17, 2021 3:52 pm

    Thank you for this. It certainly gives us a different perspective on the Hereafter. Love your writings.

  87. Cathy Cooke - August 17, 2021 4:07 pm

    Sean, this is the most profound column of all the many profound columns you have written (yes, really). You spoke to my heart and, I know, many others. I am so very sorry for yours and Jamie’s loss but grateful that you continue to feel Mary’s presence all around you. Thank you for sharing that gift with us.

  88. carolanne78 - August 17, 2021 4:14 pm

    Oh my stars and feathers! I have printed out these last three essays of yours, Sean, and am putting them in with my file of stuff for my kids/hubby, if I go to the hereafter first. Thank you, thank you thank you for saying all this way better than I ever could. What a gift you have, and what a gift Mother Mary is/was. Blessings to you and your wife and family during this tough time.

  89. Sandra Siegel - August 17, 2021 4:14 pm

    Brilliant and heart felt. One of your very best. My condolences to you, Jamie and your family.

  90. Joan Mitchell - August 17, 2021 4:20 pm

    Magnificent. Probably the best explanation of death that I’ve ever read.

  91. judy - August 17, 2021 4:25 pm

    “if the eye could weep to the
    measure of it’s sorrow,
    all night and all day
    it would weep” –rumi

  92. Mary Jac Neal - August 17, 2021 4:38 pm

    This is fantastic! It is very beautiful and comforting to everyone, not only to those left behind right now, but for those of us who will be one day passing on to perfect peace. Thank you Sean.

  93. Rhonda - August 17, 2021 5:02 pm

    Years ago, a dear friend died. Several years later. I HEARD her voice. She was talking to me from behind a fabric curtain of sorts. I got excited and started to pull the curtain aside.
    She immediately Said ” NO!” ” YOU CAN’T COME BACK HERE YET!”
    She told me two people who would die before me. And then she was gone.
    This was a completely real experience.
    It gives me great comfort

  94. Carol Stern - August 17, 2021 5:11 pm

    Beautiful and insightful.

  95. Linda Moon - August 17, 2021 5:57 pm

    For a millisecond, I expected this to be a corrected message from Mother Mary. If so, it probably would not have surprised me. Another One told us He would be with us always. Mary is with us, too…as described in this letter you shared. I lost my daddy when I was 17. Retrieved pieces of his favorite lap-holding chair are beside me right here, right now. And they will be until I see him in the new realm where he’ll hold me on his lap again.

  96. MAM - August 17, 2021 6:27 pm

    Majestic, heart-warming, lovely, beautiful, and perfect are your words from Mother Mary today. She is in paradise, but only a thin veil away. The way you described “death” today proves that God gives you words to entertain, teach, and often make us laugh and cry at the same. Thank you, Sean, for sharing your God-given talent with us each day. May God continue to bless you and Jamie!

  97. Anne Arthur - August 17, 2021 7:24 pm

    Many of us readers believe this is the BEST piece you’ve ever written. Wisdom, hope, and love shine through. Yes, we will not die, we will live.
    May God richly bless you, Sean. with you words and wisdom you make the world a better place.

  98. C - August 17, 2021 9:13 pm

    Dear Sean,
    I am joining the chorus of others who are saying today’s writing called, I’m not Dead is your best ever.
    This Home Run is worthy of saving and returning to in times we all have to face…but don’t want to.
    Thank you for helping us bridge the Gap between here and Eternity, which as you pointed out, is not so wide a Gap after all.

    Losses of any kind are never easy. And there are all sorts as the years roll on.
    You would think surviving a loss would get easier with practice, but that is not the case.
    Our heart takes a direct hit every single time.
    Actually these head-ons may make us more tenderized in the end.

    I have a strong sense you and Jamie will be fine, given time and the love you share and enjoyed with Mother Mary.
    I urge you to go ahead and continue to FEEL the process as it rolls out. Each of the emotions has been needed for me to progress from dispair to hope.

    You are needed by so many of us. Thank you for providing us with smiles, laughter and hope that we can then pass along to others along the way.

    Cheryl Glover

  99. Maria - August 17, 2021 9:13 pm

    …..everlasting life!!! John 3:16
    God bless you and Jamie!!

  100. cajuntiger74 - August 17, 2021 10:47 pm

    Perhaps the most beautiful thing you have ever written. Thank you.

  101. Andrea McDonald - August 18, 2021 2:55 am

    That is so touching. Thank you for that. Hopefully you can have some comfort from them, as we have been with them.

