Remembering Mark

I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death.

They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make.

Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories.

We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.

~Leo Buscaglia~

On the 19th of December 2015 Mark Fordham died suddenly. He was in 2nd Class aged just 8 years old. It seems to us now, that like a shooting star, he burned most radiantly because his life was so short. He connected with every child and member of staff in his time with us…weaving a special spell, leaving us heartbroken, but leaving us also with a store of treasured memories.

Mark was dramatic, imaginative and witty and funny- His games required a big group of playmates, eager to find out what fabulous adventure they were going to experience. His games needed the entire expanse of our playground. Each day, walls, leaves, pebbles, rocks and trees were imaginatively transformed into potions, kingdoms and portals to other galaxies and fantasy lands.

Mark was confident, aware of his charisma and he loved being social. When asked in a writing activity if there was anything he would change about himself if he could his answer was simple. It is inscribed on the seat of the throne which stands as a memorial to him.

It reads: “everything is good”

Mark was inventive and very bright academically. He was the centre of attention, someone who rippled with energy and enthusiasm. He loved music. Fittingly “Electricity’ was one of his favourite songs. We have lots of mementos of Mark, photographs of him at work and play, samples of his writing, video footage of his antics in his role of director for a nativity play and singing in the choir at our Carol Service- his face beaming as he copied the conductor’s antics!

Every adult and child who knew Mark was devastated by his passing. Yet no one in our school ever wished to have missed the opportunity to know him, despite experiencing the pain of parting with him. We think of Mark here every day. We see his memorial- the throne and a circular bench set on a circle of paving stones beneath the trees, a constant reminder of him and his dear parents Donal and Patricia.

Mark made us want to be better friends, better teachers, better parents. He showed us that in his short life every moment matters and that every day is a chance to shine. He inspired our school to celebrate every child as a unique treasure trove of talents and gifts who leave a legacy no one can ever fully comprehend.