Dear Sweet Caroline:
Why did you leave us so soon? You have flown away beyond the sun, scattering your joy and beauty and love among the stars, whence they will shower down upon us, like flower petals on a warm spring breeze. In this way, despite your absence, your spirit will always be with us. Our memories will not fade. Our love for you will never die.
Much Love, Your Family
Our beloved daughter, sister, and auntie left this life unexpectedly on Memorial Day, 27 May 2019, in Arlington, Virginia. Caroline loved life, and within her life she loved science, family, proper spelling, cats, grammar, the mountains of Colorado, the beaches of Delaware, newspapers, books, travel, the Oxford comma, progressive politics, equal rights, good food, good wine, and good friends. She especially loved her nephew and niece, Max and Emilia, and they miss their Auntie Harbo.
Caroline was born in Denver, Colorado, at sunrise, on 20 November 1983. She attended public schools in Denver, and graduated from Wheat Ridge High School in 2002, after which she attended The George Washington University and the University of Colorado. While at the latter university, she spent a semester abroad in Madrid. In December 2013 Caroline graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver, with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology.
In early 2014 she moved to Washington, D.C., to be close to family, and to start a new life adventure. During her years in Washington, she worked for the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), and for the School of Medicine at The George Washington University. At the time of her death, she was considering teaching English abroad, seeking new experiences in a distant land.
Caroline was a kind and independent woman with a fierce spirit, exemplified by her red hair. She touched and inspired and shared life’s joys and sadnesses with numerous people during her years among us, and she is and will continue to be greatly and sadly missed.
Caroline is survived by her father and step-mother, Michael and Terri; her mother and step-father, Nancy and Greg; her sister Jessi; her sister Kate and sister-in-law Lisa; her beloved nephew and niece, Max and Emilia; her fuzzy butt companion, Dotty; and more friends than we can count.
You may be reading this because you knew Caroline, or, like Caroline and her father, you read obituaries for the stories they tell about people. However, this obituary cannot fully tell, nor do justice to, Caroline’s story. So, whether you knew her or not, you can honor the things she loved and the causes in which she believed by doing some of the following things:
- Travel to exotic places, and honor their cultures.
- Stay in your PJs and binge watch a favorite show.
- Celebrate Christmas with dinner at Filomena’s in Georgetown.
- Read a book (read several books!).
- Go see live music and dance like there’s no tomorrow.
- Enjoy a meal, particularly a good cheese course (with red wine).
- Be helpful, and kind.
- Apatosaurus, not Brontosaurus.
- If you love someone, tell them. No matter what.
- Know the difference between your, you’re, and yore, and use them correctly.
- Register to vote, and vote in every election. Your life depends upon it.
- Help someone else register to vote, and then encourage them to vote.
- Support a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions.
- Make a donation to an organization that is working to make this a better world.
A celebration in honor of Caroline’s life will be held at the family home near Estes Park, Colorado, on Saturday, 10 August 2019. If you wish to join us in remembering this remarkable woman, write to RememberingCaroline2019@gmail.com for details.
And remember: There is no ending as long as someone is alive in your heart.