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In memory of Mark Bauer

Created by Family Of Mark Bauer

Mark Bauer

I still can't believe that Mark is gone. There is no way to explain the pain and devastation of losing a child. Only those who have lost a child can understand. A week before graduating from high school, Mark went to school, played in a student/staff basketball game, lifted weights, and went to work -- a great day! The next day he never woke up. It is a day that lives with us always. I can't tell you what it's like to try to revive your child and then to hear those dreadful words, “I'm sorry, but your son didn't make it." Then to hold your child's lifeless body, plan his funeral, go to graduation to see his cap and gown and a picture on the chair where he should have been sitting. There are no words that can even come close to describing that feeling. Throughout his life, Mark was quiet and an introvert. He didn't let many people into his life; you had to bring him into yours. When people took the time to get to know him they found a wonderful, caring person. Never much for words, he had a terrific sense of humor and could make you laugh just by his expressions and mannerisms. It was devastating to the many people who loved him when he tragically died just one week before his high school graduation. Mark is the younger of our two boys. When our children were born they became the focal point of our lives. Their mom quit work and became a stay-at-home mom. Mark and Brian were less than two years apart in age and were best friends during much of there pre-teen years. They were constant companions and Mark followed Brian everywhere. We did everything as a family. Mark seemed to be very happy growing up. Mark was extremely athletic and loved sports and basketball was his true passion. When he was younger, he would tape every game when Michael Jordan was on TV. We used to tape some movies that came on TV and had a movie “library." Many times we would go to watch one of them only to find that a Bull's game was taped over it. We also had a driveway basketball court and would play all of the time. Packing for vacations was incomplete unless a basketball went with us. Although Mark was only 5'9”, he realized his lifelong dream shortly before he died -- he was able to dunk a basketball. He also played in the student/staff basketball game at school, which is an event that is very significant to us now. That game was played on May 27, 2004. Mark died the next day. Mark's passion for basketball in life has now turned in to a tribute to him. His basketball backboard is now a driveway memorial. His portrait is on the backboard (complete with lights at night) and there is a cross and flowers at the base. His school now plays the annual student/staff basketball game in his memory complete with t-shirts with his name on them and a plaque in the school office. He was also an avid weightlifter from the time he twelve years old until the day before he died. He would sometimes lift seven days a week. Although he only weighed 180 lbs, he could bench-press almost 400 lbs. He sometimes lifted in the middle of the night because he also had trouble sleeping. We can remember the many times during the middle of the night when we would be awakened by the sound of the weights “clanking." Even when he started to have chronic back pain, he would continue to work out. In April of 2004, Mark was experiencing pain in his lower back (a chronic condition), a sore knee (diagnosed as bursitis), and a sprained wrist. His doctor prescribed Naproxen for pain. Early on, Mark told us that the medication was not helping the pain. He never said anything else about the pain after that and did not return to the doctor for a follow-up. Looking back, we sometimes wonder if Mark had found his own method of treating the pain. Perhaps the signs of Mark's addictive personality surfaced early in life. We remember when the boys received candy for Easter or Halloween and Mark's “stash” could disappear the same day. He would tend to go off by himself and all we would find later would be empty candy wrappers in a pile. We started to get concerned when this trait was also exhibited with household medicines when he was in his early teens. Cough medicine and acetaminophen had to be hidden and sometimes even diluted with water. When Mark was a sophomore in high school we received a phone call from his school telling us that they had found marijuana in his possession and that they had called the police. He received probation before trial and also went to drug and alcohol evaluation and counseling. Over the next year or so, there were occasional issues related to marijuana usage or beer consumption. The signs were much more evident to us by then and we could look at his eyes or listen to his speech to tell when he had been “using." In the months preceding his death, Mark seemed to have turned things around. He was happy, talking about the future, and looking forward to his upcoming graduation from high school. His self-confidence was also on the rise. The faculty and staff at his school also noticed this change. From all appearances, he had won his personal battle with addiction. His eyes were clear and his speech was sharp. On May 27, 2004, Mark's day went something like this. He woke up and went school and played in the student/staff basketball game. When he came home from school he lifted weights and ate dinner. He then went to work and got home at about 9:30 that night. When he got home, Mark talked to us about the game that day and we knew what a special day it had been for him. That was the last conversation we ever had with Mark...he never woke up the next day. On Friday May 28, 2004, Mark died from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. Mark was so strong and seemingly invincible. After he died, we found out that he had taken prescription painkillers for his back pain. There seems to be a stigma attached to those who have died a drug-related death. Many think that they are bad people who probably deserved their fate. Our son and many other kids who have suffered this fate are caring and wonderful people. Mark gave us so much during his short life and we are so thankful that he is our son. This is not just something that happens to others. This can happen to a friend, a neighbor, or your own child. Sometimes the signs of addiction are obvious, and sometimes they're much more subtle. Grief is an emotion that we all have experienced (or are experiencing) many times in our lives. It can actually be a positive emotion in many cases. It's a reminder of just how special and significant the person has been in our lives. It can also give us a stronger appreciation of life and what we have. Unfortunately, for some of us, it can take over our life and we are consumed with sadness and emptiness. Time does not “heal all wounds." The grief due to Mark's death is like no other grief imaginabe. It is not the normal coarse of life. Kids shouldn't die before their parents. There are no words to describe the devastation and emptiness. It's not something that you “get over'; the emptiness will always be there. Mark's time here on earth is over...his story is complete...and life will never be the same without him.


