Two weeks ago, Mark and Donnie Wahlberg said goodbye to their mother and family matriarch, Alma Wahlberg, who died at the age of 78. And just one week ago, they gathered together to celebrate her life at a church service held in the family’s hometown of Boston.
But the brothers were far from alone for that important event. They were surrounded by family — as well as close family friends, like Joey McIntyre.
Since then, Donnie joined his New Kids on the Block bandmate for an Instagram Live chat and told him just how much his presence — and his vocals — at Alma’s service meant to him.
McIntyre reached out to Donnie before the funeral, offering to sing at the service, just as he had done for his friend once before.
“I don’t think a lot of people know that you sang at my wedding,” Donnie said of his 2014 nuptials with Jenny McCarthy. “But I certainly know a lot of people don't know that you texted me and offered to sing at my mom’s service. It was so elegant and so beautiful.”
And it was so meaningful to someone newly grieving a parent.
“The offer in itself was more than enough, completely unnecessary, and then you just — you sang like an angel,” Donnie said. “You always do in the most important moments of our friendship and our history, and that is something I’ll never forget. Sitting with my family, and some of your family members were there, and listening to your voice, I closed my eyes and felt overcome with gratitude and humility at God’s grace.”
McIntyre insisted that raising his voice for Alma was “a privilege,” but to Donnie it was so much more. It was evidence that his bond with his fellow boy-bander remains a precious one.
“What a blessed relationship we have,” the 51-year-old said. “I thank you so much for doing that. I can’t really put it into words how much it meant to me and all of my family members.”
However, he continued to try to put it into words, because he wanted the 48-year-old to know how impressed he was with how he turned out for Alma.
“You transformed that day,” Donnie explained. “You can do that, you’re an actor, you’re a very talented person. ... Your range as an actor and performer are without limit. But in that moment, it was so transcendent, like it really was a side of you and a tone and just a grace that was a different gear. It was quite overwhelming.”
It was, according to Joey, the least he could do — both for his friend and for Alma herself.
“She’s an institution, man,” said Joey, who’s 13-year-old son, Griffin, was also present for the conversation. “Whatever she did to raise you guys, with the faith and the confidence you have in yourselves and in each other, to go out into the world and try to make it a happier, better place. Man, she must have done something right.”
That was a point Donnie made clear in an Instagram post he shared shortly after his mother passed, in which he wrote, “She was, without a doubt, the most loving human being I’ve ever known.”