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Karen Thomason

1951 - 2014
Karen Thomason Obituary
Karen Thomason, 63, died on July 30, 2014, after a catastrophic heart attack and strokes more than a decade before. She is survived by one daughter, Elisa, and many friends.
What follows is a remembrance by one of those friends, Pete Brooks. He is a former production manager at Gazette Newspapers.
I liked Karen right off. She struck me as kind of sad and broken inside, but had the kindest eyes I've ever seen. She had clearly been dragged down a rough, rural road throughout her life, but she still had a lot of heart and was a survivor.
She was My People.
Karen had epically low self-esteem, as a result of a childhood worthy of E.A. Poe or Stephen King. I was instantly drawn to her, and the weird vibe of self-loathing/love for mankind she exuded. She should have hated the world by the time I met her. She had every right to, but she didn't. She was a better person than I could ever even imagine myself being.
She needed and deserved a better friend than she had and I decided I would be that friend. I remember the night her husband walked out on her. Karen never asked for help. But that night, she picked up the phone and called me, in tears. She spent that first awful night at my house because we both knew, I think, that she shouldn't be alone.
After that, she was my beard and I was hers. We went to innumerable movies together. We went to dozens of concerts together. When I made mix tapes for whatever girl I was dating at the time, I always secretly routed her a copy, and she always talked to me about it afterward in much greater detail and with more enthusiasm than the person for whom I had collected the songs.
She was a voracious reader and consumer of popular entertainment. When I was writing my magnum opus, she was the person to whom I gave the chapters as I cranked them out, and I still thrill at the memory of her running down the office hallway and hugging me after reading the second chapter. She loved it, and she told me why in a way that indicated she had really invested herself in reading it.
She became, in a word, indispensable to my life, especially after her husband left her. In my own way, without even realizing it, I also took her for granted. I suppose at some point, I accepted the fact that I wanted to "save" Karen much more than she wanted to be saved, and to some extent just went with that.
And the final act of her life, spending the last 12 years in a persistent vegetative state, is enough to make one question the whole concept of a loving, forgiving God. Nobody would give me a straight answer about whether she was conscious inside her locked-down body, but I can tell you that when I went to visit her, I would sing softly to her, some of our favorite songs, and tears would roll down her cheeks.
That old line of bull about, "Oh, they're in a better place now" usually rings awfully false, but in Karen's case, I cannot imagine a truer statement. I miss her still, acutely as I write this, but am so grateful and relieved that her period of torment has finally come to an end.
This goes out to my friend, my confidante, my amiga inseparable, Karen Thomason. Requiescat in peace, good and faithful friend.
Published in Gazette Newspapers on Aug. 8, 2014
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