Cherished Words

Cherished Words

I hope you all had a lovely weekend. Saturday was the first day I woke up in my own bed in 16 days. It’s so good to be home.

Normally I would not write about the details of a funeral service of a loved one. But Karen’s funeral was special in so many ways, I want to share a few parts of it with you.
CDF Firefighters Honor Guard and Cal Fire, together with family members and close friends, organized a deeply touching service complete with bag pipes, last alarm, flag folding ceremonies, and Posting of the Colors.
From Napa Valley Patch

A two-mile long procession of fire vehicles followed our family from the church mass to the graveside service, 45-minutes away. It was an unforgettable memorial for an unforgettable woman.

Karen’s personal truck for Cal Fire carried her casket to the church.

One of the most poignant parts of the service was Karen’s best friend, Wendy, delivering the eulogy. Karen wanted to write her own eulogy but since her first craniotomy, she was unable to write. She asked Wendy to help her and over the course of eight months, they met to slowly put Karen’s words down on paper without anyone else knowing what they were doing.

She also asked Wendy to read the eulogy at her service. Wendy did an outstanding job helping Karen sort out her thoughts, transcribe them, then recite her words to a large crowd.

We should all be so fortunate to have a friend like Wendy. She is a remarkable woman with such a kind and generous heart.

The family was given copies of the eulogy. In it Karen expresses her love for her children, husband, siblings, parents, and other family members and friends. And she recounts some humorous, meaningful and memorable events, both in her career and with her loved ones, throughout her 47-years.These are cherished words that everyone who knew her, especially her family, will treasure for a lifetime.

She closed with this:
A combination of this last paragraph, being away from home unexpectedly for such an extended time and having been so entrenched in the final days of Karen’s life and beyond has brought me new perspectives on life, mortality, family, friends and love.I am sure many people experience the same when a loved one passes away. It’s as though someone pressed my reset button so that I can look at life with new eyes.

I think it’s time for me to return to those things that allow me to live my “happy”. So I will be getting back to the usual blogging material soon, just in time for Tuesday’s “How I Wear My: Date Night Outfit”. If you would like to join me and Jill of Everything Just So, send in a photo of yourself in your date night look before Tuesday to be included.
Thank you to all who have been so wonderful with your comments and messages of condolence to me and my family over these last nearly three weeks. I am so grateful to have such thoughtful, kind and warm-hearted people in my life.



  1. February 3, 2013 / 4:59 pm

    This is a wonderful memorial – the truck carrying her casket is truly special.

    We should all take a moment and get some fresh perspective before we have it given to us at a funeral.

  2. February 3, 2013 / 5:11 pm

    A moving post Adrienne. Thank you for writing about the funeral service.

  3. February 3, 2013 / 5:38 pm

    The service sounds like a fitting tribute. The fact that she chose what was said at her eulogy must have been very poignant and personal. Her goodbye message speaks volumes about the kind of person she was in life.
    We can all learn from those words.
    Take care Adrienne.
    Hugs to you,

  4. February 3, 2013 / 6:09 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. There are a few people in our lives that we are lucky to have had. It seems Karen was one of those people. While it is hard to lose her it is wonderful that she graced your life for a time. She sounds like she was a great person.

  5. February 3, 2013 / 6:13 pm

    Though I have been in touch with you through this loss reading more of the details, such as the gifted message left that you can all treasure, brings me to tears again. What an amazing woman, amazing courage and strength…..she left the legacy for those who love her to remember her in life not death.
    Thank you for sharing this intimate experience that so many of us have been through but not been able to share in this way.
    I’m inspired. xx, Heather

  6. February 3, 2013 / 7:08 pm

    Her last words are beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  7. February 3, 2013 / 7:14 pm

    A very fitting tribute and I’m glad Karen was honoured in so many loving ways.

    The bagpipes always do it for me!

  8. February 3, 2013 / 7:23 pm

    Adrienne thank you for a post so filled with gratitude and honor. I only pray that when I meet my end… I may do ti with such grace and love for those I leave behind. Thank you so for sharing Karen’s legacy. I send you much love and prayer.

