Friday, January 23, 2009

Karen's Memorial Service and saying good-bye

I was pleased to see a large gathering in the ballroom to say good-bye to Karen, including several members of the staff, which testifies to her ability to connect to people. I was happy to meet her father for the first time who she had talked about a lot. He was a gentle soul which I must say surprised me as I had pictured him as a more truculant fellow and he was not. He was quick to tears at losing a daughter, although he does not look as though he will live many more years. Her mother did not attend as she lives in another state and is not doing well because of her diabetis, which Karen may have inherited from her.
I found out that Karen was having pain in her shoulder and had asked her closest friend who had a key to her apartment to respond if there was an emergency. So she must have some misgivings, but Ron said that he did not ever expect to have to respond as she suggested because "she was doing so well." I was so glad to hear that she had been doing well as I had thought. Her death was not expected by anyone. You might say in this case we were by death surprised.
Some said she had risen to a personal high in feelings of fulfillment in some new mosaic art work she was learning how to do. She had fallen in love with it just as she had previously fallen in love with quilting.
We were asked to give remarks if we chose, and I talked about the long period of time we were each other's closest neighbors, around 7 or 8 years, much longer than I thought. Her sister was really grieving. A brother was there and one brother did not make it. I described thinking of her as kind of a daughter and giving her bowls of soup, especially after she had her heart attack and cautioning her to look after her health better, as she hated having diabetis and did not accept it well. Most of them laughed as they knew this Karen well. Her cat Freeway was almost as well known as she was. I also thought back and reported that in all those years Karen and I did not exchange a cross word. If you were completely civil to Karen she appreciated it and responded in kind, even though she did have issues with some people and was not afraid to speak her mind. There were times when she was working through a lot of difficulties. I never got into her personal problems as I always think that is a mistake in complex like this, with so many with severe problems. It is not healthy! And she would never lay anything on you you did not ask her about. So despite any inner conflicts she was experiencing, she was considerate of boundaries. Which is probably why so many people came to tell her good-bye.

No comments:


Blog Archive