Last Friday, Sean Severson passed away due to injuries from a car accident while riding his bike to school. He attended the same high school as me and was in the same grade. He was fifteen years old. His birthday was four days away.
The news of Sean’s passing was a devastating blow to our community. I didn’t know Sean personally, but I still shared in the sense of loss that pervades every corner of our little town. Sean’s siblings lost their brother; his parents lost their son. His friends lost a part of themselves. Our school lost someone special. Sean’s English teacher, Mr. Schultz, described him as someone who didn’t say much, but he gave much. He “got” life. His brother said that Sean knew how to be happy; he wasn’t afraid to be his own person.
I can’t imagine how those close to Sean are coping with his death, but his friends and family also feel that Sean’s life should be celebrated. A memorial page has been created on Facebook in his honor, and pictures of Sean are posted on a daily basis. It still doesn’t seem real to me. When I see him smiling in those pictures, I can’t believe he’s gone. But I don’t believe that Sean will ever truly leave us. He chose to impact others in such an unforgettable way. Even though he is no longer with us in the same way, he will continue to be here.
Today is Tuesday, March 25th, Sean’s 16th birthday. His friends have flooded his Facebook wall with birthday posts. His parents have informed us that his organs will be donated so that others may live on, through him. Wherever you are now, Sean, I hope you’re still happy. I know that you’re still smiling. Your spirit lives on.