I had the privilege of getting to know Karrin Becker during the Fall semester of 2014, when we ended up in the same study abroad program in Valparaíso, Chile. Looking back on the trips, conversations and experiences we shared, what strikes me most about Karrin was her way of unabashedly caring about almost everything.
Whether it was a mangy dog on the street, a lesson in class that highlighted an injustice in Chile, or someone’s petty troubles with a professor, Karrin seemed to put herself in that very situation, her eyes wide, and care about it as much as if it were happening to her. That is a rare quality, and one that I know will be missed.
Karrin herself will be sorely missed. To Karrin’s parents, to any of her friends and classmates at Gustavus Adolphus College, know that there are people all over the world who are mourning the loss of Karrin with you. You are not alone.
In trying to find the best way that I knew how to honor Karrin’s memory, I decided that reaching out to the world would be the best choice, and in order to share some of the impact that Karrin had on me, I wanted to encourage everyone reading this to do the same.
Turn to your friends and tell them how much they mean to you. Get to know people better who you’re already friends with. Ask people if they’re doing alright, sincerely. Listen to people with an open mind. Care about their problems as if they were your own, care about them as fellow human beings, and care more about the world around you. This is what Karrin tried to do with her life, and the least we can do to honor her existence is to keep trying.
– Lee Kaplan-Unsoeld