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Jane Williams
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Julie Buxton - Download this eulogy?

What an amazing adventure it's been knowing Karl!

It is very difficult for me to stand here today but I don't want to give up so I'm going to borrow an idea from a friend of ours who recently got married and ask you all to cheer me on if I cry. I thought the most appropriate way to do that would be for you to yell 'C'mon Bring It On!' as Karl always did. Very LOUDLY.

You're probably all wondering about the song we just listened to - "400 Years" by Bob Marley. Karl had asked that it be played at his funeral. The truth is, I don't even know why. It might be a reflection of his sense of social justice, his love for freedom or talk of revolutions. Or it may be that he just liked the song. Often, there was just no explaining Karl and that, for me, was one of his many great attractions.

Karl started writing his memoirs, "Karlland", a few months ago and I'd like to read a short excerpt about his time in America as a young child:

"To save ourselves from the crazed squirrels in Boston, we took a trip across the continent. I might be exaggerating about how far we went, but we were certainly stuck in a hot car for a very long time. As my sister Rockabillie and I sweated and slowly dehydrated, we would attack our Nan's arms and feverishly lick her. It doesn't sound like a very nice thing to do, or receive - two sweaty little children with mashed apple stuck to their faces, licking you like an ice-cream, but she didn't seem to mind too much. It's funny. We get taught a lot of things when we're children; how to read; when to say thank you; not to spit your brussell sprouts on your sister; and not to drink petrol. Never once, however, have I read, or heard anywhere, that if you're dehydrated crossing transcontinental deserts, that you should lick your grandmother. It's quite amazing how many survival skills we are born with. Not as many as a fish, perhaps, but more than you might think. More than I might think, perhaps."

Karl and I had only been together a short time although we had known each other for more than 20 years. We had a whirlwind romance, action packed with parties and adventure and of course, the arrival of our beautiful son, Marlow.

Last year when Marlow was about five months old, Karl and I received some news. Ordinarily, I would say it was very bad news but Karl's words constantly echo in my ears as we spoke for the first time at the Austin Hospital after his diagnosis. He simply said, 'It's not bad, it's not good, it's just the way it is.'

In all my despair in recent months, it was always Karl's words that reassured me even when he could no longer speak. If I thought Karl was thinking 'Why me?' I reminded myself that he wasn't, he was thinking 'Why not me?'. If I wondered if he was thinking 'It's not fair', I knew his response always was 'Life isn't fair'. Most of all, I reminded myself of the way he had always accepted everything that came his way with amazing courage.

I'm going to tell you a bit about the last 12 months because I think there is no greater testament to Karl's character than to describe how he accepted the news of his illness with such calm and grace, without a word of complaint or self pity and with a far greater concern for the wellbeing of me and Marlow than for himself.

For all of you who have commended me on my strength, bravery and positivity, it is only by virtue of Karl's that I have managed to muster any at all.

Karl never uttered a word of regret. At most, he said he felt a bit ripped off because he wasn't ready to go and he didn't want to leave us.

After being released from hospital after his surgery, Karl and I drove straight down to our home in Red Hill via his two favourite shops - JB HiFi and Bunnings. We bought a huge stereo with outdoor speakers and woke up in the morning, turned the stereo up loud and danced around the house in our pyjamas with Karl's mum, Margot.

Karl and I consoled ourselves and each other by walking through the trees at dawn in silence, by sitting outside under the night sky staring at the stars and by cranking the tunes really really loudly and dancing outside on the deck until the early hours of the morning. Karl still had a huge bandage across his head.

There were, of course, some solemn words and some tears but mostly there was celebration. Celebration of our amazing lives that intertwined to create a third. Celebration of how lucky we were to have found each other. We reminded each other through the tears that the fact that we were crying meant that we shared something so special many people may not find in a lifetime.

We rarely painted clouds on our future. We danced in the present. We laughed a lot. We had barbecues and parties, we continued dreaming of travels and planning our November wedding.

