A Message to Stephen's friends from his Dad,
posted to Stephen's Facebook site shortly after his passing

The loss of Stephen from our family is truly unbearable, and it’s a loss that has tragically changed our lives forever.  However, I understand that his loss has also had a dramatic effect on many, many other people.  Someone said to me it's like a stone being dropped in a pond.  The family gets the biggest waves, but the ripple effects from the loss of Stephen push out over a wide area, and in this case Stephen’s passing has been hard for hundreds of people. I’ve met and talked at length with all of his closest friends who are devastated by this loss.  Along with messages from his closest friends, I’ve also seen messages from friends I’ve never met.  Maybe some of you never met Stephen in person but still formed a bond while communicating on Facebook.  

Since Steve passed away back on October 9, 2008, I’ve been looking at all the amazing pictures and messages that have been posted from all Stephen’s friends on his personal Facebook website. They mean a great deal to me and my family and I want to thank each one of you for your thoughtful messages and the posting of more than 500 recent pictures of Steve having fun in many, many different locations.  It’s clear to us that Stephen had a very special group of friends to whom he meant a great deal. Here's an example of the type of impact Steve had on the lives of those he knew:

"Steve Dame, the only kid who could make you smile when you
had nothing to smile for, you're the best kid I've ever met and all I
can think to say is....How I wish you were here, man"

I read many posts where friends are asking for signs from Stephen to help comfort you with the knowledge that he is in a better place.  Well maybe in some small way, my writing this message is a sign for you....since we all know if he were able to, Stephen would be checking in with each one of you to make sure you were OK…… It was clear to me from all your messages that Stephen loved to help people, and his help was very important to many of you.

Stephen’s mother, his brother Chris and I were always extremely proud of Stephen, we loved him very much and we always got along great. Stephen was a wonderful, exciting, kind, sensitive, vibrant and special kid as many of his friends were lucky enough to experience first hand.  Stephen lived life to the fullest from his earliest days… Let me assure you all that only met him recently that he had a wonderful childhood with many friends and a very loving family. Over the past couple of years, many of you have seen first hand the great times that Stephen had.  In recognition of the full life Stephen squeezed into his 19 years, we’ve decided to put a quote from Abraham Lincoln on Stephen’s urn that contains his ashes… The quote is “... And in the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.”   I want to thank all of you for helping Stephen put so much life into those years…. 

After Stephen's passing, his cousin Manny heard from all his friends about the fun times and all the activities Stephen had tried in his 19 years… Here’s a small sample of those activities: parasailing with his mom, skateboarding, skim boarding, snowboarding, skiing, snorkeling in Mexico, swimming with sting rays in the Cayman Islands, riding the biggest rides at Disney and other parks, playing soccer, walking along South Beach in Miami, playing youth baseball, playing monopoly with his mom and Chris, jet-skiing, boating, skating on his backyard ice rink with friends, making the Tewksbury HS varsity hockey team as a Freshman, going to HS proms, getting accepted and attending Suffolk University, horseback riding, playing online games and watching movies in his mini-home theater with friends and family, spending countless hours playing with friends in the backyard, swimming with dolphins down at Virginia Beach, playing basketball in the driveway, getting a hockey instructor job, playing on the NE Stars hockey team with Rollie, playing paintball, bowling, wandering around Manhattan, having great summer vacations with his cousins down the Cape, going to pro sporting events, going to Hampton Beach with friends, riding his bmx bike, getting a few hugs from beautiful girls, taking a Caribbean cruise, getting his backyard pool up to 98 degrees before back-flipping in and starting the party, tubing up on Mousam Lake, going to Montreal to watch the Bruins, going to many concerts, fishing, driving his jeep with the top down around town on hot summer days, shopping with his/my Amex card, listening to music, and of course Stephen’s favorite, just hanging out with his amazing friends…(there are probably other things that he did that are best left with me not knowing :-))

After Stephen’s passing,  his cousin Manny actually had a tattoo put on his chest that reads:

 “SJD   Seize the Day”

Mannie told me that’s how he felt Stephen lived his life……

As you all move on with your family, friends, colleges and/or jobs, please think back on what Stephen may have added to your life and then consider his legacy and “Seize the Day” each and every day of your life…And since it seems that Stephen loved to help all his friends with their problems, I’d suggest you continue to ask for his advice and help since he is now in an even better place to be able to help.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m very thankful to all Stephen’s friends for the support you’ve provided for me, my wife Karen and Stephen’s brother Chris. Our life going forward as a family will never be the same without Stephen, since we love him so much and he added so much life and vitality to our home.  This year when I watch the classic Christmas movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”, I’ll appreciate it more than ever… That movie reminds us that we each touch one another's lives, either for good or for ill. Though you may never know the ramifications of your actions, everything you do DOES make a difference in one way or another. The film presents the truth that those of good character and morals (Steve) will most likely make more difference in helping people than they will ever know.

And finally, as his father, I am going to take the liberty to speak for Stephen since I know he would want to thank each and every one of you personally for your friendship and special times many of you shared with him over the years.  He’ll be missing all the upcoming events, but I’m sure he’ll be watching over them…

Stephen, we will treasure each and every moment of those special 19 years we had with you for the rest of our lives.  We all love and miss you!


Stephen's Dad (Steve)

If anyone would like to talk with me, feel free to call me on my cell phone 1-978-221-8085 or email me at sdame@comcast.net.