In Memoriam: Dr. Janet Mouradian Markarian’s “Celebration of Life”

On the afternoon of Sunday, June 2, at Uris Auditorium of Weill Cornell Medicine (previously Cornell University Medical College) in New York City, a program entitled “Celebration of Life” took place, celebrating the life of Dr. Janet Mouradian Markarian, who passed away earlier this year on February 25.

The program brought to light Dr. Mouradian’s accomplishments starting from her childhood and covering her life’s multi-faceted, unbelievably rich accomplishments.

Armen Morian, Esq., Gahmk Markarian, Esq., Matteos Meschian, Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, Sarine Meschian, Dr. Yeraz Markarian, Dr. Herand Markarian and Yn. Ojeen Lakissian

The program started with her husband Dr. Herand Markarian reading his own philosophical poem, setting the theme of the event, questioning the mystery of life and death.

His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, sent a statement praising Dr. Mouradian’s accomplishments, as did His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Both statements were read by Dr. Mouradian’s son, Gahmk Markarian.

Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor of St. Illuminator’s Armenian Apostolic Cathedral, then offered his sentiments praising Dr. Mouradian.

Dr. Amy Chadburn, professor of pathology at Weill Cornell Medicine and a long-time friend and colleague of Dr. Mouradian, spoke about her professional life at Cornell, spanning over three decades. She described the outstanding influence that Dr. Mouradian had on her medical trainees and announced the establishment of the “Janet Mouradian, MD Mentoring Award” at the Department of Pathology at Weill Cornell Medicine, which will be given annually to a faculty member who exhibits excellence in mentoring.

Arusyag Mouradian Melkonian, chairperson of the Armenian Relief Society’s (ARS) Central Executive, mentioned Dr. Mouradian’s devotion and extensive philanthropic deeds in Armenia. She announced that a scholarship in Janet Mouradian Markarian’s name has been established at the ARS by Dr. Mouradian’s family. She and ARS Central Executive vice-chairperson Taline Daghlian donated the ARS flag to Dr. Mouradian’s daughter, Dr. Yeraz Markarian.

Sonia Bezdikian, a friend of Dr. Mouradian for six decades and a colleague in both the ARS and the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society, offered her sentiments and described Dr. Mouradian as meg hadig — “one of a kind.”

Natalie Gabrelian, a long-time regular participant in Hamazkayin’s literary events, expressed her heartfelt affection towards Dr. Mouradian, describing her as “auntie, tantig, mentor.” She specifically mentioned the indelible mark that Dr. Mouradian had left on her.

Arevig Caprielian, a member of Hamazkayin’s Central Executive, offered her praise for Dr. Mouradian’s devotion and contributions towards Hamazkayin. The Hamazkayin Central Executive had bestowed upon Dr. Mouradian “The Medal of Service” in recognition of her 52 years of exemplary service for Hamazkayin. Caprielian delivered the medal to Dr. Mouradian’s husband, Herand.

The artistic program began with mezzo-soprano Hasmik Mekanejian’s superb renditions of two hymns of the Armenian Church, “Amen” and “Soorp Soorp” (Holy, Holy).

Dr. Mouradian’s granddaughter, Sarine Meschian, gave a splendid cello performance of “The Swan” from Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens. Next was the internationally-recognized Ani Kalayjian’s cello performance of 10th century Saint Krikor Naregatsi’s “Havoon” and 19th century Gomidas Vartabed’s “Groong” (Crane).

Dr. Mouradian’s grandson, Matteos Meschian, offered his sensitive and touching thoughts and sentiments about his grandmother.

Overall, the program revealed aspects of Dr. Mouradian’s medical, organizational, family and personal life, illustrated through images and stories.

Introductions, presentations and narrations of the entire program were offered by Dr. Mouradian’s son, Gahmk Markarian, Esq.; her daughter, Dr. Yeraz Markarian, director of the psychology department at Hackensack University Medical Center; and Dr. Mouradian’s husband, Dr. Herand Markarian.

The comprehensive and touching program concluded with two poems, which were emblematic of Dr. Mouradian’s character. The first poem was written by Isla Paschal Richardson:

Grieve not…
Nor speak of me with tears…
But laugh and talk of me…
As though I were beside you.
I loved you so…
’twas Heaven here with you.

At the conclusion of the event, Dr. Mouradian’s beloved family — her son Gahmk, daughter Yeraz and grandchildren Matteos and Sarine — together recited Clare Harner’s poem, perhaps expressing Dr. Mouradian’s message to all.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
Do not stand by my grave, and cry
I am not there,
I did not die.

Indeed, Janet did not die.

She lives on in the minds and hearts of all those who had known, worked and sought advice from her. She lives on eternally, without suffering and with her mind as bright as ever. The program presented the life and accomplishment of a selfless, humble, devoted woman who dedicated her entire life to her family, nation and humanity.

Dr. Janet Mouradian Markarian’s Celebration of Life program on June 2, 2024, was a heartfelt expression of love, respect, praise and her eternal memory.

Yes, she didn’t die.

A video of the program is available here.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.

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