January 14, 1983: Karen,
Richard and an old college friend went to dinner. During
dinner, Karen's face froze as if in pain and fear. She
was unable to be vocal as to the reason for this and made
her way to the restroom. When she returned to the table,
she said that everything was ok and she was ready to go to
the studio as planned. Such trips to the restroom continued
and alarmed many friends and family.
January 28, 1983: Attended
the Grammy's reunion(pictured below is the autographed
banner from the 25th Anniversary. Karen's signiture if
at the base of the award). Karen had mentioned seeing spots
before her eyes at one point and also mentioned to her
mom and Beverly Nogawski about her "thumping heart" shortly
after her return from New York. On January 29th Karen
mentioned again to Beverly about her heart pounding as
if it was coming out of her chest. This occurred
while doing a non-assertive task such as fixing her sink.During
the day, she displayed upbeat spirits and high energy by
running errands for friends. It is known that anorexic's,
even when emaciated (skeletal), had bursts of high energy.
It almost seems as if she was trying to convince all those
around her that she was doing ok. Maybe even trying
to convince herself. By evening, she spent her time
laying down resting at home in her condo.
Karen and Richard both attended the 25th
Grammy Awards Anniversary Show. This is to be her last
public appearance. Fans were happy to see Karen out and about.
Back in the public eye. Many said she looked tired but as
always, kept a great attitude and looked up and happy about
her life to come. She told Diane Warwick... "I've
got alot of living to do."
February 1, 1983:
She went to dinner with Richard and stage producer Joe Layton
and ate with enthusiasm. After dinner, she returned
to her condo.
This was the last time either one of them would see Karen
February 3, 1983:
Karen showed an interest in eating. Having a shrimp
salad and then wanting a taco on the way home to her parents. Her
mother was very happy to see this. That night,
After having a chance to re-listen to her solo album, Karen
called Phil Ramone (producer) and this is part of their conversation
as quoted in "The Carpenters: The Untold Story"
by Ray Coleman:
"Apprehensively she asked,
'Can I use the f--- word?'
'That album's fucking great!'"
After hearing a noise at the top of the stairs, Agnes Carpenterran
upstairs and found Karen laying on the floor at the foot
of the closet. Agnes had Harold and the housekeeper
phone 911 and she phoned Richard. After many attempts
to revive Karen, she was pronounced dead at the hospital
on February 4, 1983. Karen had no idea Anorexia Nervosa would
ever take her life. She felt she was able to get on
with her life and was finally getting all this under control. She
had plans of shopping for a new washer and dryer, new clothes
and was set that afternoon to sign the final divorce papers
from Tom Burris. She was also ready to continue recording. These
were not the plans of someone ready to give up! Karen's body
had just gave up after the years of abuse it took from the
She herself had not given up which I see as a cruel fate.
Karen's heart had just stopped working. There are many assumptions
going around to whether or not ipecac was the cause for her heart
failure. Close friends along with her therapist have said
that she was not using it, but we will never know for sure, since
this disease is so secretive.
Education of Eating Disorders has
been taken serious since Karen's death. It has in turn saved
many lives. Parents, teachers, and friends made phone
calls for help and there are now tons of resources on the
web, in libraries, bookstores, support groups, etc. Visit EatingDisordersOnline.com for
further information on Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge-eating and
other associated eating disorders.Karen's magical voice will
carry on with us for ever! Her life will never be forgotten! Thanks
to her and Richard for the years of beautiful music!
later interviews, Karen's best friend Olivia Newton-John
stated that she was on the LA expressway going to Karen's
house when she overheard the news of Karen's passing
on the radio. ONJ pulled over her car and called a
friend to come get her. She was too shaken up to drive.
If you watch interviews from many of Karen's friends.
You can see and feel the complete loss each of them
feel. Karen was truly loved by all that new her and
deeply missed by all.
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