This site is devoted to sharing pictures, letters and poems of Sean B. He was a young man who loved kindness. He enjoyed giving and receiving love. A gifted poet and writer. He was an amazing chess and card player. Sean showed his love by cooking for family, friends and strangers alike. You may have seen him reading palms on Church St. in Burlington, VT. He touched many lives with his wit, charisma and love of life.
The site is maintained by Sean’ s family. We hope to show that Sean was more than his disease. We hope there will be less stigma and shame with mental illness and addiction. We hope to raise awareness of the dangers of opiates and risk of death from their use.
As anyone reading this can understand, Sean wanted to live. he wanted sobriety. It takes only one moment of weakness with an opiate to cause serious consequences. The message is don’t start. No one intends to grow up to be an addict.
The poems and letters were written, mostly during periods of good health. The writings and posts chronicle his struggles with love, bipolar disorder, addiction and life. Hopefully, what he has left behind will help another to choose life over addiction or at least show more kindness to those struggling with this disease.
SB died at age 27 from an overdose of alcohol and fentanyl, combined with marijuana.
We will miss him forever.
A dear friend gave me this poem when you were 20 or so. At the time the struggles with your illness were seemingly insurmountable. Dotty’s gentle prayers and this poem helped me let go.. just a little…to let you find your own way.
Children by Khalil Gibran
And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, “Speak to us of Children.”
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
This is Sean’s Mom, Kim. It has been a little over 6 months since Sean died. It has been up and down, of course. We (Sean’s Dad ,Brother and I) got though the holidays, not great.. Now it’s his birthday month. My insomnia has returned, the tears are flowing. For some reason this birthday month is harder than I expected. We have had many positive events, a good presentation to community task force with the mayor, the police department, health department, hospital representatives…. Great conversations with elected officials. Even some significant hope of improvement in mental health treatment in our town and in our state.
Maybe because his birthday is so special for our family. A day with many wonderful memories. A few not so great ones. OK that time when Sean was homeless and I met him at a burger place to get him some food, no that one wasn’t great. He was really angry and difficult that night. However, most of the other birthdays were good. He would often rally for birthdays and even some holidays. It wasn’t until later in the spring when the mania would start, then the substance use. That’s when the transition would come, March OK, April not great, May and June horrible. So maybe it’s anticipatory grief?? or maybe I am just really sad to have lost someone so beloved.
Facebook Post August, 2017
want to share my thoughts on Sean Blake…he is unresponsive and the in the hospital. They don’t think he will survive. Sean appeared one day at Psychedelicatessen and I praised him as my savior for doing all the jobs around that no one liked or Thought about doing. We began a mentorship… I soon realized how troubled Sean became under the influence of drugs like heroin and alcohol. He would steal alcohol from me and provide it for others to think he was a cool guy. He created Drama, stole, lied and connived BUT he wanted to be a better person … he ask for redemption and made actual reparations with me and others whom he wronged. During Sean’s time incarcerated, he wrote me letters every few weeks … his attitude was positive and he was always looking to do good and be a productive part of a community. I reluctantly accepted Sean back into my life when he was most recently released from jail but over the last month , he has proven himself to be an honorable and dependable part of our community and someone I can memorialize as a golden child of Love with some dark shadows … please send your Thoughts and Love to this wild and wonderful Soul and his family.. may your journey through the Bardos be enriching Sean. I am glad to have known you and I call you a Friend. blessings.
Sean’s poem and prayer card on exhibit in 2018 . It was hard to donate this poem/artwork as it will not be returned. However, the message is important for our Representatives to hear.
Sean’s speech to the Legislators from the NECC in St. Johnsbury is available on the Instagram site. Sean is the first speaker. he implores the Representatives to do more for mental health and addiction treatment in jail. This was filmed in 2017.