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A Wake for Mark

Permanent Linkby Bmat on Sun Oct 11, 2015 7:15 am

My youngest sister's husband, Mark, died in May, 2015, of COPD. He was 60.

I did not see as much of Mark and my sister as I would have liked during the time they were married, since her back problems had become so severe it is difficult for her to ride in a car. The memories I have of Mark are that he was gentle and with a sweet sense of humor. He was a pleasure to talk with during family occasions.

Mark and Carol had known he was dying. He discussed donation of his body to a medical school and the arrangements for a memorial time for him. He wanted his friends and family to get together in a park near their home, have a picnic and talk about him for a few minutes, then enjoy themselves.

The gathering, (I call it a wake,) was October 10, 2015. There were about 40 people there, which is what Carol expected. The park is in a beautiful location with pavilions and tables and benches. Mark's brother talked about growing up with Mark. Several of Mark's hiking and camping friends also spoke. Then a few friends gave short comments. The picnic was pleasant. We met most of the people there. They came up to express condolences since I am Carol's sister. Both of my sons and their families were there. The son who lives in Philadelphia came from the farthest distance.

The weather was ideal - pleasantly cool, sunny, no wind. One of the speakers mentioned that Mark must have some influence "up there" to have arranged such good weather.

Carol was excited about releasing lanterns. There were about a dozen paper lanterns powered by a small flame in each that caused the lantern to rise into the sky. One of them got caught in a tree, and we watched whether the tree would burn. The fire went out before damaging the tree.

This is the first wake I've attended. It was all that Mark could have wished. His family and friends enjoying themselves while thinking about Mark. I also have a better feel for Carol's living conditions and am satisfied that she is among friends.

Rest in Peace, Mark. We miss you.

I used to be indecisive, now I'm not sure.
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