Jul. 31, 2021

Shaun Lewis 1991-2021

I did one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do; something I’ve never wanted to do: I went to a child’s funeral (visitation as I won’t go to the actual funeral).

I know what you’re thinking, “he’s 30 years old, he’s not a child.” Technically, you are correct. However, to me, he is still a boy. Shaun is his mother’s child and his father’s child. From one parent to another, our children will always be our child.

I came home from the visitation and reflected on what to say about this young man. I decided to start at the beginning. I knew Sandy (Lewis) Cribb and Bobby Lewis since before they were “Sandy and Bobby.”

(Oh, the stories I could tell, but won’t.)

Within a few years, they became parents, twice, to two very beautiful children, first to Shannon and then to Shaun. My first thought of Shaun was of 1991 and them bringing him home from the hospital. He was so stinking adorable! Such a precious baby.

I reflected on his childhood – always blonde and blue eyes. So blonde, in fact his hair was almost white. His smile; his laughter; his mischievous side that often came out around his cousins; his sister, Shannon, trying to rein in her little brother when he was being a stinker; Shaun as a lanky teenager, then a young man, beginning his first steps into adulthood… driving is father crazy as he tried to be a master carpenter like Bobby… or doing anything that made use of his hands.

Shaun was a smart boy and he liked to use his hands. He may not have been the master carpenter that his father is, but he could still do some things. I can still see him standing there with a crooked smile on his face.

I sat with Sandy and her husband (Bun) for a few minutes. We sat just a few feet away from Shaun as he lay there sleeping, but I couldn’t bring myself to go up there. I couldn’t bear to bring myself to see this… child… Instead, I sat with Sandy for a few minutes, then spoke to his aunt, his uncle(s), grandmother, and a few of his cousins.

He left behind a slew of people, parents, sister, family: including his own children. His own children! Babies having babies… where does the time go?

Before leaving, I expressed to both Sandy, then to Bobby, that I did not like the obituary. It was, as most obituaries go, cold and impersonal. I wanted to write something nice about Shaun and with their consent, I would do just that. I wanted to say something positive about him, to describe and share the Shaun I knew.

Sandy agreed and said she’d like that. I had hoped she would. “The truck just fell on top of him,” she said numbly. “He was trying to fix it…”

Bobby, likewise, agreed concerning my writing something about Shaun. “He died doing what he does best: fixing things… we tried to teach our kids to spread kindness and do things for others… for friends, and that is what he was doing: he was fixing a friend’s truck for him.”

Modern times says we are celebrating a person’s life and not mourning their death. On the contrary, we’re doing both especially when they’re taken from us too soon. Shaun Lewis will be missed and his memory will live on through his family, his children, and his friends, so until we meet again, rest in peace, you precious child.