Mark’s brother Carl is a social worker in the state of Oregon. At the time of Mark’s death he was a social worker in the state of Iowa.
He of course got the word by telephone and then had the immediate crisis of gathering the funds and making arrangements to fly west to deal with a major family crisis. The death of his brother Mark, even though his beautiful wife Christine was very ill at the time.
I drove to Las Vegas and picked him up. We hugged , got in the car and began the 100 mile journey back to Kingman , Arizona. We sat is silence for about 20 miles. Suddenly he said dad we need to talk.
He said, "Dad you are going to half to do the speaking at the funeral". (See Struck by a Demon -Funeral service).
He said, "all the preachers in town of those that care are going to offer to speak. Your associates are going to want to do the service. The superintendent, (we will call him Jack), he will want to speak especially considering himself the big shot. However, there are going to be a huge number of college young people coming in honor of Mark and they need someone like you who can help them make sense of the situation and inspire them to see great value in their life. So that part we can put aside" he said. "You are speaking".
"By the way" he said, you need to plan on your future situation, I am absolutely sure that the DS.. (The district superintendent will throw you out. I said, oh no the church is growing, I’m fine. Not so quick everything Carl said was true.
I was pastering what is called today a evangelical church. None of the evangelical pastors in town came to the funeral. Only the ones that my evangelical denomination called liberals or cults, showed up. Sure enough the DS threw me out. (Your fired! Godly guy for sure. The entire family knew although he used I had been there to long, didn’t like it that I wore a neck tie, and hated my altar calls, and didn’t think I sent enough money to the coffers of the conference. But we as a family, knew him his heart and his views about suicide.
Oh he was not alone. I had a Baptist minister stop me at a parking lot and told he he was sorry Mark had ended up in Hell. I of course reminded him that none of the 4 suicides of the Bible suggested any such thing including Judas.
The point of all of this is that Carl was right. Marks mother and I counseled with other liberal understanding ministers in the community for 3 hours following the service with Mark’s cold still body lying in the casket. Please I hope that no one reading this website finds themselves in such a horrid situation lying in a casket because of taking their life. Please don’t! Reach out keep talking. The mess you leave behind is to horrid.