Andrew Colabella Remembers Sean Brown

A few days ago, “06880” reader and RTM member Andrew Colabella shared his memories of Sean Brown, a Staples High School classmate who died a few days earlier. 

Today Andrew follows up with these thoughts:

Grieving is something we all do at some point. We can never picture or imagine how we will grieve. Suddenly, we are put to the test.

Memories spring to mind. They run as tears hit the page. Life flashes before our eyes, filled with memories. “Who was that in this photo?” “Why do I look like that?” And “wow, we were so young.” Bob Seger said it best: “We were young, and we were running against the wind.”

Rebellious but sensible, stubborn but witty, quick yet relaxed. That was Sean.

Do you ever go to a certain place in this bubble of a town, and flash back? Does something that happened 10 or 15 years ago feel like yesterday?

Do you ever remember when time would stand still in a particular moment of life? Sometimes you wish it would be over with. Sometimes you wish it would last longer.

Sean Brown

Last Sunday, a planned 4-hour gathering turned into a 7-hour reunion. Faces looked the same, voices sounded the same, everything seemed the same…but did it? Morgan Brown put together photos of Sean’s childhood. If only time could stand still like photos, Sean would be here. We would have more time with him, would have done more, said more, been together more.

All roads lead to Westport. And the DNA of Westport is spread throughout the world. As Sean’s father Doug made his way to Los Angeles to pick up his son’s ashes and belongings, he ran into people he’d never met, but who knew Sean from Westport.

Andrew Lunt received some of his clothes, fragments of evidence that this soul existed not only on earth, but in our lives. Proof that we are not dreaming of this short but mighty blond-haired, blue-eyed, raspy-voiced character. If only we could wake up from this nightmare of a friend missing.

Old Mill echoes with splashes of water cascading over the tidal gates. A younger generation has become fond of jumping off the gates into the deep pools, where fish tease first-time fisher kids.

Andrew Colabella and Sean Brown fished here. For decades, countless other kids have too.

Ship’s Corner — where kids once stood outside — went from mannequins with clothing samples to sparkling, shimmering interior design pieces.

At night Main Street was alive with kids playing “Manhunt,” chasing each other from roof to roof as police rushed to put their spotlights on us (but never caught us). The stairs to Onion Alley, where we all met while our families were at dinner, is now Bedford Square.

That Sunday, a warm sun and cool wind brought us together at Evan Harding Point. The people we once knew, but may have lost touch with, came together. Some discovered passion and talent, and became chefs. A sustainable engineer traveled from Florida; old lovers came from Colorado and Boston.

That night, we celebrated Sean Douglas Brown. I wish I could end this happily, but it wouldn’t satisfy what we truly wanted. It wouldn’t be the truth.

What I can end on is that our night ended with this group photo. As the sun and celebration came to an end, our souls came together in the light, because of one soul.

Until we meet again.

 

4 responses to “Andrew Colabella Remembers Sean Brown

  1. Vanessa Bradford

    What a wonderful tribute to Sean. Thank you for sharing !

  2. Sharon Paulsen

    Beautifully written!

    I was pulled into this family and friends experience, via this post, although I do not know them.

    Very moving.

    My condolences.

    Thank you.

  3. Mary Cookman Schmerker

    Beautifully and expressively written. A wonderful tribute.

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