When composing an obituary, it is customary to include life accomplishments, surviving relations, and generally create a bubble in which to compress a person’s entire life, so that the reader gets a synopsis of who the real person was beneath it all. I am choosing to walk a different path today, while I talk to you about Seth Kushner. Seth was a great photographer and a spectacular writer/creator, make no mistake about that. His peers and his friends have been properly forthcoming on his Facebook page, and in other social media. But what struck me most about this amazing guy was his genuine love of his family, and of life itself.
I first talked to Seth while he was fundraising his project SCHMUCK through Kickstarter. I was able to interview him and discuss how it hit home with me, and basically we spoke about its semi-biographical nature of finding love in the big city. I had a great time talking to him, and he was very funny and open about the entire thing. We even managed to squeeze in some discussion about Hang Dai, a publishing company that he co-founded. This was a follow up piece regarding his Kickstarter Spotlight that I had previously written. Like I said, it was fun and I thought he had a lot going for him. Then I heard he was diagnosed with leukemia and immediately hospitalized.
So here we have this ultra-talented guy, who is three years younger than I am, and he is now at the mercy of this horrific disease. It was devastating for his family and friends. I know that for a fact. I watched from afar, as this guy not only fought for his life, but also struggled to create a legacy for his son, Jackson. Every day that he could, Seth would create at least one piece of art for his little one. His main concern, according to many folks, was of his wife, Terra, and their son. He showed his spirit every day, in all things. And against all odds, even to the amazement of the medical professionals, he won his battle against leukemia. Tragically, the chemotherapy and other treatments seem to have caused a variety of other cancerous issues that plagued him thereafter.
I spoke with Seth several times earlier this month in regards to his newest available project, The Roman Nose. He had emailed me a copy of the comic and we chatted about numerous little things, including his health. He never allowed his medical issues to interfere with his drive to create or promote his creations. It was never a crutch or a tool to guilt anyone into doing anything. The guy just did NOT allow it to run his life. I was not as prompt in writing the review as I should have been, I just finished it last week (it should post soon). But yesterday, when I heard through a mutual friend that he had passed, I was stunned. There was no warning, no signs. Granted, I was never a big part of his life, and it was through comics and interviews that we connected, but he was such a great guy. His coworkers and friends are piping up all over the internet to mourn this man, this father, this husband, who tried to live his life the right way and was still lost far too soon.
It occurs to me while reading the condolences and stories, that he was not just liked, he was loved. He gave his all to each and every project, to each and every person. That is something to be emulated, folks. It’s something we should all respect. I am just a guy writing articles halfway across the country from him, and he took the time to answer every time I contacted him. Be it email, phone or Facebook… he was able to make the time. I ask that you embrace life today and everyday, think not of yourself, but of the world. You never know how much time you have left, and it would be a shame to leave something undone, to have regrets.
The one thing I would like to point out here as I close this piece, is that Seth did leave behind a lot of friends and family. I encourage you to go to his Facebook page and read some of the stories there. Additionally, it would be a huge help if you find yourself able to donate something to his wife and son. Terra has been on leave from work for a long time and the medical bills have become quite expensive over the last thirteen months. A GoFundMe page was established last summer to assist with this, and it is still up and running. Even if it’s only a dollar, it helps. No one put me up to asking anyone for money, it’s just the right thing for me to do. Seth would want his family to not feel burdened by financial issues, especially after his passing.
Seth, you will be missed. I only wish I could have known you better. For those of you that did know him, well… you are lucky beyond belief. And for anyone who has never spoke to or met him, you have my sympathy as well, since he was, by all accounts, amazing.