karin h. bausenbach, md
march 1, 1953-november 11, 2012

Lincoln City, OR, painted by Karin, 9/04

From Dr. Karin's Students in Portland State's IPNB Program

Marion Sharpe, Coordinator of the IPNB program, shared the following message with Dr. Karin's students:

Sad news about our Dr. Karin . . .
I know how much Karin has meant to you and how much you learned from her . . . but we are losing her. As you will see below in the message from her daughter, she has been battling cancer for 10 years and complications have now set in - it's something she never wanted the class to know and, as a result, something I really didn't even share a lot with the rest of the IPNB faculty. She is such a fighter and certainly didn't want anyone's sad reaction to all of this. and I colluded with her by staying in denial . . . even after the first time I visited her in the hospital, I was creating scenarios where she beat this . . . anyway . . . I wanted you to know ... and if there is a story or an appreciation you'd like to share - with us and with her family, send them to me and I'll collect them and pass them on . . .

These tributes followed:

P. Potter:
What a wonderful light Karin has been to me with her zany explanations for the brain and how it works. Because I believe we continue to expand and grow in consciousness beyond the limitations of this embodiment, I offer this sincere blessing: Karin, may you continue to delight and teach as you move on to the next venue.
D. Taylor:
I am definitely saddened by this since she really connected with students and made the learning material "come alive" for me and others. I have to say that the contagious passion she conveyed about her subject matter, (she really engaged and activated my mirror neurons, COAL state and self-compassion!), demonstrated devotion for helping others, and connecting with her students on a "heartfelt" level epitomized what I would consider to be teaching infused with IPNB principles which she modeled and practiced so well. She definitely walked her talk!
J. Parsons:
I am both tearful and devastated by the news about Karin. She is a profoundly effective teacher and healer with exceptional knowledge and intelligence. The loss of her contributions at PSU and to her much larger community are huge, and I am so deeply sorry for her and her family's pain and suffering. I will always remember Karin dancing and hopping around in front of the Science class as she described some fascinating connections - unable to contain her excitement and awe at the workings of the human brain. What a scientist and teacher!
Loretta Z:
Very sad news indeed. She is such a precious life for us to be losing.
M. Alexander:
I am so, so sad about Karin. She is such a vibrant lover of life and was so excited about what she offers to the world…her daughter sounds wonderful. It is hard to imagine her lying in bed on a ventilator…thank you for letting us know. I enjoyed Karin so much this past spring and realize that my class was probably her last for IPNB at PSU. I am so, so fortunate.
I've been thinking of Karin so much since I heard. I will always remember her love of life, of science and of discovery! I'm sure she was asking questions and learning every step of the way. What an inspiration not only in the quest for knowledge and understanding but also in not allowing illness or adversity to stop her from living her passion. WOW! The brain I "earned" in her class adorns my desk and is now named Karin. Love to you Karin.
D. Hyde:
I remember her excitement, commitment and enthusiasm for IPNB and the students when I took her class last spring. She will be greatly missed by not only her loved ones, but all those she touched. Will hold her and her family in my prayers...
N. Saunderson:
So sad to hear. Karin will live on in my memory as a warm, enthusiastic teacher and learner.
P. Binder:
Karin is a precious, vibrant woman and is in my thoughts and prayers. Her journey has been full of so much adventure and taking on new challenges along her way. Her enthusiasm as a professor is absolutely contagious. She always understands how to fully deliver her enormous knowledge to her students. My heart goes out to her family at this time.
E. Frias:
This news has hit me pretty hard. I can't believe somebody so loving, energetic, excited and youthful could be in such a position. It saddens me and makes me wish that she had more time! It's so disheartening to think that somebody who had so much joy and energy towards learning and growing can be taken away from us so quickly.... *sigh*
I have definitely spent some time sending her energetic love and appreciation. I am sure she touched countless lives with her wit, intelligence and passion. She definitely touched mine. I can only hope she feels the impact she has had on me, in my life and that of others. I can feel her in my heart, even as I type this.
J. LaCosta:
As a distance student it can be difficult to feel connected to other students or teachers. When I was in Dr Karin's class I never felt that void. She was one of the most energetic teachers I have ever had. It was contagious. I would send Marion emails about how thrilled I was to watch and learn. She filled an entire room with the same love and passion for medicine and marvel – for the mind and the brain and for understanding how we affect the brains and minds of others – especially our impact on the children of this world. I was so impressed with her teaching that I sat in (virtually) on her class twice. She helped me see what she saw and I am eternally grateful for that.
E. Sainz:
I was lucky to have taken a class with Dr. Karin this past spring. It's hard to digest that she is gone so soon. I would like to take some time to collect my thoughts. In the meantime, I wanted you to know how very sorry I am for this loss. It's no doubt that you enjoyed many moments with her and that she meant a great deal to you. If I may, I send you many peaceful thoughts.
B.R. Myers:
It’s funny that when we get older we would think it would be easier to absorb news like this, but it would appear that the exact opposite is true. With age comes a better sense of those things of value, which are truly important, as well as an inner knowing of those things that just are not replaceable.

I had not yet written back [immediately] because I just couldn’t move things around enough internally to process and make sense of it. Karin was one of the most gifted and unusually talented educators I have come to know. She had such a collaborative way of imparting her knowledge that it felt as if we were learning it together with her and we were both finding a place to integrate all of the new information that she was giving to us.