Not long after Karl's surgery we went skiing in New Zealand with two of our gorgeous sisters, Roxane and Suze, we floated beneath the oceans surface diving in East Timor and Far North Queensland and we had the party of a lifetime at our wedding in Palm Cove. We continued to live life as we both had always, as if every day may be our last and we really had the most incredible year. Most of you could be forgiven for thinking that nothing was wrong or for thinking that we thought nothing was wrong. We watched our son Marlow grow into a toddler, rejoiced in his infectious laughter and took pride in his first painting. Even when Karl was really sick and struggling to express emotion, he always smiled at Marlow and reached out for him when he was near and even when Karl's short-term memory was rapidly fading, he still referred to Marlow by his nick-name, "Klaussen". Karl never lost his sense of humour.

Karl and I shared a passion for music. When I left Karl last year as he went into the operating theatre I raced straight to JB HiFi to buy him some new music for when he awoke. I picked a couple of CDs of his favourite artists and a third completely random CD recommended by the shop assistant. It was Xavier Rudd. Karl later told me it helped give him inspiration to live. It was Xavier Rudd that we so often danced to on the deck at Red Hill and, of course, Gussy Berger's 'CMON Compilation' that he had made especially for Karl and posted from London when he heard the news.

I went to see Xavier Rudd play on Sunday night. By coincidence, it was the four of us who had travelled together with Karl to Queenstown in 2000. Sadly Karlos was not with us in person but he was definitely there in spirit. Karlos, I will always dance with you when I hear these tunes.

Getting to know Karl when we started going out was like playing a game of pass the parcel. Every layer looked different and beneath each surface was an exciting little surprise. He had range. He could be raucous, a larrikin, a boy's boy and he could also be the most sensitive, gentle and caring father, husband and friend. He could be calm, reassuring and highly perceptive and he could also have temper tantrums like a little child and pout for hours. But no matter how naughty Karl was, and he could be very naughty, it was impossible to stay mad at him for long. He had a wicked sense of humour and a wild side that was sometimes too dangerous even for me. He was fearless.

I was inspired by his lateral thinking and impressed by his intellect. Mostly though, I just loved him and I love the way he loved me.

I love the way he smiled at me, the glint in his eye, the way he bit down on his bottom lip. I love the way he teased me, challenged me, the way he became an incredible cook because I couldn't. I love that there were no boundaries placed on our freedom, that we shared a sense of spontaneity and fun. I love the way he played with Marlow and looked after him even when he was unwell.

I love the way he took more care in ensuring that Marlow's outfits were colour coordinated than me. I love the way he made cufflinks out of bottle tops. I love the way he loved puddles. I love the way when Karl and I were together everything seemed possible. I love the way he comforted me as I cried when we got the news that his tumour had returned. I love the way he helped me believe that everything would be ok. I love the way he never gave up.

I love the way Karl loved his family, the way he would often ring his mum and dad just for a chat or some advice, the way he phoned Rox in New Zealand the day after we got together to tell her the news, the way he shared a special language with his aunty Merry that only they could understand, the way his Uncle Grant and Aunty Brenda loved him so much they have created a masterpiece of the order of service. I love the way he loved my family, each of them individually for his own special reasons, especially my sister Suze. I love the way he was so loyal and caring towards his friends.

Karlos, I will miss our walks though the national park, our picnics on the beach at Point Leo, our adventurous holidays and our fun nights chatting and dancing. I will miss you cooking up a storm on the barbecue at Red Hill with my head torch on. I will miss our fiery arguments that always rapidly descended into laughter. I will miss having you near. I will miss you tapping me on the shoulder and kissing me in the morning. I will miss your smile.

Karlos, I love you, my little Freak. I hope you are free. I hope you are laughing and dancing, drinking cold beer and skiing like a maniac. Thank you for meeting me in a place in my heart and my soul that no-one else had. I am going to take you home after this but I won't say goodbye. I will say 'Peace my friend, we will share again.'

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