This Memorial was created to commemorate a loved one's life and to let other families know they can turn to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids for help when struggling with their son or daughter's substance use. Please consider sharing this page to increase awareness of substance use disorders and to provide hope and healing for others.

Guest Book

Comments

1. Julie
Thinking about you today, Phil, and sending sympathy and comforting thoughts to you and your family.
2. Lori Stogner
I know the pain of a son who dies of a overdose. My heart and thoughts are with you always. I understand the pain and hurt, I understand that, yea, people label your child, when they find out how they died. its always "Oh", not I'm sorry, or whatever, just "Oh". I may add my son to this site. Thank you for your sons life story.
3. Pam Carrie
Dear Bauer Family, Mark was such an exceptional young man. I appreciate your story and sense the pain that you must go through daily as you miss him so much. I hope that the happy memories help you to know that you showed him great love while he was on this earth. The family love that you share will last through eternity. Pam from California
4. Shirley Roth
Your mark and my Trav sound so much alike. Quiet- introverted, but loveable and funny. My son Travis died after becoming addicted to vicodin after a back injury. Despite my pleas to to his doctors- they continued to give him more. After his tolerance to them- he bought a fentanyl patch from a street guy and was dead an hour later. I know your pain. They didn't arrest the guy who sold it to him despite knowing who did it? By their own words. Why didn't they? Loving Mom of Travis Shirley R
5. Lorna Ward
My heart goes out to you. I too lost my son to a drug overdose. His name was Scott. He lost his life at 29 years of age. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of him. Some days I cant stop crying. Sometimes it is so umbearable, I don't know what to do. All we can do now is pray and hope this tragady does not happen to another family.
6. Scott Duncan
Mark was one of my best friends and the story written about him described him to the point. When I first met him, he was a quiet guy in the same classroom I was. Every body else was all wound up and Mark and I were the quiet ones. We had every class together and we eventually started talking. We became more and more close every day. Eventually, he started to hang out with me and my people. Everybody loved the guy and we all became a tight squad. We became more like a family (Mark and my people).
7. Michelle Hain
I first want to say I am sorry for your loss. I recently lost a child who was very close to me and my family. He died December 22, 2006. He was 14 years old. He overdosed on RX drugs. I know what his family and friends are going through. I saw your story on the news; you are not to far from me. I know the pain you are going through and only God can guide you through it. Every Saturday I visit his grave and it gets easier each time. His birthday is Feb 25th. Please know you are in our Prayers.
8. Sam B
Reading this story is very sad. The good thing is he was able to play his favorite game the day before this happened. May god bless you always.
9. Carmen Almen
Hi, I am a 13 year old girl and I have family who do drugs and I really don’t want them to go away and I want to help them and other people who do that. I am really sorry MAY GOD BLESS YOU NOW AND ALWAYS.
10. Tashina Beckner
I am very sorry about your loss. I know what is it like to loose someone very close to you. The pain and eveything you go through is terrible. Just remember it will always get better. And, remember that are loved ones that are now gone look down on us from above.
11. Megan Ripley
I know what it is like to loose a loved one. I know what it is like to think that they are your world because that is how I felt about my grandfather. He died along time ago of unknown drug causes and I still miss him. He was my best friend so I understand how it feels to loose someone you love.
12. Renee. Mule'.
I am really sorry about your son. I have a best friend that is doing drugs. Whether or not I know what kind, it doesn't matter. It is the thought that what I just read could be my best friend one day and I would not know what to do if I lost him I love him. I don't know what to do. I hope that you can email me and help me on this. I really don't know what to do. All I know is that I love him and he needs help; but he doesn't want to admit it. May god be with you. Please help me!!!!
