Moving On Doesn’t Mean We Forget


Every year without fail, November 21st comes around, and with it, the memories of my sister Kathy’s’ murder. Kathy was savagely beaten, raped, strangled, and run over by a car. Her naked, lifeless body was discarded in the woods three miles from our home. I always thought an arrest would be made.

The loss is still heartbreaking and I miss her. I struggle to remember aspects of her personality. I can’t recall her voice, her laugh, her gestures, or her joking ways.

This summer I did a book signing at Gibson’s Bookstore in New Hampshire. A woman approached me after everyone else was gone. She told me, “I’m afraid I’ll forget him.” Her soul mate, her love had recently past away, and her greatest fear was she’d forget him. I empathized with her; the fear is real.

She had mementos from trips they’d taken and from the special life they had together. I suggested she start a journal. “Take the things you’ve collected and write about them. Use words to help remind you of the funny things he used to say, and about the trips you took together. Place the mementos with your stories. When you feel you’ve forgotten him, you’ll have your journal to help remind you of the love you shared.”

People told her to move on. “Moving on doesn’t mean we forget, or that we won’t grieve our loss years later. We learn to function after our loss, and we still reminisce. Sometimes reminiscing will make us laugh and other times cry, but either way, it’s okay.”

With tears in her eyes, she said, “I’m going to buy a journal.” We hugged, and I watched her walked away. That was an emotional conversation for me, but like so many other times, Kathy was in it. I know the fear of forgetting a laugh, a smile, or a joke. Its happened to me, and it hurts.

My goals today are different from years in the past. I don’t want Kathy to be forgotten. I hope what happened to her would cause others to make a difference in this world. One person can’t conquer the world, but one step forward can leave a positive mark.

The books, the speaking engagements, and the conversations I have with other families suffering from loss are the ways I show my love for her.

Love you, Kathy. Kisses and hugs forever…




10th Annual National Missing Persons Conference
Group picture Conference

Photo taken by Carrie Elgbrett

Speaking at this conference was a life-changing event for me. Since Kathy’s murder I have never been around a group of people such as this. That’s saying something since it’s been over forty years since someone brutally took her life. Looking into the eyes of more than three hundred faces reflected the power of unity.

In attendance were law enforcement officers, search and rescue teams with their faithful dogs, Community United Effort (CUE) leaders, CUE volunteers and Guardian Angels of the streets. They dedicate their time to find, rescue and recover loved ones because they know what it’s like to drown in the pain of the unknown. While seeking answers about their missing or murdered they are willing to open their hearts and extend their hands to walk with another on the dark path that is familiar.

At first I felt like an outsider. It was obvious that relationships had been formed from previous years. But it wasn’t long before I had a strong connection to a group of people I’d never met before. A closer connection than some relationships I’ve had for years. When your eyes meet with another’s that’s experienced the pain of murder or have someone missing time isn’t needed to form a bond.



The conference was educational. I’m still trying to process. Some information was dark and covered the evil in the underground world. There is no doubt the depravity of man is alive and kicking. Thank goodness we have warriors willing to battle in the muck of it all.

The topics addressed were Forced Labor Around the Globe, Social media and law, Crime Scene Preservation, “Throwaway” People Become Cold Cases, Statement Analysis as an Investigative Tool, What’s Race Got to Do With It? My Child is Missing!, The Curious Allure of Serial Killers and The Unsolved Not Forgotten.

The weekend encompassed a mixture of emotions. Empathy, sorrow and grief emerged along with courage, hope and pride. Disgust, anger and frustration sometimes sat next to eagerness, amazement and triumph. Each day I hit the pillow exhausted but filled with admiration for Monica Caison the founder of CUE and her volunteers.

It was an honor to meet all involved with the 10th Annual National Missing Persons Conference. I definitely received more than I gave.

Thank you,

Monica Caison/Karen Beaudin

CUE’s Oath “I offer myself to those who have nowhere else to turn. These desperate people who ask for my help have unique situations. Yet, however unique, they are bound together with the commonality of being the loved one of a missing person.” Monica Caison