The cause of death has been established as drowning. Because he was so heavily clothed, the authorities believe that Mark sank quickly. My father torments himself (and us) by sobbing over and over, ďHe must have been so scared!Ē (OH DEAR GOD, JUST TYPING THOSE WORDS MAKES ME WANT TO START SCREAMING AGAIN.)
According to his wishes, Mark has been cremated. We met with a funeral director on Thursday. When he began showing us boxes for the ashes (we had decided against an urn), I broke down and had to leave the room. Actually, I had to leave the building because I couldn't breathe. I went outside and stood there for a while, taking in big gulps of fresh air.
Mark was more than a brother to me. My sisters and I RAISED him and his identical twin, Mike. We fed and bathed them. We changed their diapers. We lavished them with love and attention. I cannot bear the thought of one of them being reduced to a box of ashes.
Finally, I was able to get myself composed enough to return to the ďarrangements room.Ē We finished our business there, and headed to the florist. Although we, of course, will have floral arrangements from the family, we asked in the obituary that in lieu of flowers, others make donations in Markís name to a particular organization that works to save wetlands.
On Friday, Danielís mother and brother came down from Toronto. The compassion they have shown to my family and me is deeply appreciated. They are both such kind-hearted people.
On Saturday, we assembled four photo boards. What a gut-wrenching experience that was.
On Sunday, my mother hung up on me. My sisters already had their scenes with her. It was my turn.
I canít take it any more. Iím sick and tired of walking on eggshells around her. Iím sick and tired of having to worry about her feelings, when she shows such blatant disregard for ours. Iím sick and tired of her paranoia and bitterness and jealousy and her twisted accusations and her insanely pointed finger of blame. Iím sick and tired of her lies. Iím sick and tired of her abuse. Iím sick and tired of being verbally brutalized. Iím just plain sick and tired.
Today, we will have the calling hours from 4:00 to 8:00. After that, there will be a short, private service. I am dreading this with every fiber of my being. Especially the moment when they play a song that Mark loved Ė Israel Kamakawiwo'oleís Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World. I can't even bear to listen to it in the privacy of my own home. It breaks my heart all over again every time I hear it.
Iíll see you somewhere over the rainbow, Mark.