13. Brenda Williams
I am glad that Mark was able to be healthy and play his favorite game and have fun before he died. God made it possible for him to enjoy life to the fullest extent right before he died and that is awesome!!
14. Jill Sell
I am so sorry to read about the loss of your loving son, Mark. I too can relate to loosing a son. My son was twenty-two and took his life just this year. Finding ways to heal and overcome the emotions, mainly guilt, are very difficult. Please visit my son's memorial website at www.austin-hesse.last-memories.com May God bless you!
15. Megan Michaels
I am so sorry for your entire family and the tragedy of Mark's death. Your anguish and your love for Mark is ever present in your family's story. I can only hope that perhaps a life will be saved as a result of your courage and ability to share your family's tragedy. My mother died, when I was 25, as a result of her addiction to pain medication. A result of dependency on narcotics after being treated for months for burns from an accidental fire. I dedicate my work to her.
16. Andrew W.
This story really makes a difference. It reminds me so much of the life I was fortunate to survive. It also reminds me what I am fighting for. In March I will have two years clean and sober. All things are possible through Christ who strengthens.
17. Getty Robins
I am very sorry for the loss. God knows why it had to happen. Take courage and know that God is the comfort to all broken hearts.
18. Glenda Lauer
Hey, it is me. I miss Mark. I want to live where the mantio live forever because it make me think about him all the time. Walking though here, mostly down stairs, I think about him.
19. Francine Donaldso
Again, thank you for sharing Mark's story and keeping him alive in your life and your heart. One can never imagine the true pain our kids suffer, nor can they imagine the pain we suffer with their loss. Please continue to share Mark's story. As you said, if it only saves one other person, you have done your job. God Bless!
20. Marcie Osborne
I am so sorry for you loosing Mark. Your description of him was beautiful. I lost my sister (54 yrs old) to a suicide (Wellbrutin). The pain is overwhelming, I know. Our loved ones are with God now, and all we can hope for is that they are at piece now. Something that they did not have here on earth. We can remember the happy times that we were given with our loved ones. God Bless you all.
21. Jessica Longoria
I am so very sorry for your son's death. My uncle died of one too, so I can really relate to your story.
22. Tenille Dean Sowerby
God is all knowing and all seeing. He is able to soothe your hurt, your loss, and your pain. I pray that he continues to give you renewed strength, you and your family. R.I.P. Mark. Much thought and prayers...
23. Paul Kennedy
I am so very sorry for your loss. I do not normally read or reply like this, but painkillers have played a bad part in my life too. I was a British army pathfinder, 2 Para. When I was in Bosnia I had a compound fracture to my left wrist. The MO gave me ibuprofens for the pain, it almost killed me. It caused my upper GI to bleed and I have since been MD from the army. I have tried to start a campaign to warn of the problems with painkillers, but I just get fobbed off. Kindest wishes, Paul
24. Debbie Cornelius
I felt the pain in every word you wrote. I lost my 21 year old son, Taylor, on December 15, 2003 to drugs. I also found my son when I went to wake him up for work. I fight anger towards my family and many of them feel Taylor was a bad boy, but he wasn't. He made the first choice, but he had an addictive personality and thought it would never happen to him. Your words were as comforting to me as I know your tribute to Mark will be for you.
25. Lily Lose
I am sorry about what happened to your son. I know what it is like, and it is a horrible feeling.
26. Lynda Gouws
I am very sorry for your loss. I also have had the pain of loosing my mom to drugs just a few short months age. She died unexpectedly and I had the grueling task fo making all the funeral arrangements..etc.. I know it does not compare to losing a child. I myself have one. What keeps me going is to remember all the good times I had with her, and how I will use them to my advantage while raising my son. Please know that your son's memory should always be one of happiness.
27. JEAN LEAMAN