  9. February 3, 2013 / 8:18 pm

    Such a moving post. May Karen R.I.P.

  10. February 3, 2013 / 8:40 pm

    Thank you for sharing this with all of us. Just seeing photographs of such a stunning tribute, and reading that last paragraph of the eulogy she wrote, knowing that she wanted her legacy to be one of love, strength, and happiness, certainly has pushed my re-set button as well. My continued prayers for your whole family, and glad you’re now home. xo K

  11. February 3, 2013 / 9:00 pm

    What a remarkable and courageous woman Karen must have been…sounds like a fitting tribute for someone so special. How wonderful that she touched you in such a way and that she was in your life.

    I’m glad that you are home now and ready to get back into somewhat of a normal routine again. It really is the one thing that helps us heal after a loss. Years ago I was attending the memorial service for my best friend’s father, and still remember the minister’s last words to the congregation…”When you leave here today, I want you to go out and live”.


  12. February 3, 2013 / 9:34 pm

    Adrienne, What beautiful words for our dear Karen. It really was an incredible service for her. She truly deserved it. I’m going to miss her everyday of my life. But I feel Karen has connected all of us now to carry on forward. I think we will continue to be connected long after this. Thank you so much for all you did for her, and for Dave. You were so appreciated, and I hope that other family members have told you so as well.

    Get some rest now. At some point I need to hook up with you regarding a trip my husband wants to go on to Paris. I know you have a plethora of do’s, don’t do’s, and definitely don’t do’s!


  13. February 4, 2013 / 1:45 am

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I read it with tears in my eyes.
    The many responses here truly show that this is not just an anonymous internet and blogging world.


  14. February 4, 2013 / 3:47 am

    Thank you for sharing this. I do wish you and all of your family happiness down the road as you live the rest of your lives with memories of this remarkable woman.

  15. February 4, 2013 / 4:53 am

    I am so glad you shared this, Adrienne…it is always good to experience how a woman has touched so many lives and left such a legacy. It encourages the rest of us to look at each day as a gift and to live it to its fullest! Thank you!

  16. February 4, 2013 / 5:15 am

    What a journey this has been for everyone. Happy to hear you are home and getting back into your “happy” place. Thank you for sharing Karen’s words. She both lived and died bravely. xo

  17. February 4, 2013 / 5:33 am

    How sad I am for your your loss. Karen must have been such a radiant light and dear friend. This is such a warm, heartful tribute. I am quite certain she’ll remain in your hearts.xx

  18. February 4, 2013 / 7:37 am

    Such a wonderful service and tribute to a good friend.


  19. February 4, 2013 / 8:05 am

    What a very moving show of respect, love and support from all of her colleagues. So touching.Good to have you back.

  20. February 4, 2013 / 11:17 am

    Poignant, even for those who haven’t had the honor to meet Karen. She must have been an amazing person.
    Life goes on but the ones we have loved will always be here.
    Good luck Adrienne…
    Anne Touraine (Playing with Scarves)

  21. February 4, 2013 / 12:21 pm

    Those last words in the eulogy show so much how she was all about everyone else and love. How very precious that she was able to think about it and put her words down for you all, so many just don’t- as they don’t have the time to prepare or just can’t face it- and leave it for others to sort out. Thinking of you all and hoping you are all coping ok. xx, j

  22. February 4, 2013 / 12:30 pm

    I’m behind on my blog-reading, but this post deeply moved me. Karen was clearly an amazing woman deeply loved and respected by many, many people. I am so sorry for your loss.

  23. February 4, 2013 / 4:10 pm

    My deepest condolences, Adrienne. This tribute is so moving, thank you for sharing it.

  24. February 5, 2013 / 5:14 pm

    I know that it may be “taboo” to talk about funerals but I find it therapeutic. Death is something I think everyone deals with at some point and maybe even after years have gone by since a loved one has been lost….that pain may still feel fresh, seeing how others grieve helps us all learn to cope and live! I heard something once, it went like… We need to honor the fallen, by living well ourselves, that phrase has always helped me! I hope you are well and taking great care! Lemme know if you need anything! I feel like we are only a hop skip and a jump away.


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