NAMI Walk 2007

May 21st, 2007 Posted in Free Form | No Comments »

Thanks so much to everyone that participated in the NAMI walk this year, and of course to those that made donations. We had a devoted team of 25 members that were not deterred by all the rain. NAMI is a wonderful organization and I’m proud to walk in Cailean’s memory every year.

Dexter is getting smarter and smarter and recently he understood that Cailean died. Tonight, while I was giving him and Chase a bath, he said, “Mom, Chase never got to meet Cailean.” Its a concept that I am very aware of, but Dexter has promised me that he will help teach Chase all about his Uncle KK.


May 14th, 2007 Posted in Free Form | Comments Off

It is hard to acknowledge the fact that Cailean has been gone from us for three years and the days just keep accumulating. Isn’t three years enough? Why does it have to be followed by three years and a month and then three years and two months, ever onward, ever worse. Since I became unemployed in November, I have not visited this site very often because I spend much more time at home, and even in his room sometimes, surrounded by his pictures and possessions and his profound absence. It is almost like I am in the website.

Anyway, we were very fortunate indeed to be given such a wonderful son and brother. He was so unique in many ways. almost a higher form of being, devoid of cynicism, eminently loyal and sincere and full of optimism and joy and laughter and beauty and music and talent and all things Boston Celtics. His parents were given title to a near perfect being and, quite simply and painfully, we want him back where he belongs as the center of our universe. Nothing else is acceptable. John/ Dad MAY 2007

May 13th, 2007 Posted in Free Form | Comments Off


May 12th, 2007 Posted in Free Form | Comments Off

“And can it be that in a world so full and busy, the loss of one creature makes a void in any heart, so wide and deep that nothing but the width and depth of eternity can fill it up? These words were written by Charles Dickens many years ago; they are words that echo the feelings that we all share today.

Cailean did experience a boy’s life, much of it very happy as evidenced by our treasured memories and photographs. In one sense he did live a man’s life. Living with Neurological Lyme disease exposed him to horrendous experiences and procedures which eventually shattered his spirit. We can only imagine what he would have been as a man – still a much loved son, brother, relative, and friend and most probably a wonderful husband and father.

Thank you all for continuing to remember and honor Cailean Walker Sheeran – Maureen Sheeran

NAMI Walk 2007

Apr 11th, 2007 Posted in Free Form | Comments Off

Hi Everyone,
Its that time of year again…the NAMI walk is quickly approaching. Its hard for me to believe that this will mark 3 years since Cailean died. The walk is on May 19th and we will have a bbq after. Below is a link to join the team. Please don’t worry about racking up the donations, its just nice to get everyone together. Please pass on the invitation to come walk to anyone you know that may be interested.


If Only In My Dreams, If Only In My Heart

Dec 24th, 2006 Posted in Free Form | Comments Off

Appropriate words escape me this holiday season and so I will turn to words of a song to convey the emotions I feel –
Life is a book that we study.
Some of its leaves bring a sigh.
There it was written, my Buddy,
that we must part, you and I…

Nights are long since you went away.
I think about you all through the day,
My buddy, my buddy,
Nobody quite so true.
Miss your voice, the touch of your hand-
Just long to know that you understand,
My buddy, my buddy,
Your buddy misses you.

Buddies through all of the days.
Buddies when something went wrong.
I wait alone through the gray days,
missing your smile and your song…

Nights are long since you went away.
I think about you all through the day
My buddy, my buddy,
Nobody quite so true.
Miss your voice, the touch of your hand-
Just long to know that you understand,
My buddy, my buddy,
Your buddy misses you.

To be honest, it has been a difficult and challenging year. We continue to be ever grateful to family and friends (as one very good one recently said, ?chosen family?) who continue to remember our Cailean and reach out to us with love and support. Many thanks to all those who came to Boston to participate in the May NAMI Walk ? as I?ve already stated – you came to honor Cailean – what a tribute! We hope you, and even more, will join us for this event on May 19, 2007.

Cailean will be home for Christmas this year- if only in my dreams, if only in my heart. Merry Christmas, Cailean – Love forever and a day, Mom


Sep 11th, 2006 Posted in Family Posted | Comments Off

By Anderson and Weill

?Oh, it?s a long, long while from May to December
But the days grow short when you reach September
When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame
One hasn?t got time for the waiting game

Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious few
September, November
And these few precious days I?ll spend with you
These precious days I?ll spend with you.?

