Mark’s Story

Site created on July 24, 2017

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Newest Update

Journal entry by Gretchen Herrmann

Or is it "In opening?". . . 

Mark's story. 
: )

It will be available forever, at TED. 
What is TED, you ask? From their website: "TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages."

We knew since the start that Mark's story was something bigger than us. He understood that and asked that if someone could be helped by knowing what he went through, we share it. So many people have responded in so many powerful ways - from the time he was diagnosed - up to today. And now since this story will be available worldwide on the internet, his legacy will continue to be one of inspiring people to SHARE, to LIVE, to LOVE - and to make choices each day to ensure all of that.

Last February I did a pitch to do a TED Talk, and was chosen to participate. From February until November it was on my mind and there wasn't a day that I didn't think about what I should include. 

Mark's was a powerful "God" story. His very simple and strong faith made the journey a peaceful one. He didn't worry about dying and with great certainty enjoyed saying he was "dancing with the Lord," or "dancing with the angels." I could have presented on that but the TED stage isn't the right place for that.

I could have spoken the whole time about cancer. And the common acceptance that you enter right into the medical system to "fight the evil beast," because that's pretty much how it's set up when you are diagnosed and is exactly what most people do without thinking.

I could have talked forever about the way he chose to live it out. His day-to-day activities and how he navigated the system. I could have spent the entire talk telling stories about how the community responded and what an amazing web of care we had wrapped around us. Or about his choice to enter the hospice system very early - when many consider that a sign that you lost and have just days to live.  

I could have taken the whole time to talk about death. Or about grieving. The things I've learned in the last 14 months could fill a nice little book! (and may some day. . . )

It took months to figure it out but I settled on telling a little bit about it all. Things that every single one of us can keep in mind as we navigate on through life, and death.

Some things people don't know. . . and some things we just don't think about. 

We have choices every single day. Take advantage of that. Make the most of the time you have here. Love, and be loved.

"It's simple. People make things too complicated." ~Mark Herrmann

So here it is! 

Mark's story.

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