We’ve talked on this blog about what it means to be an adult. Do we become wiser and more knowledgeable? Better able to handle the inevitable sorrowful situations that are inherently, inextricably part of the human experience? I’m not sure. I do know that no matter how long I’ve lived, it’s seemingly never easier to comprehend the presence of deep pain and tragedy in the lives of wonderful people. How can someone so full of life and positivity and compassion be taken out of her life, so quickly, so early?
In thinking what I wanted to write, I almost went to the phrase “my friend lost her battle to cancer this week.” And then I realized how ridiculous that was and how much I hated the sentiment. She lost nothing. Certainly she was fighting a battle, but cancer doesn’t get to win the field here and be handed some sort of victory. She fought her hardest and she lived while she fought. While understudying for Heisenberg, the show I wardrobe supervised this past autumn, she was actively undergoing cancer treatments. She was engaging in cancer advocacy. She was raising two beautiful children. In the midst of that, she even made time to listen to me tell her about my nephew or a silly date I went on.
I hadn’t know her for very long, but I’m so glad I met her. I will remember her life, and I am tremendously grateful to number among those who will– all these individual lives of her family and friends, people in the theatre community, cancer advocacy circles, former classmates, fellow parents, and beyond that were blessed to have encountered her.
Until we meet again, Karen, God grant you eternal rest, and bring comfort and hope to all who are left without your physical presence here with us any longer.
If you are interested in reading more about Karen, here’s a neat Playbill article from the Fall about the unique way she tackled the prospect of living with life-threatening illness and yet maintaining hope for herself and those around her Karen Walsh. And if you are interested in supporting her family with a donation, I encourage you to contact me directly and I can guide you on how to do so.