BY MARK WEBER
I’ve been in the journalism business for nearly 20 years, and within that space of time I have met so many people. Some really fantastic folks, and a few who haven’t been overly wonderful, too. But for the vast majority of the time, I have been able to connect with such interesting, engaging people and to interview them about various aspects of their lives. I have honestly found it deeply fulfilling.
And one of the most charming, warm and friendly people I ever had the pleasure of knowing passed away last week here in Red Deer.
Carole Forhan was one of those folks who was absolutely central to the theatrical community in Red Deer.
Long involved with Central Alberta Theatre and later on with the Red Deer Players as well, Carole was one of those people who just seemed to be everywhere – endlessly enthusiastic about any number of theatre projects taking place on the local front. Even if she wasn’t directly involved in a particular play, I’d often run into her at preview nights – she would be there just to encourage the team and offer her support.
Anyone who knew her could vouch for this – Carole was such a warm person.
I can’t recall the first time I met her, but I know that it wasn’t long before I counted her as not just a consistent theatre contact in the City, but as a friend, too.
Any time I ever interviewed her, there was always lots of laughter and chatting that went well beyond the actual purposes for the interview. With Carole, there was no pretense. She was honestly one of the most genuine, ‘real’ people I have ever had the privilege of knowing.
I always felt completely comfortable with her, and conversations flowed easily and naturally.
When we lose someone, life is never really the same.
Your journey changes; it’s different. I recall my own father’s death 20 years ago, and how in the middle of waves of grief and the horrendous grey that followed for so long, there really was no resuming what had been before.
Life took on a change that was and is simply ‘unchangeable’. We ‘adapt’ to loss, but we never, ever ‘get over it’.
But there is comfort not only in my personal belief that I will one day see my dad again, but also in remembering him – he gave me much when he was here, and his legacy continues to enrich me and somehow to guide me along my way.
I sometimes find myself thinking how I wish I could ask dad a question about something. Or simply ask what he thought about a particular situation or issue.
Those days are behind me sadly.
But to this day, I find joy and hope in my memories, which are as bright and vivid as ever.
As for saying goodbye to Carole, I can only say that I will really miss her – I will miss her smile, her kindness, and that knowledge that she didn’t only look at me as a local reporter to help spread the word about a given project, but as a pal, too. We didn’t spend much time together, but it was enough time to show me that she was a very special person who really cared about people and felt so at home with lending a hand.
To her family and her closest friends, my thoughts and prayers are with you all.
I hope you know what a gift your mom really was to this City. Her spirit, her love for the stage and her enormous sense of fun will indeed live on.
I know that I will never forget her or the inspiration that I not only received from her in my own life, but which I saw her pass on to so many others as well. She was a delight – a very bright light – and those are the people who make the most profound differences in our lives. God bless you and keep you, Carole.