Wednesday, July 29, 2009

In Memoriam: Sean Patrick O'Reilly, beloved Seattle wedding officiant & friend

Special thanks to my friend Gayle O'Donnell for the majority of this posting today.

All of us in the Seattle wedding community are mourning the loss of Sean Patrick O'Reilly. Word of Sean's sudden death from a brain aneurysm started getting out Sunday in the close-knit wedding network here, and the reactions of all who hear it are shock and disbelief.

I first met Sean several years ago when a lovely couple of ours selected him as their officiant. He later went on to officiate many weddings and even a beautiful baby Christening that we had the pleasure of being part of. During those years, Sean and I spent lots of time discussing my daughter's sudden death at age 7 - also of a brain aneurysm. Sean wrote a special poem for Kelsey and always signed his emails to me with the note: 'Remember the angels, they are always nearby'. How true that statement feels today.

With his amazing personality, genuine loving spirit, tender and loving heart and brilliant character, is it any wonder he won the Vendors' Choice award several years running for Seattle Bride Magazine's "Best of" awards in the Best Officiant category.

Sometimes things happen that make all of us question "WHY?", and the loss of Sean Patrick O'Reilly is certainly one of those times. He had so many friends, all of whom felt like they were his only friend. He radiated warmth and love. Heaven has a new angel in residence, but we will certainly miss him here. Our love and prayers go out to his beloved partner, David Skover, who has shared Sean's companionship for so long, and will certainly feel a void larger than any of us can ever know.

Peace be with you Sean "The Celt" O'Reilly as you begin your too early but well deserved rest.

I pray that you will have the blessing of being consoled and sure about your own death.
May you know in your soul that there is no need to be afraid.
When your time comes, may you be given every blessing and shelter that you need.
May there be a beautiful welcome for you in the home that you are going to.
You are not going somewhere strange.
You are going back to the home that you never left.
May you have a wonderful urgency to live your life to the full.
May you live compassionately and creatively and transfigure everything that is negative within you and about you.
When you come to die may it be after a long life.
May you be peaceful and happy and in the presence of those who really care for you.
May your going be sheltered and your welcome assured.
May your soul smile in the embrace of your anam cara (soul friend).


Edit 1 Media said...

Jody, that was a beautiful post. I didn't know about your daughter. It's interesting that you became close to Sean and he died from the same thing. I'm sure he is taking care of her right now.

It still hasn't hit me yet....seems surreal especially since we are finishing up an edit where he was the officiant and I just saw him two weeks ago. Of course he had a big smile and hug for me. I'm going to miss him a lot!

Nicole B said...

My husband Mark and I had the pleasure of knowing Sean for such a short time. We first met Sean in his office downtown last Summer and there was an immediate connection! We later met David over dinner and drinks and the night we started planning our unique and memorable wedding. The ironic thing about all of this for us is that Sean would never have been a part of our special day had we not moved our wedding date from August to May. We are so fortunate to have known Sean in his too short of a life. We will miss him so much but have comfort in knowing he lives on in all of us in spirit.
Nicole & Mark Buisson