SEPTEMBER ? This month was once a time of excitement and anticipation for us – shopping for school clothes and supplies, posing for the first day of school photographs before heading down to the bus stop, rushing out to pick up those few elusive supplies still needed, the official school photographs?.(I still remember Cailean posing with his arms around Brittany and Mariel in the Garrison School courtyard and a friend exclaiming ?What a very nice family!? . I so treasure the photograph that captures this moment.)

And then, in 2000, it was a tragic month as we suffered through the painful last days and the death of our father and grandfather on September 21 (The words of ?September Song? quoted above were from his favorite song played by Mantovani).

And, then just short of a year later, the horrific events of September 11, 2001. I still remember sitting with Cailean after I returned from teaching second grade that day. He related how he heard about what had happened while he was at school; we stayed up late that night watching and discussing what was being shown on television that evening. He was a very sensitive boy and, needless to say, that day greatly affected him.

I continue to measure time ? before and after May 12, 2004. Who ever would have ever surmised on September 11, 2001 the hell that Cailean would have had to endure? Just last night we were watching a wonderful documentary entitled ?Winged Migration?. It told the sacrifice and endurance of many breeds of birds that migrate each year. One short segment showed the World Trade Centers in the background of New York City; I immediately thought that Cailean was alive and truly enjoying life when that brief moment was filmed. In a metaphoric way, I also thought, hoped, and have to continue to trust, that Cailean has also moved on to a safe and peaceful place.

And life does indeed go on?Dexter will start pre-school tomorrow wearing his new brown shoes. Our hopes and wishes for a wonderful school year go with him. We all look forward to the birth of his new brother or sister come the end of January!

Thanks to all who continue to love, remember, and honor Cailean. Maureen

The Two Walkers Prevail

Jun 20th, 2006 Posted in Family Posted, Free Form | Comments Off

It is now one moment before midnight on Cailean’s 20th birthday, and as John has hoped, Miami with Walker , as a key player has won! All the angels in heaven, with Cailean as their point guard, are celebrating!


Jun 20th, 2006 Posted in Free Form | Comments Off

As his teenage years progressed, Cailean and I shared a mutual love of all things Boston Celtics and also the many joys of playing and watching basketball. It is very unsettling to watch another NBA playoffs without him. This year’s Miami’s team has become “our team” of choice because Cailean Walker’s favorite player – Antoine Walker – is in the finals, even if not with our beloved Celtics. It occurred to me the other night that Miami and Antoine and Cailean might actually celebrate a championship if they can win today on the evening of his 20th birthday. I will try to be stoic regardless of the results but do hope the 2 “WALKERS” prevail.
Two years ago on May 12, I drove home from work after a troubling day due to the tragic death of Nicholas Berg in Iraq. As the car went up our driveway into the woods, I looked up and saw our basketball hoop. It was then that I said to myself “oh good, Buddy and I can play some hoops ” – just before I rounded the bend and saw the 12 cop cars with their lights flashing. This evening I will watch the game on tv but my heart and mind and hopes and disappointments will first rest on that lonely hoop in the driveway where the real games took place. If only we could be out there again. love, DAD. 6/20/06

Third Birthday in Heaven – Cailean at Twenty

Jun 20th, 2006 Posted in Free Form | Comments Off

Today would have been a milestone for Cailean – he would have turned twenty. I often try to picture how he would look at this age. His friends have all matured and developed into wonderful adults over the past two years. Cailean would have been so handsome and would have been a remarkable young man.

I bought a birthday card for Cailean yesterday, wrote him a letter, and left it in a special place. I also sang an off key version of “Happy Birthday”, (including my father’s last line); I trust that Cailean was there to share and, perhaps, laugh at that moment. One of my messages that I included in my note to him was that hope is what is getting me through these very tough times. I’ve recently come upon a few quotes on this topic – their authors are unknown: “Hope is grief’s best music.” “Grief is the price we pay for love.” We are all grieving today for Cailean Walker Sheeran.

