Friday, February 20, 2009

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 El Paso. I know now that I misunderstood. My last words to Sean were “I love you Buddy.” I hope he knew how much I truly loved him when he left.

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

We Miss You Sean!

On December 9, 2008, Mark's brother and best friend tragically passed away. There is no way to describe the heartache and devastation felt by this loss. Although we miss Sean dearly, we know that he is at peace and that brings us great comfort.

There are so many things that we are going to miss about Sean. His unconditional love, his friendship, his great sense of humor and his example. I think one of the things I will miss most is Mark and Sean's daily phone calls. Mark would always get this cute smile of complete happiness and excitement and greet Sean by saying, "Hey Paco!" I don't even know what "paco" means, knowing the two of them it could be some naughty word in Spanish! Regardless, that phrase will truly be missed in our household.

Sean has been a great influence in our life and in the lives of many others. While we were in El Paso we were able to meet many of his friends and employees who all had nothing but wonderful things to say about him. He was always willing to help any one of his friends in any way that he could whether it be giving advice, providing others with things they otherwise could not afford or just lending a listening ear. Sean always made it a point to end every conversation with, "Is there anything you need? Or is there anything I can do for you?" and was always sincere in his asking. He truly desired to do all he could for others. It is our desire take his example and carry on his legacy of being genuine and thoughtful of those around us and doing what we can for others.

We are so grateful for the many wonderful people Sean brought into our life. Leeza is one of the most wonderful people I have ever met. She is strong, courageous, caring and full of unconditional love. I know that she is an angel, sent to be with Sean during his last days on this earth and I know that he loves her with all of his heart and is full of gratitude for the friend and companion she was to him. I also believe his son Christian, is an angel sent to Sean and Lisa. He may be a cute little baby, but his spirit is strong and comforting. I will always treasure the spirit that we felt just being with Leeza and Christian as we sat in Sean and Leeza's room talking about Sean and all of our great memories of him.

We are also happy to have all of Sean's friends surround us during this difficult time. He truly has amazing friends who are all just as caring and giving as he was. We cannot express the gratitude we feel towards those who came and supported us during those first difficult days and who continue to each day. We have made new friendships with so many people who we now consider our close friends, even though we have only known each other for a short time. We heard it said several times that Sean had many friends and they were all friends because of Sean. It's like he was the "hub" of all of the friendships and kept everyone connected together. In honor of Sean we would like to continue those friendships and are happy to be the "hub" that links everyone together!

We love you Sean and we miss you! You will always be in our hearts and in our thoughts! Thank you for being the wonderful person and friend we could always count on. During our hardest moments I like to think of the chorus to one of my favorite songs by Kenny Chesney. I hope that it can also bring comfort and peace to all those who are also mourning your loss - "...the only thing that gets me through is I know, I'll see you again someday."

Sean and Leeza

Mark and Christian

Bill, Sean and Mark - Austin, TX ~ Oct. 2008

Leeza, Sean, Jamie and Mark -Austin, TX ~ Oct. 2008

Sean and Leeza

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Forever Grateful for Sean D Taylor

After reading a comment left on our blog, by one of Sean's dear friends, Cheryl Diedrich, I felt inspired to create a place where all those who love Sean can share their experiences and memories of him. Cheryl said things that Mark and I felt, but were unable to put into words. I think the same can be said for many others.

It is my desire that as we all share our memories and thoughts of Sean, we will be able to heal and also be able to create a wonderful history of Sean's life. We will also have the opportunity to give Christian a better understanding of what an amazing man his Dad was and the exemplary life he lived.

I just want to share a little piece that inspired this blog:

"I was completely blessed when Sean came into my life... Over the years we became amazing friends, he was such a "giver" of his heart and soul, great listener and wonderful at giving advice. I moved... but (he) still remained in close contact, never forgetting to call or email me. Always asking about my life and my son.

Sean was/is a gift of God, I believe he was one of the Angels that walks amongst us. I know that when I talk out loud to Sean, he is still listening...

My Prayers are with Sean's Family, and to Leeza and Christian, May God Bless and keep you both always..

Forever grateful for Sean D Taylor

My heart is heavy with pain, I miss you so my dear friend."

- Cheryl A Diedrich