In this part of the interview, Karen’s bubbly personality shines.
Me: So what thoughts did you have when you realized you had crossed over?
Karen: Oh, I was mostly just surprised! I felt surprise and joy.
Me: Do you think it was your destiny to die when and how you did? Karen: Oh, yes. I made it my destiny. Definitely.
Karen: It was my own internal battle with appearance and food and nurturing oneself. I was very nurtured by my career—by fame, by people, by applause—that fed me to no end.
Me: I can only imagine.
Karen: But I could never be exactly what I saw in my mind, physically.
Karen: I don’t quite know! It was just a tick I could never get out of.
Jamie: A tick?
Me: Hm. Okay. Can you describe your afterlife and what you do there?
Karen: Beautiful. Just beautiful. I’ve learned to play all kinds of instruments, and I still do music. A work a lot with younger talent—worldwide, not just the United States.
Me: On the earthly plane, obviously.
Karen: On the earthly plane, yes, especially with vocals. And it’s not about being famous; it’s about the joy of singing. That’s what I work with them on.
Me: Ah! Now can you give me a more specific visual description of your afterlife?
Karen: I have an amphitheater I love playing in, and we have places for concerts on the lawn, music, and art. I spend most of my time there if I’m not spending it with younger children on earth encouraging them to follow their heart’s song.
Me: Aw! How beautiful.
Jamie: Aw, I love that!
Me: You’re amazing, Karen. What insights did you gain once you had this new perspective from the other side?
Karen fusses with her hair a little bit and looks up to the side, thinking. Then she abruptly looks at Jamie and laughs.
Karen (giggling): Well, I guess my insight was that I was a bit crazy when I was alive.
Jamie and I burst out laughing.
Me: Aren’t we all, though?
Jamie (imitating Karen): I was a bit crazy!
Me: You sound so happy, Karen.
Jamie: She does, doesn’t she?
Me: Yes. Now, what were you here to learn and to teach?
Karen: I’m really proud that from my death came a lot of publicity about eating disorders.
Me: That’s right! I remember that.
Karen: It was the first time, really, for anorexia and bulimia to go public, educating people about the dangers. I’m happy my death made that come out.
Karen: I really think that’s why I was here.
Me: Were you here to learn anything?
Karen (giggling sheepishly): I know I was here to learn about love.
Me: Nurturing yourself?
Karen (still giggling): Yes.
Jamie: She’s smiling so big!
Jamie (to Karen): Why are you smiling?
Karen (whispering): Cuz I don’t think I got it!
Karen: I think I’ll come back and do it again!
Me: Well, you said wanted to do it all over again—die, that is.
Karen: Absolutely. There’s no feeling in the world like it!
This is one of my favorite Karen Carpenter songs, but she looks a bit thin here: