In early January 2019, just outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand, our beautiful Miss Carli suddenly left this world. She was young, free, and curious on that bright and sunny afternoon, excited to explore the mystical mountain top temple, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.
Anyone who knew Carli would say she was full of life. She had a big, loving heart. She was vivacious and coquettish, upbeat and positive, a champion of the underdog, passionate about social-justice, a lover of animals, and possessed a deep care and connection with Mother Earth. She knew how to lift up and enthusiastically support those she loved. She was on her spiritual path, making new discoveries as she fearlessly explored her adventurous and fun life.
She graduated with honors from UC Santa Barbara this past summer (June 2018) obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Life Course, Socialization, and Interpersonal Relations. She continued to live and work as a server in Santa Barbara, practicing yoga, enjoying her friends, music festivals, and nature. Her next steps were on the horizon, with plans to do a certificate program for project management at UCSB and see if she liked business education enough to pursue her MBA. Her future was very bright.
The following words describe what happened to cause her death. It was a senseless accident, but she was joyful and free in those last moments and days of her life, exploring her inner and outer worlds. She traveled to Thailand on January 3rd out of SFO, arriving to Bangkok on the 4th. She was in a group of three other girls and met up with a fourth friend who was already there. The girls stayed in Bangkok for a few days and then moved on to Chiang Mai. Carli was enjoying her experience of visiting temples and participating in meditation sessions. She learned of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and wanted to go. For whatever reason, she split off from the others, rented a scooter, donned her helmet, and headed up the mountain alone. Sometime around 1:30 p.m., she was riding her scooter around a left sweeping turn when she must’ve been in the blind spot of a man driving a taxi van. He changed lanes to cut the curve, hitting Carli at speed. Her injuries were extensive and her transition out of her body was likely swift.
I was (and am) proud of Carli for many reasons. I think mostly, though, for her courage to follow her heart and speak her mind as she carved her own path for her life. She had true, heart-centered courage along with an exuberant drive and the capability to accomplish the things she set her heart and mind to. She also had the ability to see and love others regardless of their circumstances. When she first moved to Berkeley and had yet to make friends there, she befriended the people she passed on the street on her walk across town to school and work. A homeless guy at People’s Park, street vendors on Telegraph Avenue, amongst others. She’d talk to anyone and was kind to everyone. The birthday gift she gave me those first months she was living in Berkeley was things she purchased from the street vendors she’d befriended. She was generous. She took the time to acknowledge people and get to know them in that “daily life” kind of way. I loved that about her.
Carli was very intuitive and consciously connected to the universal mind. She could ‘see’ beyond the veil. If you’ve allowed yourself to be open to such things, look for her there. She is still with you and shall forever be.
I love you deeply, Miss Carli. I will forever miss being with your bright light and loving heart.
by April Bell — January 2019
If you don’t know, I was Carli’s Momma No.2. She was my spiritual daughter whom life gifted me. From the age of five, I helped raise her through her formative years in partnership with her father, Sean, and in concert with her biological mom, Cyndi. After Sean and I rearranged our lives, Sean’s current partner, Michelle, graciously accepted me as part of the mix. Carli and I had a unique and beautiful connection. I am eternally grateful for the time I had with her while she was here on planet earth.
Carli’s Life! In 2013, when Carli graduated from Clovis High, she and I created a video of her life. She chose the music and many of the photos, I put it together. Upon her passing, her mom, Cyndi, suggested we update Carli’s video to include the 5+ years that had followed. We played the video at her Celebration of Life on 9 February 2019. The following August, we scattered her ashes to the four winds above the South Fork San Joaquin River at Mono Hot Springs, a magical place we both loved. If you soften your gaze, you’ll see her dancing like a magical fairy through the meadows there.