We all lost Shawn in May 2015, just a few months shy of my first son being born. I had never met someone in my entire life that has touched so many people. Shawn was everyone’s best friend and favorite person. No one could ever spend two seconds around him without laughing. He had the ability to make anyone fall in love with his energy, personality, sense of humor, and huge heart. He lived every moment to the fullest and no one ever had more fun than he did. He was the most unique and genuine person I know. Not a moment I spent with him was wasted or in any way dull. Even during the most boring days or most catastrophic life disasters we faced together, he still had the ability to make everyone smile My vocabulary will never be the same after knowing Shawn... and you all know what I mean! The things that came out of his mouth were hilarious and pure gold. I know Shawn considered me one of his dear friends, but I also know he has so, so very many other best friends.. how could he not with such an infectious personality. But for me, I do not make friends easily, I have very, very few. I considered Shawn to be one of the most important people in my life.. one of my only friends and someone I considered family. We spoke nearly every day through video message because he moved far away. We cared so much about how each other’s lives were going and made such an effort to make sure we stayed close. He was going to come to visit in July for my baby shower and was so excited to be part of my baby-to-be’s life... I will make sure he still is in spirit. I named my first born Jackson Shawn in his honor.
With Shawn gone, a part of me died, and losing him hurt in a way I didn’t know existed. I can’t imagine the depth of hurt that the people are feeling who were lucky enough to know him his whole life and get to spend each day with him. I know he loved you all more than words. He lit up every time he spoke of you and I know him coming home to you guys brought him peace. I am so thankful for the time I got to spend with him and will look back on it with nothing but love and good memories. My only comfort right now is that I know he is in Heaven singing duets with Whitney and spending time with his friends and family that passed on. I know every time I hear a Nicki Minaj or Whitney Houston song on the radio, it’s Shawn’s way of saying hey girl hey. I know that he never meant to leave us so soon.. and I know he wouldn’t want us all in miserable amounts of pain.. so I will try to put on my best prom dress for him. Love you, Shawn.
With this fund, my company will provide scholarships to neurodivergent students to achieve their postsecondary goals. This scholarship will be in memorial to my best friend whom I lost to opiates and unmet mental health needs. He was a neurodivergent gay man who loved the arts, especially music. I will support students as his legacy.