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Any seal that pops out like that is indicative of a bent shaft. As the shaft turns it oscillates the seal until it wiggles free. There wasn't an internal circlip that goes in after the seal was there? If there was, there would be a narrow machined channel just inside the casting. If that was missing, any movement would allow the seal to come free.
Sorry to hear of the passing of your husband. I was widowed in 1996 and in Feb 2014. Life has to go on and improve.
Before taking this job on yourself, call a few local transmission shops as found in the phone book and ask them for a price to replace the rear seal on the transmission. Lots of work and a lift is ever so handy in doing this type of job. Now when you tell them what you want, have them say it back to you. No matter what you actually say, they will give you a ballpark price to replace the rear seal on the engine to fix an oil leak cause that is what they heard you say. You want to replace the rear seal on the transmission, to fix a transmission fluid leak. This is much cheaper job than the seal on the engine.
Failing that buy a cheap service manual on CD over on eBay and do a search on www.youtube.com, some nice guy has probably put up a video of a rear seal change on a GM transmission product and they are all about the same.
This is quite tricky, the oil leak can be only due to a failure of the OIl seal or that the bearings after being worn out can damage the oil sealing.
So it is best that the unit be taken out in the engine side to be probed.
Now since the leak is more when the engine runs it is better to take down the unit for an overhaul , confirm and then replace the seal / bearings.
It could be the rear main seal on the transmission where it mates to the motor. The motor may be burning off the leaking fluid before you can spot the leak. It could also be leaking out of the shaft seal as well, but you should be able to see tranny fluid all over the underside of the back of your car. You should be able to see it if its leaking from the rear main too, but like I said the motor could be burning it off before you spot it.
How much tranny fluid per week are we talking about? The rear main seal would require you to pull the tranny and then you pop the seal in, not too hard of a job unless you have a transfer case. Doing it in your driveway is not feasable tho because a tranny weighs a lot and I do not think you want to balance it on your chest in your driveway.
your output seal on the tranny or input seal on your transfer case is bad. you have to pull your transfer case to tell. this is a pretty straight forward job. block wheels. put transfer case in neutral. drop front and rear drive lines.diconnect transfer case shift linkage. there is a short commponent connecting the trans to the transfer case. the bolt on either end face each other. remove the bolts to the transmission. the transfer case is heavier than it looks, i suggest getting help. pull back on the transfer case until it will drop down. it will pull out a bit because of the trans output shaft. replace what will probibly turn out to be the tranny output shaft seal and reassemble in reverse order.
Push it flush with the block, but the most important thing to remember is; make sure you fill the hollow in the back of the seal with grease before you put it in. There is a small girdle spring that goes around the inside of the seal lip and without grease over it, they pop off if you have to tap the seal to get it in. If that spring comes off, the seal soon fails because tension is lost on the inside of it.
If its the main seal gone,you will have to remove the tranny regardless because the main seal is the torq converter seal.Even though it leaks,if its slipping when full of oil chances are your tranny is no good,if it shifts fine its not to late,just keep it full of oil and have the leak fixed.Look under the front of the car when its in park,with the e.brake on and running,look for the leak.If the leak is between the the motor and the tranny its probably the main seal.Check the transmission pan,axle seals and coolant lines for leaks also.Changing the transmission is no small job and should be done by a garage if your not sure how to do it.Hope this helps.
I don't know why your mechanic needs a picture of the seal. Here is what you will need to do. The tranny will need to be removed because your vehicle has a one piece real seal. After you remove the tranny remove the flywheel then you have access to the rear main seal. If you have never removed a tranny leave it to someone capable of the job. You will need many tools to remove the tranny and a little muscle here and there. It is an easy process for a mechanic, but labor intensive.