Mark was one hell of a guy. He was the kind of guy you could come to in times of need, in times of celebration, or in times of sadness. The horrible thing about life is it always comes to an end — even one as bright and brilliant and young as Mark’s. But at least he died doing what I loved, and I’m sorry for pressuring him into it.
Mark never showed much of an interest in ice climbing. Which I found weird because he was supposed to be my best bro and it’s a great way to explore nature with your friends. Plus, he was already into surfing, which is similar enough for him to not bother taking an introductory course and jump right into frozen waterfall acsents with me, unless he was a total pussy.
You will be missed Mark.
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Everyone here knows that Mark was a wonderful friend, a loyal partner, and respected member of his community. And I’m sorry about pressuring him so hard into free soloing the tallest waterfall in the country.
But, in both a moral and very specifically legal sense, I think we can all agree I am without blame. God has a plan for all of us, and for Mark it was to prove he wasn’t a pussy by plummeting thousands of feet to his cold, icy death.
That reminds me of another story, just to show what kind of guy Mark was.
One time in college our frat had a huge party. Mark wasn’t into parties much. But there was one young woman, here with us today in the front pew, who he was into. Her name was Katie, and as much as he tried not to show it, I could tell this woman wasn’t just another college hook up for Mark, this one was different.
I told Mark that Katie would be at the party, and to go get the keg. Eager to please her, he headed off down old College Avenue to get the party a keg. It took him forever, honestly. Classic Mark. So I had to entertain his guest while he was gone.
Katie and I have three beautiful children now, and I know Mark is up in heaven, all of his limbs back in the right anatomical positions, smiling down on us as we try for our fourth.
RIP, Mark. We all love you.