U.S. Rep. Sean Casten Reveals New Details About His Daughter’s Sudden Death
Earlier this week, Illinois Congressman Sean Casten lost his daughter Gwen, who died at age 17.
On Wednesday, Casten opened up about the last time he saw his daughter alive. He tweeted, “On Sunday night, we had dinner as a family and then she went out with some friends for a few hours. When she got home, she said goodnight to Kara and I, texted a friend to make sure she got home OK, and didn’t wake up on Monday morning.”
“The only thing we knew about her death is that it was peaceful,” Sean added. “And the only lesson we can take from that is to savor the moments you have with your loved ones. We want purpose. We want to blieve in a brighter tomorrow. But the only thing we can control is our present.”
Sean got candid about how heartbroken he was, writing, “There are no words to describe the hole in your heart when a child dies.”
Remembering his daughter, Casten said, “Gwen was a happy, healthy, well adjusted young woman who was looking forward to starting her freshman year at the University of Vermont where she was planning to study Environmental Science.”
Along with noting her loving circle of friends and family, Casten brought attention to her generosity. He wrote, “If her light seemed a bit brighter than most it was because she was so generous in reflecting back the light and love that so many gave to her.”
Showing his appreciation to the outpouring love and support, Casten said, “We are grateful to all who have reached out with thoughts, condolences, and help.”
Casten ended his statement by urging people to live life like Gwen and “lead with love.” He said, “Savor the moments. Use every ounce of energy you have to ensure a better, more tolerant, more generous, more loving tomorrow. Not because you know that your tomorrow will come, but because you now that someone else’s will.”
On Tuesday, Gwen was found dead in their family home. Casten’s office confirmed her death in a statement which read, “This morning, Congressman Casten's beloved daughter, Gwen (17), passed away. The Casten family requests privacy, and we will be issuing no further comment during this heartbreaking time."