Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday, September 25, 2017. 

On Friday morning during a hike with a friend and our dogs, the conversation drifted towards what it means to live with gratefulness and to not take people for granted. I carried those thoughts with me throughout the day, wondering yet again, how to best convey what is of value and worthiness to my sons, so they can build their journeys in a way that matters. Not just to themselves, but to those they love and are loved by, as well as to countless others they can help along the way. Because that’s what makes everything worthwhile. Because life is not a solitary, selfish pursuit.

Friday night came with the heartbreaking news of Christopher Seguin’s sudden passing. He was an active, wholehearted presence in our community, but most of all, he was known as a loving husband and father to two young sons.

The sad news touched me deeply as I have lived through the sudden death of my loved ones. I remember feeling guilty for looking at the blue sky and for being able to smell flowers and wake up to another day. I was angry for all that was taken away from me too soon, and too suddenly. It was hard to make sense of something that was senseless, unchangeable, and yet a part of life.

In losing many loved ones starting from an early age, I have grown into someone who does not value things (to a fault, really,) but time and presence. I grieved for my children losing their maternal grandparents before they had a chance to build enough or any memories with them. I grieved for all the things I wanted to share with my parents about my life as an adult, and as a parent myself.

Healing meant passing on the stories my parents once told me, going back to those words of wisdom heard over many a cup of coffee and long-drawn dinners, and sharing that with my sons, in hope to keep their grandparents’ presence palpable.

Without being a fatalist, I often remind myself and my family that what we have is now. We can guess about tomorrow, but we do not have much of it in our grasp. That we do not is not discouraging but reinforcing the fact that making every moment count is what matters in the end. There is no telling when that last day comes.

We find healing through honouring our loved ones’ legacies and making them an integral part of our lives. A mesh of sorts that carries adversity, courage, kindness, humbleness, heartbreak, joy, and resilience. A mesh we inherit, add to, pass on, and thus contribute to that big picture we know nothing of when we first arrive and we marvel at during our journey.

Christopher Seguin’s legacy is one that much can be built on. He helped many through his hard work and dedication, he lent his time, energy, and heart to many causes, and he left a most beautiful and indelible mark on this world through the love for his family.

In a beautiful message to his son from the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro he said ‘It is adversity that evolves us… It is through carrying the heavy loads that we grow stronger, and it is only through solving the world’s problems that we grow smarter…’. He contributed a lot to solving some of the world’ problems by helping many in the community and beyond, and now his legacy inspires all of us to continue his good work.

Rest in peace, Christopher Seguin. Thank you for being a big heart in this community. You are a role model Kamloops is fortunate to have had and to continue to learn from.

Please consider contributing to a trust fund account for his two young sons at any Kamloops CIBC branch.