“No person is a means to get to the end, every person is the end.” – David Theriault
It’s quite astonishing how one person can have such an effect on a community. As students, we feel like the only thing we have an effect on is our report card, but in reality, we’re worth much more. Last Friday, a bike accident took the life of a classmate of mine, Sean Severson.
Today is Sean’s 16th birthday.
I never knew Sean. In fact, in a high school of about 5,000 students, it’s easy to not be acquainted with someone. I knew of Sean for the first time by reading a Facebook post about the accident. The accident hit close to home, because it could’ve easily happened to any other bike rider. My uncle is a bike rider, what if it happened to him?
But why Sean?
Sean was only 15 at the time of his death, almost 16. He was loved by all his classmates, and teachers, he seemed like he had such a bright and caring personality. It was too soon for Sean. People don’t realize how short life is. I can guarantee that Sean had no idea that riding his bike that day would be the last thing he would ever do…
My school campus is still taking in the effects of the accident. The atmosphere is muted, somber, instead of the bright blue and yellow mascot colors.
I don’t know how to react or what to say or what to feel. I’m just shocked, honestly, speechless.
And my editor asked me to cover the story of the accident for the school paper. But who am I to write about such a tragedy? I don’t know Sean. I feel as though if I don’t write this story correctly, I won’t be doing Sean justice.
When things like this happen, it makes me value life so much more. Life goes by in the blink of an eye, literally. Imagine if you were to die the next day, would you have regrets? Regrets about not spending enough time with your family? Regrets for not speaking up? Regrets for just studying too much? In regards to the quote at the beginning of this quote, my English teacher stated it. He explains that life isn’t about preparing for the future, preparing for the end. People aren’t made to just prepare and prepare and prepare for an unknown future. Parents can’t protect their children forever. Every day, each person, they are the end. Which is why people must start living as if it were the end. I realize that I see way too many classmates, close friends spend all their energy and time into school. School is education, and yes it is valuable. But what is more valuable than joy? I highly doubt staying up all night is joy. But why do people do it? To get an A on their test, and to get one step closer to the university-that-hasn’t-accepted-them-yet.
I don’t regret baking too much at all because it’s what I love to do. And right now, I just want to bake even more because I don’t want to waste every second of it.
Every person is a piece of a bigger picture, my teacher said. To so many people, Sean meant so much to them. And to many people that weren’t close with Sean, he placed an impact on their lives as well.
My teacher displayed a poem about passing on, and how every human is part of a larger continent. He asked us to reflect on the poem. And all I could do was think.
I realize that people are so connected to each other in more ways that the mind can comprehend.
Happy Birthday Sean. I don’t know you, and I regret this, but I never will. From what I’ve seen and read, so many people loved you. I know you’ve heard this so many times before, but it was a shame for you to go, I’m sorry. You had such a life to live. You were full of life yourself. But maybe someone up there needed you. And now, you’re helping so many other lives with your organs. Thank you Sean, for what you’ve done. For all of us, we realized the beauty and the rapid pace of life.
The end for Sean happened too early on in the novel. Did Sean do everything he wanted to do?
The end is more important the future. The future is unknown, it can be changed. But when it’s done, it’s good and over. When the end does happen, hopefully it comes at the right time, when everything you’ve ever wanted to do, is complete.
Please help Sean’s family through this difficult time by donating to this fund, run by their church: http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/15-year-old-sean-severson-forever-in-our-hearts/154507
Rest in peace Sean. Rest now that you’ve helped so many people. I hope it’s happy and wonderful up there for you.