Dear Beal family,
As members of the Gilson Seminar, we write to you today as we remember and hold close to our hearts the memories and friendship that Shane shared with us all. Reflecting on a year without his presence, we continue to feel an absence in our community as we continue to create new memories together. In short, we miss him.
We also continue to carry tremendous gratitude for the ways in which Shane has touched our lives. We fondly remember the small moments with him, such as walking with him between classes, running into him at a cafe on campus as he would be reading or writing intensely, and other times we spent in each other's company. We of course keep close our memories together in Rome as well.
Since his passing, many of us have been reminiscing and have also created small ways to keep his memory alive. Just to name a few: 
● Whenever I (Maryrose) leave the Kelly library with books in my hand and feel tempted to flip through them while I walk, I think of Shane just going at full speed while reading.
● Whenever I (Aloysius) order coffee or pass by at Ned's Cafe on campus, I choose the bird-friendly blend and remember the times I'd see him studying there on occasion, coffee in hand.
● Whenever I (Mateo) want to make good use of my mornings, I remember Shane’s dedication to being well-caffeinated and fully awake before rushing onto the next task at hand.
● Whenever I (Sabrina) walk through Sid’s Cafe at UofT, I remember the times I’d run into Shane between classes and how I’d learn something new every time we spoke. 
● Whenever I (Nicholas) get caught in the rain, I remember the first day in Rome when I forgot an umbrella. I was being drenched, but Shane graciously offered to share his umbrella. A small act that reminds me of his kind and caring character. 
● Whenever I (Joshua) walk past St. Basil’s front doors, I think of the Easter Vigil when Shane came to join me and my family in the Easter celebrations beginning at the Easter fire on the steps of the parish. This encourages me to be spontaneous in my faith as Shane was, and to never allow anything to get between me and God. 
● Whenever I (Leighton) reflect on my time in Rome, I am reminded of Shane and how he shaped my experience. All of my fondest memories in Italy somehow involve Shane. In fact, I can say with absolute certainty that the trip would not have been the same without him. One night, Shane and I stayed up until dawn sharing anecdotes on the balcony overlooking the lake. I would not trade those few precious hours for anything. The scenery was magnificent; however, the beautiful view was transcended by the companionship Shane provided. I will always remember that serene night and how it permanently bonded us together. 
● Whenever I (Emily) see a copy of The Mike, I think of Shane’s commitment to delivering and contributing to the student newspaper - of him painstakingly getting each issue out around campus, of his constant willingness to help out a fellow Gilsonian looking to find writers for their section. His work with The Mike was one of the many indicators of his infectious enthusiasm for sharing ideas through writing, but also of his enduring kindness in assisting those around him. 
● Whenever I (Michelle) walk through the stacks of the Kelly Library I always feel like I see him. I used to almost always catch him in the stacks when I’d come for a few hours. I’d always see him pushing the trolley full of books, plugged in listening to music. He’d always smile at me and carry on placing them where they belong. 
These are just a few memories we will hold in our hearts forever as friends of Shane. We are so grateful to have known him and we will always cherish what he taught us. We would also like to wish you good health and safety throughout the pandemic, and we send you love from our Gilson family to yours. 
Warm regards,
The Inaugural Gilson Seminar
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