Happy Birthday Sean James!!

 Our culture likes to ignore death and pretend it doesn’t happen.   People also act like the ones who have died, haven’t really existed.  They don’t say their names anymore.  They don’t tell their stories.  For those who were very, very close to the one who died–pretending they didn’t exist is not a possibility. 

June is the birthday month of our son Sean. As his parents, we can’t pretend that he did not exist.  Sean is still alive to us.  He is still real.  He is still celebrated and he is still grieved.

I write about Sean and the grief of losing him, and the joy of his life—to help others with their grief in losing their loved ones.  I also want us to know that the person(s) who passed on to eternity–can still be celebrated–their life was a gift to those who knew them and loved them.

Our family still celebrates Sean’s birthday.  We do this because Sean’s life was a gift to us from God.  When we celebrate, we are acknowledging to God that we recognize that He gave Sean to us, and we are grateful to Him.

This past week, my husband and I had lunch with a young man and his wife who are going into ministry.  This young man was friends with Sean.  He told me that he started getting more serious about his relationship with God in High School, and some of that seriousness came about because of Sean’s death.  This young man realized that life on earth is temporal, but there was another life after this one. 

When we celebrate Sean’s life—we are celebrating that there is another life after this one–that Sean is in this other life–and he is cheering us on in the race that we are all in–in this life–

Heb 12:1

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Heb 12:2

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Sean is in that great cloud of witnesses, cheering us on.  

 Our loved ones who have run their races of faith here on this earth, are part of that great cloud of witnesses, cheering us on in our races.  

They have not forgotten us, and are rooting for us here on this earth.  In remembering our departed loved ones  and celebrating their lives, we find encouragement and strength to live for eternity, to fix our eyes on Jesus–and to run with endurance our own marathons of life.

If you have ever run in a marathon, you know how grueling they can be, and how there are many times during the race, one is tempted to give up.  Sometimes a cheer from the crowd, or another runner coming beside you to say, “You can do this, I’ll run this part with you to help you through”, is the encouragement needed to finish the race. My niece had this experience, she was ready to give up, when a 72 year old woman told her to run alongside of her and my niece said that is why she was able to finish her race. 

I write, to give voice to the ones cheering us on, and to encourage us all on our races–because even if you have not run a Marathon–you and I are in the Marathon of life!!

 Happy Birthday Sean!!  We celebrate your life!!

Thank you for cheering us on!!

We Are Encouraged!!

12 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Sean James!!

  1. I love remembering Sean- imaging his life now, etc. I thought about him yesterday as I watched my 17 year old blonde 3rd born son get something from the fridge. He made me think of Sean for some reason. I remember touching Sean’s muscular arm in the hospital after his accident & thanking God for the 16 plus years He had Sean on this earth.💕 What a gift he was! And he’ll forever be missed. Love you Katie!

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  2. Your willingness to share your pain and joy is a true encouragement, my friend. To have loved and lost that loved one gives us a greater understanding of what real life is, and what real love is. God gave you Sean for a time, and you gave him back, knowing you’d see him again. I love how your niece was encouraged by that older woman who saw her and ministered to her during a rough part of her race. We need each other to encourage one another to keep going. It isn’t going to get easier.

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  3. Thank you Dayle for all your sweet words. I love the story about my niece being encouraged by the 72 year old woman too!! My niece told me that she was actually doing a triathalon, and after swimming a mile in open water, (and almost drowning), then biking, then running–she came to a really big hill, and she thought, “I can’t do this, I’m going to quit, and then along came this 72 year old woman, (I guess their ages were written on their legs), and she said, “Run with me, I do these races all the time, you can do this!” Don’t you just love this story!! Talk about receiving a word of encouragement and help at just the right time!! We really do need each other–and you’re right–it isn’t going to get any easier.


  4. Remembering and celebrating God’s good gift, Sean. I love your ability to express the deep love, sorrow, joy, and hope that are entwined in it, until we join Sean and stand among that great cloud of witnesses!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Keeping our loved ones alive is so honoring to them. Sean would be proud of you for how you handled his early home going. I’m sure he is in the cloud of witnesses cheering you on. I loved how that 72 year old encouraged your niece. Our marathon race on earth is short compared to eternity. Some day this life here will all be over. So looking forward to being home. Bless you, Katie.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for the reminder that our loved ones in heaven are cheering us on! Sean sounds like such a special young man, very much a gift to you, your family, and others who knew him.

    Liked by 1 person

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