One Kind Word

My Friend, MARK

My friend MARK went missing on August 13th.

Two weeks later, his body was found in a park by his home in Oradell, NJ.
According to the Press, since there was no sign of struggle, it is expected that it was a suicide.
To any of us who knew MARK, this seems incomprehensible.

In an industry of occasionally towering fuckheads, MARK was the rare person who was always always level-headed and kind.
He went out of his way for people.
An Agent, he represented his clients with Grace and Humanity;
He emanated Respect, such a rare and treasured quality,
And in so doing, he won the Respect of everyone, industry wide.

He was a first class Agent,
The kind of man who was just so good at what he did —
Yes, at Agenting,
But moreso, at Living his Life in a way that was just so profoundly positive and strong and Beautiful in Every Way!
A Family Man, a wife and two kids — he seemed Happy and always spoke well of them.
He was smart and reliable and professional in a way that surpassed others.
He was always a JOY to deal with on Every Level.
He brought a professional aspect to his personal relationships,
And a personal aspect to his professional ones.
I Loved him.

I am not sure how a man like this,
If only for one profoundly determining moment,
Could not see one shred of something of value in Life to hold onto…
I know he Loved his family and his friends and his work…
There was never even the slightest hint that he might be lacking something…

And suddenly it occurs to me.
Did I ever tell him?
Did I ever let him know what a special Human Being he was?
Did I ever tell him how Grateful I was to be alive on the planet at the same time as a man like him?
Did I ever tell him the difference he made in my Day to Day Life and how he made it Better?
Did I ever say what a privilege it was to be working with such a man?
Did I ever say, “Thank You?”
Did I ever say, “I Love You?”

It’s a funny thing, but with a man like that,
Who spends so much time taking care of so many other people,
It is so easy to assume that they’re fine.
And now, too late, we discover that maybe he wasn’t fine.

Oh, I am not saying that we were so close that I could have made a difference in the choice he made.
But perhaps if all of us who thought so highly of this man —
And we are Legion —
Perhaps if all of us had told him,
Maybe some time in the past year,
Or in the past ten years,
Or the past five years,
Or ever…
Perhaps all of us Together could have made a difference.

We shall never know.

But I have learned something in this.
It is important to say it!
Say, “Thank You!”
Say, “You’re Great!”
Say, “I just want you to know how much I appreciate You!”
Say, “I am So Grateful for how you do what you do!”
Say, “You are extraordinary!”
Say, “You have such a Gift for doing this!”
Say, “You make our Lives Better!”
Say, “I Love You!”
Say, “We are all Better Off because of You!”
Say, “Thank You for your presence in my Life!”
Say it Every Day!
Say it Now!
Say it to someone who seems to need to hear it!
And say it to someone who does not seem to need to hear it at all!

One Kind Word.
Maybe it can make all the difference.
We’ll never know for sure.
But it’s worth a Try!

And so, My Friend, this shall be your Legacy!
This was your final Gift to me!
To know where I fell short — how I failed You!
The Best Amends I can make to You is to Live Better in the Future.

And so I remind myself:
Say it!
Let everyone know!
Do not let one other pass this way again,
Without telling them what we know of them
Without Thanking them for all that they do
Without acknowledging their place in the Universe…

I know it is too late to say these things to you now.
But your Particular Gifts…
Your seemingly ordinary Savoir-Faire,
Gentle Sturdy Kindness,
Placid Strength of a Lion,
Pleasant Manner,
Supportive Quick and Efficient Responsiveness,
and Your Innate Respect for Every Living creature
These are Gifts that I Treasured.
You have made my Career Better,
My Days Better,
And my Life Better.
And I shall not again take for Granted that a person knows such things about themselves.
Does any one of us know the Miracle that we truly are?
I return once again to Emily’s question at the end of THORNTON WILDER’s OUR TOWN:
“Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? – every, every minute?”

Thank You, my Friend, for your Legacy of Kindness and Respect which you leave with Us.
I shall do my Best to Honor Your Gift!
I shall,
Wherever possible,
One Kind Word.

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  1. Your loving heart and words surround Mark and his spirit now and his family.
    Thank you for writing and for saying and for being you.
    I love you dearest Arnold‼️

    • Thank You, Beloved Susan! Life is so fascinating — especially when we see those who have transitioned, and all of us here, as one big Loving Community! We are So Blessed by All of our Relationships! XXOO

  2. Breanna Benjamin

     /  September 2, 2017

    Thank you Arnold. You too are one of the good guys. We, each and everyone of us need to remind ourselves every day to be thoughtful and caring. I still don’t know the why or the how of dear Marks passing, but I hope he always knew that I believed in him and his caring heart.

    • Thank You, Dear BREANNA! I have to believe that somewhere inside, he did know! Experiential Information is sometimes hard to articulate, but it can be more profound in its effect than anything we can describe! XXOO

  3. Arnold, your post and the other expressions of disbelief and grief from all the people in show biz on FB at the passing of your dear colleague, have been very moving. I did not know him, but he seemed to have been so universally liked and admired.
    If I may say this, and I pray no one will wrong me for it, but without an autopsy and results, how can they know for sure he committed suicide? He could have just as easily thought he was just going to run a quick errand, and was felled by a massive heart attack, stroke, or slipped and hit his head. As you say, we know none of the details. I know he is still gone and mourned, but hopefully until any results come in, I hope not all will assume the worst. And if he had a hand in his passing, do we ever really know what a person is going through in their private life, especially mentally? In show business, appearances are everything and far too often people, especially men, do not seek help when they are depressed or overwhelmed due to the supposed shame involved. It is sad as it would not be the same if one had diabetes, etc. I send my prayers and thoughts to all who are dealing and coping with this great loss.

    • Thank You for your thoughts, Dear PAMELA. Nothing has been confirmed yet on results of the autopsy, and I want to respect the family, should their wishes be that the rest is private. I only have what we have been left with in the reports, my treasured memories of my relationship with MARK, and of course, the ongoing relationship we will share now that he has transitioned to the non-physical realm… I never underestimate the power of the “more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio…” XXOO

  4. Oh Arnold… this was so beautiful, it was so exquiste, I will remember it always. Thank you so much for sharing your tremendous gift, your heart, with us. I’m so glad to know you, You make this world a better place for being in it. I am sending so much love to you. Keep spreading your magic. The world needs you, maybe more than you will ever know.. ❤


  5. Ah, Lovely MAITRI, I so appreciate your comment! Thank You for being so supportive and for your kind words! The World needs every one of us! That is why we are here… 🙂 So Grateful for YOU! XXOO


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