Uncle Mark…

Six years ago about this time I was out Christmas shopping to help distract my roomie who’s uncle had committed suicide. I was a junior in college and home on break. While we were out shopping my dad called and told me that he needed to talk to me, and wanted to know where I was and if someone was with me. I knew instantly something was terribly wrong.. and true to form I always assume the worst. However, this time, the worst wasn’t even close to what I had imagined. My dad began explaining what little information he knew, which was about the sum total that my uncle (his little brother) had committed suicide by hanging himself on a door knob.

… and then I just remember wandering aimlessly around the mall not really hearing him as he explained what little information he knew at the time. I remember hanging up and calling one of my best friends from college and telling him what had happened and while I do not really remember what he said, I remember him sitting in silence with me on the phone for what seemed like a very long time as I continued to wander and tell him I didn’t understand and I couldn’t believe it…

Why would my uncle do this? Didn’t he know how much we all needed and loved him?.. How much I needed and loved him? How could he be THAT stubborn?.. How could he be that depressed? How could he do this to us?.. To me?.. Didn’t he know he was my favorite uncle? No, there must be some mistake, the uncle Mark I knew would never do that… There is no way he did this DAYS before Christmas.. Didn’t he know he has three small boys that need him!?.. Didn’t he know I was almost done with a degree he talked me into at 15?!.. How?… Why?.. What was he thinking?..

The thoughts were incessant for days…

I cried a lot the next few days…

One of my most vivid memories from the viewing and funeral was a moment that I had snuck away to cry again. I needed a moment to cry and I was trying as hard as I could to not cry in front of the family… We didn’t need more tears. I was sitting down a side hallway at the church and I heard someone coming, knowing they were looking for me I began to compose myself.. Only to discover it was my older brother. He got it. He knew how I was feeling. We shared so many of the same memories of playing with our beloved uncle. We shared so many laughs with our uncle Mark, the same schemes we had pulled off, the play fights, and the long talks… My brother came to find me when he saw me missing, and knew instantly that I needed him. I remember walking up to him with tears in both of our eyes and him just saying “I know…” and we hugged while we both cried.

I don’t remember the last time I saw my uncle. I was in college, back and forth between school and home, and summer camps… I have no idea what the last thing I said to him was…

I miss him all the time, and it took me months before I could even think about him without crying.

It was made worse the following December when a good friend of mine was hit and killed by a car during exam week of my Senior year. That death marked the third death in a row during the Christmas season I had experienced, and I was beside myself with grief… making entirely new and raw the old wounds… It brought all of it back, the pain and grief…

My uncle struggled with a lot of things, a lot of issues… But, what I remember the most is how much I loved him, and knew he loved me. He called me “Sister Mister” for as long as I can remember with a particularly high octave voice that was not natural… He was the only close family member that did not forsake us when I was little, and he was the one that taught me to shoot guns, climb trees, play video games, and drive a stick shift truck (sorta haha)… He helped spark a love for the marital arts and learning to be stealthy in the woods.

He is the reason I went into communications as a major in college, and subsequently is the reason I am doing it still almost 12 years later.. He sold me on the concept, the idea, and the excitement it would have… He also talked me into taking scuba diving lesson when I was 14… haha

I remember always feeling special and treasured when he would come and whisk my brother and I away to go play or help him demolish the inside of his house… I can still hear his voice in my head, I can still see his face when we would light something on fire and it wouldn’t go as planned and we would all scatter and laugh hoping grandma and grandpa didn’t catch us… I miss his laugh… I miss his hugs and having to be alert just in case me made a swat towards my head that I needed to block or duck.

Suicide is never easy, but I literally have no idea how someone who does not believe in Christ gets through it.

I miss him a lot, and I cannot believe it has been six years.

2 thoughts on “Uncle Mark…

  1. Thank you for telling us how you are feeling at the moment, Krista, and giving me the opportunity to pray for you in a special way today instead of in a general way. Like you, I am always asking God millions of questions about the whys and wherefores, the hows and whats and whens of life. Sometimes he answers and sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes he uses people like you to answer certain of my questions. You have unknowingly done so quite a few times in the past, especially during the short period of time we used to chat online for a bit. But that's another story.Sweet Striped-eyes, the love you have for your Lord and Saviour shines out of every pore of your being, and I know you will find comfort in His arms. Be assured of my prayers for you every day.


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