Thursday, April 20, 2006

Good-Bye Mark

Our Friend, Mark Greenwood, left us on Saturday April 8, 2006 - one week after his 35th birthday. Below is the notice sent by email from his mother, Claudia...
This is a most difficult note to write, but necessary. Our son, Mark, 35, died this past Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Those who knew him knew his dream. There were also shadows. He struggled for years to keep them at bay. Much too soon the dream faded and the shadows claimed his gentle spirit. We will remember his as gifted and clever, kind and loving. He brought great joy to our lives and many others through his music. He is survived by his best friend, a German shepherd. Isabel, who has been staying with us this past year.
We plan no services, but will take his remains to Goulais River, Ontario, this summer, returning him to his favorite fishing hole.

I hadn't seen Mark much in the last five years or so and, as it seemed, he was always on the move and doing his own thing, there was no reason to believe I would see him anytime in the near future. Still, I am now painfully aware of just how many times in the back of my mind I think "I'll have to tell Mark about that someday" or "Mark would really like that" or "I wonder if Mark has heard this album". Mark was always around in one way or another whether he knew it or not.

I know most everyone reading this must be experiencing something similar to what I have been feeling over the last couple of weeks. The flood of memories that were temporarily buried by the distractions of everyday life. The recall of conversations and experiences shared with Mark that nobody else remembers or even knows about. And the new burden of carrying on alone in our minds inside jokes that now nobody else gets. It's a very lonely and anxious feeling. What if I forget? Who will someday call and say "hey, remember that one time when...?"

Well, I hope this blog will help by giving us all a place to clarify and deposit our memories. In my experience, Mark often liked to carry on very separate friendships and was constantly looking for ways to define who he was by seeking out new expereiences independently. In this regard, I suspect this blog will help fill in the gaps for many of us as we find out what was going on with Mark in the parts of his life that we weren't a part of.

Let me start by telling how I know Mark for those who don't know me. We met when we were both about 17 - I think in 1988. We were both playing with a community big band (The Western Reserve Big Band) that rehearsed in Kirtland, Ohio. He pretty much kept to himself until I helped him carry out his drums one time. I think that's when our friendship started. We eventually learned that we were both heading for Capital University in the fall which, thinking back, is much more of coincidence that I realized at the time. We agreed that we should try to room together and we did for 2 years until he decided to move out of the dorms.

Of course, we had many, many experiences together after that but, for now, I'll just leave it at that. I'll create another post immediately with a photo and a short description of what was going on to further set this thing in motion.

I miss you Mark!


Blogger dave bushey said...

The inside jokes and unique experiences... that's a good point, Aaron. You mentioned that to me the other day, and I've been thinking a lot about those types of things relating to Mark ever since. I've been quoting Mark-isms quite a bit since that conversation. Those are the kinds of things that make me both miss him and laugh about him.

I met Mark during our freshman year at Capital University, in 1989. He was one of my friends through college, but the block of time that I got to know him well was the summer between our sophomore and junior year. Mark and I were roommates, living off-campus. We shared lots of experiences during that time - and almost all of them resulted in some sort of inside joke or corny reference. I really had a great summer, and learned a lot about life and myself. And I owe much of that experience to Mark. He was a great friend at that time and helped me through some difficult times, whether he knew it or not. Sometimes it kind of felt like he was an older brother.

The reality that I'll never laugh about those experiences with him again is tough. But I'm so thankful for the time I did get to spend with him. Since then, I've been his roommate, bandmate and friend, at various points in time. But it still feels like yesterday when I remember the laughs we experienced together.

Like Aaron, I haven't spoken to him for a few years. I was working in Las Vegas this past fall, not even knowing he was living there at the time. I wish I'd have known - it would have been nice to see him again. I miss him, too. I'm going through my stuff, trying to find photos and recordings with him. I've got to find this radio/t.v. class project we did our senior year & make it available for downloading. It seemed pretty funny at the time - who knows if it's still funny now. But it reminds me of Mark's sense of humor and sarcastic, easy-going corniness. That's the stuff I remember most about him - and it's a big part of that recording. Classic Mark. It'd be a nice memory to share, if I can find it.

Thanks again for starting this blog, Aaron. Hopefully it will develop into a beautiful tribute to our friend.

Hold me down, Dieter!

9:17 PM  

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