  102. terry - August 18, 2021 3:11 am

    “Mother Mary…speaking words of wisdom, let it be.”

    Yes. Let it be…

  103. Chasity Davis Ritter - August 18, 2021 11:44 am

    Coming up quick on dads 3 year angelversary but I could still read this everyday. I have some very precious family members and friends that just joined this very sucky club of no longer having their dads too and this is perfect to send to them. Thanks Sean for always having just the right words

  104. Dawn - August 18, 2021 1:07 pm

    Thank you for this gift.

  105. Sandra Wolfe - August 18, 2021 5:34 pm

    Sean, thank you. Five years ago we lost our oldest grandson on my Birthday. Birthdays are not necessarily happy any more. On that day I said he was with me now because they live in PA and we only saw them maybe twice a year. So when I see a red bird I say his name. It’s amazing how many red birds I see now.

  106. Ann - August 18, 2021 5:46 pm

    Beautiful. Thank you.

  107. Carol Rahn - August 18, 2021 6:50 pm

    Beautiful. My maternal grandmother, who died when my mother was 16, she and I are just starting to get acquainted. I’m 77.

  108. Karen Etling - August 18, 2021 6:56 pm

    I notice that my comment about this piece reminding me of the Aaron Freeman essay is not published. Strange. It’s almost as if you don’t want them compared. They’re both beautiful.

  109. Mary Connelly - August 19, 2021 12:35 am

    I lost my sister and best friend a year ago. I miss her so much. Your words give me consolation. God bless you, Sean. You have given me new images of this difficult separation. I have lost my Mom, Dad, brother and sister. I am the oldest of six . The three youngest and myself are what remain of our family of eight. Thank you for a new view of life and loss.

  110. tamrags - August 19, 2021 12:57 am

    Beautiful column! Just right.

  111. Verna Kays - August 19, 2021 5:30 am

    I believe ever single word…💖

    • Donna - August 19, 2021 1:31 pm

      I really, really like this! Thank you!

  112. Kathy Coxwell - August 19, 2021 8:15 pm

    A friend of mine and I will be attending the funeral of a childhood friend on Saturday. Your amazing writing means we won’t really be saying goodbye. Thank you.

  113. Elle Marie - August 19, 2021 10:09 pm

    This is pure ❤️.
    Did you write this in one day or have you been working on this masterpiece for a while?

  114. Anne Trawick - August 20, 2021 1:55 am

    The best.Just the best.

  115. Jennifer Covella - August 20, 2021 2:22 am

    Beautiful. This is so comforting and I’m going to read it for years to come.

  116. Mary Coley - August 20, 2021 4:55 am

    Love this. And I think you are right.

  117. Andrea - August 21, 2021 1:46 am

    A friend shared this piece with me with the comment that she did not want to make me sad but that it made her think of me. I lost my husband after a long battle with cancer. He was a warrior and survived with colon cancer for almost ten years…long enough for it to reach the brain. He died about a year and a half ago. While reading this I cried! While reading this, I wondered if you could see the words on my heart and in my soul. While reading this, I laughed out loud through the tears streaming down my face at the line, “I am the humidity in your curly hair on a wet day.” So true for me as my husband loved my curly (frizzy) hair on humid days. I know he is free in his new place. He is healthy, riding his bike through the trails, camping along the lakeshores and throwing sticks for his latest pup. I appreciate your words and your sharing of them. I look forward to “following” you! All the best! Andrea

  118. Sharon Hall - August 21, 2021 2:29 am

    What a wonderful read!!!

  119. Larry Wall - August 22, 2021 7:35 pm

    Sean, I am just now catching up on some of your pieces that I missed over the last two weeks. You have done your absolute best epistles in the last two months. No doubt about that statement. But this one is just beyond any words from me. Except to say that Ernest Hemingway would be jealous. Indeed.

  120. Paul Moore - August 24, 2021 9:44 pm

    Makes more sense than most theories. Like my wife says. If you think an afterlife sounds crazy what about being here at all

  121. Anita Smith - September 5, 2021 8:41 pm

    I’ve read this 5 times, and I’ve cried every time.

  122. Cindy Dufforf - September 29, 2021 9:02 pm

    This really hit me. I’d discovered your posts a few months before my husbands June 29 passing. He too was a writer and with my help and you, inspired him to start his own blog. Unfortunately he only had it 3 months. But he mentioned you in one post. When this came up it was so much how we both believe things to be that I had it read at his celebration of life. We had our 47th anniversary the day before he passed and I miss him so much. Your posts about your wife remind me so much of us. I read you every day.


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