1958 - 2006 (47 years)
||Sharon Louise Martin |
||8 Nov 1958
||Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada
||Sharon Louise Kruger |
||Sharon Louise Snyder |
|Eby ID Number
||Hamilton, Wentworth Co., Ontario, Canada
||19 May 2020 |
||Lloyd S. Martin, b. 20 Jul 1928, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada , d. 20 Apr 2008, St. Jacobs, Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada (Age 79 years) |
||Gladys Eileen Good, b. 4 Dec 1928, d. 6 Dec 2005 (Age 77 years) |
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
- ST. JACOBS (Jun 4, 2007)
Any doubts Lloyd Martin had about holding a memorial service for his daughter evaporated when he walked inside the crowded St. Jacobs Mennonite Church.It had been a year since Sharon Martin had vanished, and her father and family needed to end the wondering and start the grieving. And so it was that hundreds of friends, relatives and former colleagues filled the pews to honour Sharon's memory, even while she remains alive and missing in the eyes of Waterloo regional police."It was overwhelming . . . We didn't know if it was the right thing to do or not. We debated it for a long time," Lloyd said. "But anyone I talked to that day reaffirmed why we did it. We all needed closure and healing."It may never be known exactly what happened to Sharon, who was last videotaped withdrawing money from a Fairview Mall bank machine.
The facts are this: suffering from schizophrenia, she disappeared May 17, 2006, for the second time since January. Although her body has never been found, her family believes she was driven to end her own life. She was 47. Lloyd, her father, was prompted to write this in the service's bulletin:"We believe that Sharon died in Hamilton on May 18, 2006. We may never have evidence that would provide absolute closure. We trust God's love be greater than Sharon's mental illness and trust his loving care wherever she is."But the life of the woman celebrated on a recent Saturday wasn't measured by her mental illness. Sharon was also a loving mother; an intelligent, well-educated and respected elementary school teacher, whose classroom broke down in tears the day she announced she'd be leaving her job. She was a terrific swimmer and basketball player; talented cook, accomplished musician and gifted singer.
One by one, mourners passed around the microphone in the church's basement, sharing memories of Sharon. They talked about road trips to Winnipeg, driving her grandfather's Mercedes, and wolfing down a friend's oatmeal as a girl so they could go out to play. They remembered her Christmas concerts, the mini-putt course she helped run by age nine, the choir she sang with at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate.Her family talked honestly and openly about Sharon's long struggle with schizophrenia, which altered her perception of reality.
They sang through their tears and said goodbye."The illness that took her away wasn't the sum total of her life. She was far more than that," said her sister-in-law, also named Sharon Martin. "She had such a profound influence on so many people, and a lot of people were hurting out there. We wanted to honour her, and not focus so much on the illness. But we didn't want to hide it."Today, Sharon's green Ford Taurus station wagon is parked outside her father's St. Jacobs home, and her life's possessions remain scattered through a handful of cardboard boxes. There are plans to ask a judge to grant a death certificate, and talk of placing a marker inside a local cemetery.By the time she disappeared, "she was living more in the spirit world than the real world," he said. Sharon had legally changed her named to Wendy Holmes, had stopped taking her medication, and was in and out of hospital. Throughout her struggle, however, there had been glimpses of the old Sharon and the recurring belief she might shake off the illness that dogged her."She had another reality that was very real to her," said her sister-in-law. "She often talked about taking flight, moving into another world."When Sharon first disappeared in January 2006, she was located in a Buffalo psychiatric hospital after five days. This time, her family again held out hope, following every trail they could, before her purse was found in a garden near Hamilton harbour.Publicly memorializing her was a necessary step in the grieving process, her family said. They couldn't go on forever in mourning limbo, even thought her sister-in-law admits they will probably never "know 100 per cent for sure" what happened to Sharon.As for those lingering questions, they're best answered by faith in higher power, the family said."It doesn't do much for me to sit around and stew about it," Lloyd said. "As a man of faith, I believe God's grace is bigger than her illness. I trust God to take care of her."
The Record 4 Jun 2007 - email@example.com