Karen Winrich Obituary
I received some unexpected bad news this week...my sister-in-law, Karen, died rather suddenly on Wed. Morning. She was 44.
I see my brother, now transformed into a single parent of 5 beautiful children.
I see Mitchel, too young at 3 to fully understand that Mommy is not just sleeping, that she is being taken away from him, to become a spiritual presence only, and not a physical one.
I see Caroline, who did not want to attend the funeral, because she didn't want to go through with it.
I see Katie, the oldest girl, standing next to her father at the receiving line, standing there in shoes too big for her feet. I find this very ironic... it almost seems as if she's physically trying to fill her mother's shoes by wearing a pair that are too big for her. She is strong, our Katie, refusing to break down in the light of this tragedy.
I see Matt, the oldest boy, watching over his younger siblings.
And finally, I see Lauren...the middle daughter. My impressions of Lauren are the strongest. I see her at the visitation on Friday night, kneeling by the coffin, standing attendance on her mother's lifeless body. Never straying far from it. I see her arrange her mothers hands, to hold a flower specially picked by her small hands. I see the grief, and feel it radiate off her in waves, yet there is a small, sad smile on her face as she acts the valiant little hostess.
At the funeral, I see Lauren again, delicate, the same bittersweet smile on her face as she sits again near the head of the coffin and greets each mourner as they pass by to offer final respects to Kari.
This family has just had its foundation ripped out from under it....but I feel they will be OK. With a mother like Karen, they are off to a good start, even without her physical presence.
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