Thanks to a heartfelt letter found tucked inside a used record, new life was restored to the former owner, who passed away at only 39.
Justin Peterson, 31, is an avid fan of vinyl records. He told InsideEdition.com he was looking online when a version of Soundgarden's 1994 album, Superunknown, caught his eye. In addition to it being at a "good price" and in "near mint" condition, the vinyl was blue and produced only in limited quantity.
But Peterson had no idea how much more special the record was until it arrived earlier this week.
"I was under the assumption it was just a normal record, not someone's memories," Peterson said.
Inside the sleeve contained a letter, written from the seller: "I am Mark's mother -- Mark left us in 2002 -- he suffered a heart attack at age 39... Thank you for your support -- and when you play it -- play it loud for Mark!"
"I immediately sensed an emotional connection with a man I never met," Peterson told IE.com as he held his own 4-month-old baby boy in his lap.
The letter mentions Mark's son, Kai, who was only 1 when Mark passed. Both men are also from Pacific Northwest--Mark from Oregon, and Peterson from Washington--, and both men have also been previously employed by Apple.
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An hour later, Peterson said he uploaded the heartfelt letter on Reddit to overwhelming support.
One commented, "I have that on vinyl... Next time I play it I'll remember about Mark."
Another said, "I looked up the area he died in. Absolutely gorgeous place. At least he got to spend a lot of time and end his last moment in a place that looks like heaven on earth."
With the help of a Reddit user, Peterson was even able to track down the man's obituary, which said Mark was remembered as being "creative and unconventional."
Peterson said he reached out to the vendor, Sabine Miner, whom Reddit users discovered to be an Oregon artist and pancreatic cancer survivor, but has not yet received a response.
The seller, who can be found on Discogs.com, has almost 160 albums listed on her page.
Whether Mark's mother knows it or not, a band of strangers are celebrating her son's life. Peterson said he hopes "she likes that connection that people are viewing this and thinking of him... It continues what she was hoping for him."
He speculated that, although she said her son wanted her to listen to his records if anything were to happen, the mother may have begun selling his collection of over 2,000 records in an attempt to move on.
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He even bought a second record, Make It Big by 80s icons Wham!
"Music transcends language," Peterson told IE.com, adding that he has already felt an emotional connection with a stranger who once listened to this record, even though Peterson has only owned for 24 hours. "This is something I'm going to keep forever and pass onto my son."