I am so sorry for your loss. I can not imagine the pain that you are feeling. May God wrap his arms around you and help you through this pain. Drugs steal our children from us. I wish there was some way to get through to these kids. Drugs know no barrier, they affect everybody. God bless Jean L
28. Kathy Vignola
I also share the grief of a parent losing a child as a result of drugs. My son was twenty-hree and was murdered two years ago during an attempt to purchase Xanax. He became just another statistic in Philadelphia, PA. I send my prayers and thoughts to you. Our sons are with us every single day, in our memories, hearts and thoughts. I thank God for the twenty-three years of memories that I have of Justin. He was a fantastic son. Kathy
29. Dee Myers
Words can not convey how sorry I am for your loss. I pray that God will ease your pain each day, turning your scars into stars. Thank you for the time and courage to tell Mark's story. Maybe just one life will be saved because you chose to share your heartache. May God always and in all ways Bless your family and all those lives that Mark graced.
30. MARY DEBOER
I personally know your heartache and pain. My deepest sympathies to you and your family. I know these are just words, and nothing can make the pain go away. You see, I too lost my seventeen year old son of a herion overdose. One year ago. Each day is a struggle, but with Gods help we can tell our story and hopefully save one parent from ever feeling our pain. God Bless You.
31. Nancy Dunn
I am very sorry for your loss. May God be with you and your family.
32. S S
I was not the parent, but I see my father's pain. I am the sister and thirteen months older. We were each other's protector, worst enemy, and best friend. Her spirt was captivating and her laugh hypnotic. She could light up the darkest room with a smile, but nothing could brighten her heart. We found out last memorial day that she had passed some time before, and no one found her until a neighbor called about. We hold a connection that is at times too much... My deepest sympathies.
33. Alex Atkinson
This sounds like a very sad story and I am so sorry to hear that he died. It will be very hard for you. I do not knwo how you are feeling, I can't even imagine. But, at least he did what he loved the day before he died for one last time. He had such a short life and I dont think anyone that reads this story will ever forget Marks story. R.I.P Mark xxxxxxxx
34. Naomi B
This seems to be a very sad story. I am from Canada, and I have grown up in a house of two boys. They used to do all that stuff, like weight lift,etc. My mother has always told them not to do that stuff because one day it might happen. Then, wow, I didnt think today I would be sitting here reading this and it has actually happened, and too you. That makes my heart feel sad. I am sorry for your loss.
35. Lisa Cappiello
Everytime I read Mark's story, my heart breaks a little more. This incredible young man has helped to inspire me to want to help others. My sincere thanks to Mark's loving parents who have unknowingly been such a wonderful source of comfort to me. Mark shall forever be one the brightest stars within the heavens.....
36. Mark Bauer
I feel so deeply for you people that my tears are blurring these words. I share a name with your son, although I am much older. How very strange for me to read these words, and see how much I had in common with your son. It makes you wonder: I also had problems with an addictive personality, and abused both marijuana and prescription painkillers. I will pray for you and pray also for your son, that he may find in heaven the peace that so alluded him in life. God Bless You!
37. VICTOR ALDAN
Im here to express my condolences to the family of Mark Bauer. VIC RECOVERING DRUG ADDICT
38. Senta Stauble
I went onto this site while I was looking for a repote for life skills class. When I read this story I almost cried. I can almost imagine, even thought I am still a child, how it must feel to loose someone you love.
39. Krista Trainor
I still miss you everyday. There is not a time when I do not think about you. I hope you know how much we all cared. Love Always...
40. Sylvia Maus
No one can ever begin to understand the excrutiating pain of loosing a child. Perhaps, my humble tribute to Mark can be best expressed in a few select words from William Shakespeare, "When he shall die, Take him and cut him out in little stars, And he will make the face of heaven so fine, That all the world will be in love with night, And pay no worship to the garish sun."