I can’t adequately express in words how losing Sean has affected me. I still talk to him everyday and feel his presence around me often. Sometimes I yell at him, cry with him and wonder how I’ll learn to fully accept his decision to leave this world.
Both Sean and I ran away from home when we were about 17 years old. When Sean left, he made his own way. However, when I left years later Sean helped me make my way. Over the years Sean and I grew very close, the last few years of his life we spoke nearly everyday. He encouraged me to stay in school, told me not to give up when I lost my first jury trial and gave me advice in building and managing my law firm.
Sean was my big brother, best friend and the one I looked to for unconditional love and acceptance. I was closer to Sean than any other human being. We would often say to each other that we had no secrets and told each other things that we have never and will never tell anyone else.
Sean called me the night before he took his life. He was in the desert watching the sun set. We loved sun sets and enjoyed watching them together on our many trips in the years before he died. That night, I tried to talk him out of leaving, like I'd done so many times before. . . tried to tell him how much I needed him . . . tried to tell him how much his infant son needed a father but, the pain from his depression was too much and in his mind he mistakenly somehow believed that we would all be better off without him. He asked me to forgive him and I said there was nothing he could do that could make me stop loving him. By the time we finished talking, I mistakenly believed that he was going to be OK . . . at least until I was able to come to El Paso with my family for Christmas. He told me he looked forward to seeing me again. I thought he meant in one week, when I made it to
Sometimes people ask me how I’m doing and I say fine. However, to be honest, the world doesn't look the same to me anymore. Sunlight doesn’t have the same brightness or feel . . . food doesn't taste the same. It's like I woke up after Sean died and discovered that I'm in the "Matrix", working to build momentum and additional meaning now that a huge piece of me is gone.
I'm sure that in time I'll be better able to process this loss. I'm lucky to have such a great wife (awesome wife!!) and kids. I have a lot to be thankful for . . . but losing Sean has still left me feeling alone and left behind.
Since losing Sean I’ve been thinking a lot about his son Christian. I worry that Christian will not fully comprehend what a great man his Dad was. I want to share the love and advice his Dad gave to me and somehow put a piece of Sean into his heart. I hope at some point in his life he will understand that Sean was ill and didn't fully comprehend what he was doing. I hope I can help him learn to forgive, understand, and feel his father’s love. I want him to love his father the way I always will.
Christian, I know you won’t understand this today because you’re so little. However, someday, if it's okay with your Mom, perhaps she will share this message with you.
The night before your father left, your mother told me that your Dad could not sleep. He left their bed and held you in his arms all night long. I can’t tell you how I know this but I know that he made promises to you that night. He promised to be with you in spirit when you truly need him . . . he promised to protect you by speaking to your heart and guiding you when you’re confused. He promised to love you and I want you to know that some of those promises will be fulfilled through your mother, your family, your father’s close friends as well as your Uncle Mark. And during especially difficult times in your life, those promises will be fulfilled by your father himself. I want you to know that all of those promises made by your Dad that night, as he held you in his arms, will be kept.
I love you Christian! Throughout your life never give up. Remember that it’s never too late to be who you truly want to be. If you ever find that you’re not living the life you wanted to, not being the person you want to be, just pick yourself up and start over.
Know that your mother is your best friend and your strongest supporter. Always honor her and treat her with respect. Know that you are loved, wanted and cherished as a blessing and gift from God.
John Cain and Sean