This weekend brings what would be Seth’s 45th birthday (and his second in Heaven). I can’t help but reflect on the amazing person he was and still continues to be, even though he is no longer physically with us. I recently attended a Celebration of Life for a colleague of mine and was struck by how many times the word ‘impact’ was mentioned during her eulogy. And it brought back a flood of emotions and memories that I have of the amazing things that people said about Seth after he died. And everyone kept using that same word…impact.

So many people have told me that there is just no one like Seth. I couldn’t agree more. There was just a way about him. He was always quick with a smile, a compliment, a joke and a ‘Have a great day!’ He got excited about the little things. He loved the simple beauty of everyday life and loved getting to know new people. Loved to learn about them and hear their stories. So many people have told me, “Whenever Seth would talk to me, he would make me feel like I was the most interesting person in the room.” Always giving you his full attention and excitement over whatever the story at hand was about.

Don’t get me wrong, he still had his bad days and had his struggles as we all do. But they didn’t bring him down for long. And nothing could overshadow how a beautiful sunrise could start his day with a smile. Or how a thunderstorm could give him goosebumps. Or how he would stop and take a picture of a beautiful flower. Or how important it was to spend time with family and make us feel loved and happy. He wanted nothing more than to help others and make them feel happy.

As his uncle said in his eulogy:

“Few people can truly make me laugh. And when I mean laugh, I don’t mean a polite chuckle or LOL. I mean laughter where your eyes are watering and you’re grasping for breath.  A laughter that brings you to a point of joyous nirvana that you never want to end…and you’d realize his storytelling was funnier than the story itself. He connected with people. He did so through his stories, through his humor and his ability to see through the eyes of others and his empathy to the situation at hand.”

While his time with us was way too short, his impact was lasting, and I know he continues to fulfill his impact here on Earth through the actions of others. I see it and feel it in the big smiles and hugs I get from the people who loved him. In the stories and memories that I continue to hear from people who were lucky enough to feel his impact, even if just after one interaction. I feel his humor in the funny or sweet texts and messages that I get at the most unexpected times from friends. And in the funny stories I hear other people tell that makes me belly laugh. And in the endless humor, love and hugs that I get from our two sweet kids.

I’m always reminded that he is still here with us. Reaching out through others who continue to warm my heart doing things I know Seth would be doing if he was still here.

And it hit me hard that with all these great compliments and stories about him, Seth never got to hear them while he was here on earth. So, I often wonder, why does it take us losing someone to talk about their impact and why don’t we tell people how much they mean to us while they are still with us?

Since Seth passed away, I’ve made it a goal to always tell people how I feel about them and the impact they have made on me. To tell them while they are here, while they can feel it and know it. And I hope it can help them to feel a little better, happier and more loved. Because that is just what Seth did. He made the world feel a little better. A little happier. A little more loved.

To my dear Seth – as we head into your birthday weekend – I’ll recount the amazing impact you’ve made on all of us, and the one you continue to make.


Dena's life was forever changed on June 25, 2018, when she became suddenly redefined as a widow. A title she never thought she would have, or not have for at least another 40 years or more. Her healthy 43-year-old
husband suddenly and unexpectedly passed away, leaving her shocked, heart shattered and left, at age 41, to raise their precious 5-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter without him. Since gaining this new title, she is continually trying to figure out how to live this new life, and have
leaned into her faith, has focused on being brave, and has taken head on all of the challenges she is now faced with in this new life. Dena is here to share her story as she is living it and to be honest and raw, providing insight into the life of a sudden widow with a full-time career and two young children. Dena learned the importance of what she has gained through living a life well lived with her beloved spouse, and she has been writing what is on her mind and in her heart, everything from the pain of losing a spouse suddenly, to focusing on gratefulness and being brave in this journey. She hopes to give others insight into what this journey looks like and provide thoughts on how she is managing through it all. And hopefully inspire some of her hope sister's along the way.

You can read more and follow me on Instagram @suddenlyredefined or on her Facebook page Suddenly Redefined.