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Remember the Dash

Kendall Heaney, our newest contributing writer, is a San Francisco native and resident. She is happy that both her boys were raised in the City she loves so much. Kendall keeps herself busy by crafting and being of service. She lost her beloved son Sean in July 2021.

I had the unfortunate task of having to attend two funerals two days in a row this past week. Funerals are never happy occasions, even less so since losing my son Sean almost three years ago. However, yesterday, during the priest's homily, he said something that struck me. He said that on a tombstone we engrave the date of birth and death to commemorate the person's life. But what about the dash? The in-between. The part of that person's life when they lived. The dash, the life, is the important part. And it's sometimes hard to remember that amidst our sadness and grief.

I will never forget the day my wee Seanie entered this world. My water broke around midnight after we had enjoyed a Mexican dinner a few hours earlier—just as the waiter had promised when we had dinner at that same restaurant nine months before with celebratory ultrasound pictures in hand!

And I will never forget the horror of the day my sweet boy passed suddenly at home with police cars and the fire department in our driveway, later followed by the coroner's van. Those memories are etched in my brain forever.

But what about life? Sean's life. Our life together. I want to remember my chubby little bald baby, who reminded me so much of Charlie Brown in those early months. His little laugh and how infectious it was. Not a belly laugh. More like a secret little laugh between good friends. I want to remember the little boy who never met a bug he didn't like. He was the Wikipedia for anything creepy and crawly before Wikipedia even existed. Or the youngster who went to a birthday party and came home wearing more food than clothes. Or the kid who would add $10 worth of toppings onto $2 worth of frozen yogurt. Or the boy who was eternally the smallest in his class but who had the biggest heart. The young teen who would watch "The Office" or "South Park" and laugh his head off while I made dinner. I want to remember him whenever I hear the strum of a guitar and how he loved watching the Warriors games with his dad. I want to remember the bossy big brother he was to Paddy. And every time he engaged in a debate and how passionate he was over the silliest things. Or when he asked me to make sandwiches so he could pass them out to the homeless. I want to remember how he sucked at hide-and-go-seek and, like the elephant hiding behind the skinniest of trees, he was always in plain sight. The way he made his friends laugh and how his goofiness knew no bounds. How he couldn't hit a baseball to save his life but always cheered on his teammates.

Most of all, I want to remember his kindness. And friendship. And loyalty. His listening ear and his empathy. And I want to shout it from the rooftops for all to hear!

I don't need to remember the dates Sean came into or left this world. Those are in my DNA. I want to remember his life and the way he lived it, the dash in between.

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3 commenti

Kendall, thank you for sharing Sean with us, what a wonderful gift he was/is for your family and the world. He is a beautiful soul.

Mi piace

Oh Kendall I just loved this post. It made me smile reading about sweet Sean and I am so glad you shared the "dash" of his life with us. 💜

Mi piace

Kendall thank you for sharing your memories of your sweet boy🥹 it is a welcomed reminder to remember and cherish the dash 🙏🏻💜

Mi piace
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