The long farewell

The funeral service for Shaker High School senior Marc Strizzi began Tuesday, Dec. 18, but it carried on long afterward and continues today in an online social networking group.

Once the liturgy was over last week, fliers were handed out for a memorial event at Verdoy Fire Department on Troy Schenectady Road.

Earlier in the day, St. Ambrose Church, which hosted Strizzi's funeral services, invited friends and family to return that night for a discussion group.

It is all to remember an outstanding student, athlete, friend, brother and son who ultimately lost a long battle with depression.

On Thursday, Dec. 13, Strizzi left school and drove to a high point on the ramp leading to the Patroon Island Bridge over Interstate 787 and jumped to his death. Since then, thousands have been asking why and paying their last respects.

He was an all-around good kid. You could say he had the world by the tail, said the Rev. Francis DuBois during Strizzi's funeral service.

He was liked by girls, befriended by fellow athletes, in and outside Shaker High School, and was often there for others to confide in.

"I met Marc in seventh grade when I moved into the North Colonie School District. We both played music and both loved to run. When I met Marc, we had a lot in common. But we had one thing different than everyone else. We had depression," said Justin Bassett.

Last year, Bassett and Strizzi drifted apart. They still saw each other almost every day, ran after school and would speak briefly, but it wasn't like when the two first met, said Bassett. Upon learning of Strizzi's suicide, Bassett formed a memorial profile on the social networking site Facebook.com. In less than 24 hours, thousands had joined and left messages, songs and poems in memory of Strizzi.

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