Happy Birthday, Cailean. Love forever and a day, Mom

Cailean’s Memorial Ad

Jun 12th, 2006 Posted in Free Form, Pictures | Comments Off


May 25th, 2006 Posted in Free Form | Comments Off

I have not been able to decide when i wanted to write about Cailean. His June birthday and the two dates in May for the second anniversary of his passing and our newly annualized Boston memorial walk/ weekend all meld together . There simply are too many tragic ideas and feelings which pertain and overwhelm. The memorial walk/ weekend at least has the partial uplift of knowing that people felt compelled to attend and did so even though they lived in putnam county, n.y. and las vegas and manhattan and staten island and long island, etc. everything else is on the downslope.

I will end this message with a brief story which happened about 2 months ago. We went to Boston on the weekend that Mariel and Matt and Dexter moved to their new apartment in Watertown. Dexter and I went looking for a supermarket and walked about 8 or 10 extrememly cold blocks in the process. We went into a Middle Eastern bakery hoping to find something resembling Italian cookies. The place was rather large and had numerous aisles full of uninviting exotic foods but no Italian anything. Dexter kept running and laughing from aisle to aisle as I followed him while looking for something to buy. . At some point I realized that I did not know whether he had just made a right or a left turn. I began to run and as I did, I yelled out “Cailean, Cailean, where are you?”. As I rounded the corner, I saw Dexter. Sadly, my inadvertant call to the wrong boy symbolizes our ever- continuing search for someone who cannot be found by simply running or turning left or right or both. There is no aisle or bakery or cookies or Italian food or a walk to the store or any weekend whether in Boston or elsewhere that can be shared with Cailean. There is no one to run after. John/ Dad. 5/25/06.

My day…

May 12th, 2006 Posted in Free Form | Comments Off

I was lucky enough to be able to take the day off today and spend time at the park with Dexter. I couldn’t think of anything better to help me get through today. I try not to dread this day, but rather I make myself take a break from the daily grind and appreciate everything and everyone that I have. Cailean… wherever you are…I love and miss you.~Mariel

Cailean, Our Gift

May 11th, 2006 Posted in Free Form | Comments Off

It is hard to believe that we have been without Cailean for two years now. There are no words which could describe the void that we feel ? some days are better than others and we can sometimes enjoy good times along with the tears. I belong to a bereavement group – the saddest one of all – one that only includes parents who have lost children. Sharing our grief, tears, stories, memories and, yes, even sometimes laughter, – our collective experiences have brought me to the conclusion that it is true what they say ? that God only chooses the most special children ? that those who have been taken away way too early were those who gave far beyond their years. Each, in his or her own way, was quite extraordinary and has left a remarkable legacy behind. Rather than focusing on what we have lost, I?m now trying to concentrate on the gift we were given for seventeen years and will forever honor the very special and noble person Cailean Walker Sheeran was.

May is, I have just discovered, Lyme Disease Awareness Month. We would appreciate it if everybody would use any and all possible situations to make others aware of how devastating this illness really is. We also hope to continue our public awareness efforts so that no other child or person has to endure the agony Cailean experienced.

?To live in the hearts of those you leave behind is never to die?. The validity of this quotation was evidenced last Saturday when fifty people and one dog came by train, plane, automobile, and boat to participate in the NAMI Walk up in Boston. They came for Cailean? they came to honor him ?and I firmly believe that Cailean was also there in spirit. We know that there are many, many others who would have joined us, if at all possible. As I have said in the past, ?What Cailean meant to you, you meant to him?. Thank you all for continuing to honor his memory. The grace of family and friends has certainly helped us and we continue to be ever grateful.

Maureen Sheeran

NAMI Walk 2006

May 6th, 2006 Posted in Family Posted, Free Form, Pictures | 1 Comment »

Hi Mariel,

What a day Saturday! I just wanted to extend a huge thank you for all that you and your family have done for the Walk. I can only imagine what the day means for you and your family. We appreciate your support and hope you can find support in the Walk and in NAMI. You all are amazing, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Thank you, and let us know if we can help in any way. Hope to see you in 2007!

Thanks again and take care,

Stephany Melton
Director of Affiliate Development
National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts (NAMI-MA)
400 West Cummings Park Suite 6650
Woburn, MA 01801

Below’s a message from my father expressing our gratitude to everyone
involved in walking and supporting our team for this year’s NAMI walk.
Everyone worked very hard and it all paid off. NAMI is a wonderful
organization and they were so happy to see our team participate again.
Our team raised over $3300 and had 50 walkers. All the funds and public
awareness raised will help NAMI achieve their goals to fight the stigma
that surrounds mental illness, to build awareness of the fact that the
mental health system in this country needs to be improved and to raise
funds for NAMI so that they can continue their mission.

