Saturday, May 4, 2013

Kirsten Laid To Rest

Lis Larsen Cook Designed the Memorial Service Program
Kiki's Send-off!
My first memory of Kirsten was when I was very small. Someone came up to me at church and said, “Did you know your mommy just had a baby?” “No. I didn’t know that”
The birth of my sister, Kirsten Suzanne Larsen, on March 20th 1983, was likely the most significant life-shaping event of my existence. So much of the person I am, was formed by the influence of who she was. I can’t think of a single day of my childhood that wasn’t spent in her presence. We shared a bedroom for almost our entire childhood. And even when we were older and had our own rooms after everyone else moved out, one of us would still get lonely and make our way to the other’s room where we would share a twin bed.
Kirsten was always very clever. For months we begged our mom to let us get our ears pierced. Finally, in an attempt to encourage less fighting in our home, she said we could make ourselves a kindness chart. After doing 100 nice things for each other, we could have them pierced. Kirsten suggested we pack all of the niceness into one day. Genius! “Can I get you a glass of water?” “Can I help you with your chores?” “Would you like to borrow my favorite Barbie?” By the end of the day, we were at the mall picking out our earrings… Incidentally, this was the beginning of many, many more piercings for her J
Kirsten was an avid bicyclist. In 2005 she joined the Sprockettes, an all-ladies synchronized bike dance troupe, whose mission is to encourage healthy, active living; reduce a carbon footprint by bicycling; promote the empowerment of women, and to actively engage with the community around them. In the several years she was with the team, they performed from San Francisco to Vancouver B.C., toured in a veggie oil powered bus, held workshops and skill shares, received national media recognition and inspired international bike dance teams. She was the longest standing member of the group, dancing with them through 2012 and was widely considered to be EVERYONE’S favorite Sprockette.
Kirsten was raised by a close and loving family. In her adulthood, she added to that family, a very large, tight-knit group of friends from the Alberta neighborhood and around the country. In the past few years she pursued many creative and artistic endeavors, helped build an art gallery from scratch, hosted craft nights, game nights and dance parties. Helped put together a weekly game of kickball in her neighborhood and rode her bike everywhere. I was talking this week to a good friend of hers who said this about Kirsten: “She wanted to help anyone she met. She wanted to introduce anyone that she thought would hit it off. She would put anything on hold in her own life to get to know someone that she only had mutual friends with. She was an ambassador for the neighborhood. And the webweaver for our social network.” Kirsten was an incredibly loving and genuine person. She had a way of bringing out the funniest, happiest version of me, and I think many others as well. She was just so real; it was impossible to not be your true self with her.
She has always loved music and dancing. Some of my favorite memories are of us singing and dancing in the car, or the kitchen. Sometimes even in a store or restaurant if our favorite song of the moment happened to come on. She had so much charisma. I always felt cooler and more confident, just by being around her. We were always finding new musicians to love, and always excited to see if the other liked them as much. She almost always found the best stuff first. It always made me so happy to find something great that she didn’t know about yet. But of course this was rare. She had her finger on the pulse of all things cool.
I was listening the other day to a song she and I both loved by a group called Neutral Milk Hotel. These lyrics seemed fitting:

"What a beautiful face I have found in this place that is circling all ‘round the sun.
What a beautiful dream that could flash on a screen in a blink of an eye and be gone
from me, Soft and sweet, let me hold it close and keep it here with me-eeee.
And one day we will die and our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea.
But for now we are young, let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see…"

Kirsten opened my heart. She saw beauty in unusual places and things, and had a way of writing or speaking that made me see the world more beautifully, too.
She had the best sense of humor. I always loved trying to make her laugh. I think mostly because if she was laughing at something I said or did, then for that moment, she thought I was the greatest. I LOVED that feeling.
She was my standard of cool. If I ever met someone I knew she would love, it always made me love them more. A childhood friend of hers was saying the other day that she always dreamed of having a big party where everyone she knew and loved would be able to meet Kirsten. I feel exactly the same way. I’ve always felt so proud of her. And wanted everyone I’ve ever known or cared about to know she’s my sister. And I think now of the people in my future who will never know her. And it makes me feel sad for them. They have no idea what they’re missing. But I do. And it’s huge.
I think I can safely say this out loud, now that she’s gone. But she has always been my favorite, of anyone I’ve known. Such an absolutely incredible person. I look forward to the day when I’ll see her again.
Karen Larsen

Karen's Eulogy at the Memorial Service was beautifully written and beautifully presented.

On Saturday the twenty-seventh of April, the day after the Memorial Service, the family traveled to Hug Point on the Oregon Coast to lay to rest the remains of our beloved Kirsten.  We chose what we consider to be the most beautiful spot on the coast, and a place where the family spent some wonderful play-times, as the spot where we could come on future days and meditate, and review in our memories Kirsten's life.  It was a peaceful and spiritual experience for all of us.
Hug Point

Hug Point
Approaching The Spot
The Falls
The Spot
Beautiful And Peaceful
Just As She Would Have It
Part Of God's Creation
He Made This For Us
A Place To Return To
We will always miss her.

1 comment:

  1. I think we picked the most perfect spot for her. Quiet, remote & peaceful with a stunning view, beautiful sunsets & happy memories.
    I love you guys,