The end of Laughing Mark

The end of Laughing Mark


Today I discovered that a friend had died. He had died almost four months ago. Not much of a friend am I, to remain oblivious to a fact like this for so long.


A few years back my family joined the local branch of the Doctor Who Club of Australia. There were a few different blokes in the club named Mark, so my daughter distinguished them with nicknames. This one fellow seemed quite jolly and so Rhiannon called him “Laughing Mark”. It stuck and so many others called him that too.

Truth be told, I suspect that the laughter hid frustration and even sadness. But he loved his science fiction (as we all do) and his conversation was always lively.

Now one thing that was a bit frustrating for our chapter of the club was location. At first we held the club meetings in the local United Services club. They have nice meals and there was plenty of space. Alas they would shut the bistro around 9pm and wanted us and the kids out. So we moved to a riverside restaurant where the food was excellent and the kids had their own area to eat and play. But then the owner/chef had medical issues and the place was sold to someone whose vision clashed with our needs. So we moved again to a nearby bowling club. But they kept refusing entry to certain members. (Come on folks, surely you realise Doctor Who Club members can be a bit unique).

And so we ended up at Miranda RSL. What can I say? I have come to love the place. We sit. We talk science fiction. The place has an almost English pub friendliness to it. And the RSL Club also runs a great trivia night on Fridays.

But somewhere along the way Laughing Mark got lost. He did not turn up for the Christmas do. No for any club meetings since.

Did we investigate?


Not until my lovely wife remembered a friend (one from a completely different aspect of our lives) who lived next door to Laughing Mark. So Nicole asked Lucia.

The answer: he died of a heart problem in late December.

Not a single person in the club knew. None of us had thought enough to check up on him. None of us had attended his funeral (because we did not know). Today Nicole and I visited the cemetery and found his plaque and payed our respects.

So why am I telling you guys all this?

I guess catharsis is part of it. However I am not going to wax lyrical about the meaning of life, and this and that and so on. Instead I am simply going to let you take what you want from the chain of thoughts in this post.







  1. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your fellow club member and friend. It’s all too easy to turn the natural process of grieving into blame – which is also a perfectly natural response. Blessings to you dear brother, be kind to yourself.


    1. Thank you Andy for your kind and supportive words :) You are right. I am just angry at myself for not following up sooner. Once again thank you :) I really appreciate your comments. :) Greg


  2. I’m so sorry for you loss. Many hugs to you and your friend’s family. I’ve lost quite a few close relatives in the past years and I know it’s not easy. What I can tell you is, that the grief does get better with time. Once again, many hugs to you and my sincerest condolences.


    1. Thank you ☺ Losing people is such a strange thing. It’s like they are there but they’re not.


      1. Yes. that’s so very true!


  3. That’s a sad story. But I hope you don’t feel too bad about it and remember the better times instead.


    1. Thanks. :) I still feel upset at not knowing that he had passed. But I am sure that it will be as you say :)


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