Last night I dreamed of my friend Carolyn. It was a friendly, social situation, which included siblings & old friends, though I no longer remember the details. When I first woke from the dream, for a distinct moment I had not yet regained the awareness that she has left us. It was like the state between sleep and waking that Proust describes so well in Swann's Way.
I have wanted to say goodbye to Carolyn via this blog, but have been unsure how best to do so. Let me simply & briefly say something of who she was and is. Carolyn Claas was one of the PK (pastor's kid) friends of my childhood. Her father, Pastor Ronald Krug, was one of my childhood pastors, who today still, I think, serves Christ and His Church at St. Paul's in Oconomowoc. When we were young, Carolyn and her brother Alan were among our close friends. Eventually I went on to pursue certain hopeless ambitions, and the Krugs moved on too. Carolyn has always remained, however, in my thoughts and prayers. I have clear memories of her wedding. She was kind enough to include me on her Christmas letter list for years, and I was always glad to see her pop in at my sister's place once in a while when I happened to be there, even in recent years.
About a fortnight ago I heard of Carolyn's sudden death. She was found at home in her bed. Thirty six years old. And healthy, as far as I knew.
I thank God for the life Carolyn lived among us. And I pray for her parents, Pastor Ronald and Barbara Krug. I pray for her brother, Alan. I also pray for my sister, Bedull, who always remained close friends with Carolyn. Carolyn was even Baptismal sponsor for my niece, Alexandra. I pray also for David, who was once married to her, and for her coworkers and other family and friends.
I remember Carolyn as fun loving; more importantly, I remember her as loving. She was a friend and sister in Christ who loved loving and serving others.
God has His reasons for taking you, Carolyn. Our challenge is to accept it, and be grateful. The place you hold in our lives and in God's Church is stronger now than ever. You have gone before us, and have gained a reward that we are unable to even comprehend. I can only say, thank you, and farewell, dear friend.