Cailean struggled and fought so hard. His days were not easy; getting
throught the teenage years is a hard enough task and I get overwhelmed
trying to imagine everything else he had to endure. His illness was
very isolating and often made it difficult for him to see that people
were standing by him trying to find ways to help. It was so nice to
see all of his friends and family get together this weekend. Cailean
had a great sense of humor and loved to joke around, but he was always a
very sensitive, sincere, and compassionate person. I know he would be
touched to see this year’s team. The day that I gave birth to Dexter he
told me he was proud of me and it meant so much. Even 2 years after his
death I find myself being prouder and prouder of him. I am so proud to
say that he is my brother and that his life, and now death have impacted
so many people.

Thank you for all of your support.



Dr. Fallon Acknowledgements

Apr 21st, 2006 Posted in Free Form | Comments Off

I was checking in on Dr. Brian Fallon’s website as I do from time to time to see if they have any news. I wanted to let everyone who’s helped raise and donate money for their research that they’ve acknowledged us on the website.
Thanks for all the support.

NAMI Walk Update

Apr 19th, 2006 Posted in Free Form | Comments Off

Hi Everyone,

The walk is a little over two weeks away. It looks like we’re going to have a nice big group; I’m sure Cailean would be touched to know so many people were getting together to honor his memory.

I’m expecting to have a group between 40-50 people. I’m trying to keep track so that we can plan accordingly. If you have heard that any people that should be added or removed (including if people are bringing children) please let me know. I’ve reserved picnic tables and grills at a park that is close to the walk and my house for a bbq afterwards. There are tennis and basketball courts as well as a soccer field if people would like to bring stuff to play.
I’ll be sending out another email soon with directions, etc.

If anyone still needs help with arrangement please get in touch–we’d be happy to help.

Look forward to seeing you all soon,

NAMI Walk 2006

Mar 22nd, 2006 Posted in Free Form | Comments Off

Hi Everyone,

March is quickly coming to a close and before we know it May will be here. Almost 2 years later and I miss Cailean more each day.

This year’s NAMI walk is on May 6th. I have already started a team page and invite everyone to join. Don’t worry about getting donations; lets just concentrate on having a nice day where as many of Cailean’s friends and family can get together and do something special in his memory.

Here’s the link to the team page:

The walk starts at 11am and we’ll plan on a bbq at our place afterwards.

Get in touch if you have any questions or need help with the registration. If you know someone that I didn’t send this email to that would like to join please forward this message. I don’t think I have everyone’s email addresses.


The Little Things…

Feb 27th, 2006 Posted in Free Form | No Comments »

A day hasn’t gone by when I don’t think about Cailean and yet some days are easier than others. I see his pictures throughout my house and they make me happy and don’t upset me. I come to this website and again I am happy by all the postings. They all make me feel close to him.

Its the all the little things in life that catch me off guard and make me upset because they’re unexpected. A few days ago at work I was sitting at a computer and saw a cd sitting upside down on it. Out of curiosity I picked it up to see what someone else had been listening to not expecting it to be a cd that I had lost a year ago when I started working here. I turned it over and was immediately upset by the sight of Cailean’s handwriting. It was Coldplay’s cd Parachutes that he had copied for me years ago. A person’s handwriting is such a tiny part of their everyday life and yet the sight of it felt so personal and real.

Thanksgiving, 2005

Nov 19th, 2005 Posted in Family Posted | 1 Comment »

It has been many months since I have written on this site; however, I probably visit it almost daily. Cailean continues to be the first and last thought of each day as well as most moments in between. And that is the way it should be. The hardest moments are those I experience when I have the occasional dream in which Cailean is alive and well and laughing and giving joy to all. And then reality hits and I have to get through another day with just his memory. There are so many reminders, sentimental, some even silly, but all heart wrenching, of how he enriched our lives. The numbness is somehow wearing off, the finality is setting in, we are trying to be stoic?.

