Three years, three gone

by Amanda Holland

Three deaths in three years. Karlie Neuhausser’s sophomore and junior years at Lewis Mills High School were filled with loss and grief.

First, it was her Grandpa. A trip to Vermont, for Labor Day weekend in 2012 turned dark in an instant. Karlie sat at the her family’s cottage, waiting to hear any news from her parents as the pair departed to get to a phoneline.

Moments later, her dad Karl came into the cottage and told her that her Grandpa had passed away from a brain aneurysm. “I wish I could have said good bye, it was so sudden,” said Neuhausser.

After the loss of Karlie’s grandpa, and the news of her Auntie Linda’s cancer metastasizing, grief plagued her home. Linda had been diagnosed just two years earlier with metastatic kidney cancer, and her condition began to worsen. “She was pretty consistent up until the last six months,” Neuhausser said. “Her quality of life was decreasing.”

On December 7th, Karlie turned off of Angela’s Way towards her home in Harwinton. She had a peculiar feeling. “I didn’t receive a text or phone call, but in a way, I kind of knew,” Karlie said. Auntie Linda was gone.

(Photo: Joanne Neuhausser)

As the family began move past the loss of Karlie’s aunt and grandpa, her other grandfather fell ill. A GI Infection began to overwhelm him and shut down his body. He had already lost three toes due to complications from surgery earlier in the year. Now his options were limited, continue to fight in discomfort or be content in hospice care. Battling with the decision, the family chose hospice. Another December had come and another relative was taken from her. The “patriarch” of Karlie’s family passed away.

“It was pretty crazy for me. I had never seen my dad get emotional or cry like that before,” Karlie said.

Within the course of three years the members of Karlie’s family said goodbye to three loved ones. For Karlie, it was a rough time in her life.

(Photo: Joanne Neuhausser)

Though she battled loss, she knows that her lost family members were suffering no more. “I wanted to spend more time with all of them, but it would be selfish to keep them all here,” she said.

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