That leads me to what I would like to write about today. November is the month in which we give thanks; I would like to use this opportunity to express gratitude to family, friends, and even a few strangers, whose kindnesses have helped us over the past few months:
? to those who sent cards, flowers, telephone messages, and heartwarming wishes on May 12th, our saddest of anniversaries
? to those who joined us on the NAMI Walk up in Boston on May 14th. We had been overwhelmed by the wonderful response to the Sharing Sheeran CD and the Heart and Show Talent and really did not publicize this benefit locally. I will never, ever, forget receiving the message that some of Cailean?s friends had heard about the event and were planning on traveling up to Boston very early that Saturday morning to join us in the walk.
? to Mariel, who organized the event (and received several awards for our group?s efforts), Matt, and Dexter for hosting the after walk barbeque, etc.
? to Brittany and Pam for their hospitality that weekend as well
? to those who joined us for the event ? Betsy, Charlie, Kristin, Kaitlin, Carissa, Tyler, Justin, Becca, Bernadette, Jen, Raquel, Pam, Christine, John B., and Cailean?s friends – Alex, Bobby, Travis, Cathy, Rebecca, Aileen, Brittany O., Kay, Richie, ?? and to those who wanted to be there but could not.
? to the eighth graders of Garrison School who dedicated their 2005 yearbook to me. As I told them, I believe Cailean would have been very proud.
? to those who have sent in, and continue to send in, donations for the Sharing Sheeran CD. Dr. Fallon is amazed at the legacy Cailean left and at the outpouring of kind thoughts and donations he has received from all.
? to Father Shane of St Mary?s Episcopal Church in the Highlands for somehow allowing a cross with Cailean?s name to be placed among all those for war veterans on the lawn of his church the week of Memorial Day. (I think our son would have laughed at the irony of this, but I have to also add that, in his own way, he fought valiantly but lost his battle in a terrible war against Neurological Lyme disease.) Also, thanks to Father Shane, for including Cailean in the November 6th Remembrance Service at St. Mary?s. When his picture was shown on a large screen during the service, at first I could only think of how beautiful he looked. (Yes, I will again mention how his art teacher once described him as the Gwyneth Paltrow of boys/men.)
? to Cathy, Alex, and Ryan who remembered Cailean and us when they attended a Dave Matthews concert on Randall?s Island. They spoke to Mike Doughty who was the opening act for the DMB. Cailean really appreciated Mike and his earlier band, Soul Coughing. Mike autographed several items for us. Coincidentally, he was a performer at the Austin City Limits Festival we attended in Austin in September. While I was not able to hear him sing, I did buy (and really enjoy) his CD in Cailean?s honor. (I did get a chance to see the Coldplay concert – I was touched by the singing of ?Yellow?, the song dedicated to our son at the April Heart and Soul Talent Show, and how much Cailean did look like Chris Martin).

A look ahead to the future – there will be another NAMI Walk up in Boston on May 6, 2006. There are also plans underway for a bicycle trip in the spring to raise money in Cailean?s honor for Neurological Lyme disease.

I think John, in ?My Austin Texas Buddy?, rather eloquently expressed what we continue to experience ? the sad task of having to live with only memories of our son. The trip to Texas was just full of remembrances – mine a bit different than his- picturing Cailean sitting on the deck of the Oasis, standing in front of The County Line next to a large cutout of John Wayne, having fun in the pool and hot tub at the hotel, enjoying the breakfast buffet, making numerous trips to the music and guitar stores, playing miniature golf, enjoying his king size bed ?.Memories of so many happier times are what we are left with now, although we have to believe that Cailean?s spirit is still with us and we will see him again – that is the only thing that is getting us through.

We just learned that a very good friend, John Moore, died suddenly in his sleep on November 17. We had just spent a wonderful family and business weekend with him up in Boston – in a way, it?s a bit consoling to know that he had such a good and happy last weekend. My last memory of him was at a cocktail reception at Clery?s ?he looked so happy and pleased with the event. John Moore had been to Austin a couple of times with John. My first experience with John Moore in Austin was this past March ? I can still remember our pedi-cab race back to our hotel and how he thrived on the music and culture of the city. Now, there are two Austin Texas Buddies up in heaven and I can only hope that they are comparing notes.

Thanks to you all for continuing to join us in honoring Cailean?s memory. Please plan on joining us in next May?s NAMI Walk and/or, hopefully, the bicycle ride.

Love to all, Maureen