Karin left us with so much I will treasure and I know that will be so important in mourning and healing from the loss we have all suffered. My best to Karin’s family and friends, as well as a big hug and thank you, for giving her such wonderful support, as she lit the path for us all to follow. And, to you Marion, as you made sure we all got to experience Karin. I know the two of you were very close. That closeness resonated right on to the videos of the classes that were the passion you shared together. I hope you will be able to find your balance through this period, as I am sure it will be particularly challenging. She gave us so much that we can take into our hearts and give to others. In that sense, Karin gives to my clients every day, as I use what she taught in every session. I believe she probably gave us the knowledge we need to heal from her parting. She may have left us physically, but she will resonate far beyond our ability to comprehend.
B. von Schlumperger:
What a terrible loss to the family and the community. Karin was one of a kind. She was brilliant and shared her brilliance in many ways with those she touched.
R. Wilgosh:
Karin was inspirational and I learned a great deal from her - especially about sheeps brains. What a loss.

Thoughts On the CaringBridge Website

Nov 17, 2012, A. Jackson:
I met Karin 5 years ago when I started at Kaiser. Me being the new one she kindly walked me through the steps I would need to know in order to be successful as her nurse. I was immediately drawn to her positive energy. Her compassion and inquisitive nature forced us to take a break from our mundane tasks to explore our hearts and challenge our minds. She taught me how to make the best of a bad situation by making it your own. When I started my family she was overjoyed. She updated me on every developmental stage as my daughter grew from newborn to toddler. She reassured my fears as a first time mom and again I had to remind myself I was her care provider not the other way around. She enjoyed our company as we did hers. In true Karin fashion she named me Abby as she felt this better suited me. Karin thanks for your continued support, delight, and friendship. It was a privilege to a part of your journey and you will always remain true in our hearts.
Nov 13, 2012, M. Chance:
Dr. Karin shared her beautiful video of babies and life with every class she taught. It was symbolic of her bright light and her enthusiasm for life. She sparked excitement in each student for learning about the brain. She will be missed. With warm sympathy & kind regards.
Nov 12, 2012, A. Goodwyn-Craine:
My heartfelt condolences to your family. Like many, I was blessed to have witnessed Karin's vibrant authenticity and dynamic spirit. She inspired curiosity in her teaching, compassion in her medical practice and beauty in her art. Know that you are surrounded by a community of many who loved her and extend comfort and peace to your family.
Nov 12, 2012, J. LaCosta:
To all the family - knowing Dr. Karin for just a short time impacted me greatly - so I cannot even begin to imagine what she meant to you. Her zest for sharing knowledge was unsurpassed and her passion for others was worn on her sleeve - better yet, her arm like a tattoo. She loved humanity and we are all better for that. I hold her memory deeply in my heart and send you wishes of support. She will be missed by so many.
Nov 12, 2012, S. Alderman:
I am very sorry to hear that Karin has passed away and wish to convey to you my deepest sorrow. I never met Karin but know from her powerfully passionate work that she is a great loss for all of us and children and families. There are many here at Children's who care deeply and hope that you are finding the strenght and supports that will carry you through this with love and care.
Nov 12, 2012, A. Aivaliotis:
Dearest Karin,
Nothing but the sun, or the beauty of a full moon could be as bright as your smile and fill a room with joy. Your beautiful and radiant smile is forever etched into my heart and soul, and I will do my best everyday to share that very joy and light of your smile, out and onto the world I encounter, as you will be transmitting upon us from the heavens. With much love and affection…
Nov 12, 2012, M. Kistler:
I knew Karin through work at the Artz Center. The news of her passing makes me so sad. Her passion for life and learning was infectious. She had an amazing ability to see the positive side to challenging situations. I want carry her spirit to add pleasure to others in whatever capacity with me into the way I approach therapy and life in gerneral. Thank you Karin! For her family, I can't imagine your grief. I am so sorry. What a gift she was.
Nov 12, 2012, D. Pearce-McCall:
I knew Karin through our work teaching interpersonal neurobiology at PSU. Karin embodied the lessons of IPNB through her whole way of being. She brought vitality and enthusiasm for knowledge (especially about our amazing brains) grounded in deep compassion and warmth and humor for the entirety of being human. She spoke with great love about her family, and I know you will all be holding each other as you grieve and celebrate Karin.
Nov 12, 2012, K. Long:
I feel so honored to have known Karin. She was my pediatrician then my sons. So blessed to have worked for Karin babysitting her wonderful kids :-) She will be missed!!!!!! Heaven just received the best doctor, mother,and friend. Love you Karin!!!!
Nov 12, 2012, R. Cunliffe:
I had the good fortune to teach with Karin at Portland State for a couple of years. She created the face to face lectures for The Science of Interpersonal Neurobiology, and, springboarding from those incredible works, I created and facilitated online. The first time, I sat in on the face to face time and my daughter also came those three days (aged 10 or something). With artistry and enthusiasm, Karin included the full age range of people in the room, and the people videostreaming, and those who would watch later. I had never seen such energy! She was effervescent and luminous with the excitement she felt from her studies as through her talk she integrated her own theory right in front of us. It was truly incredible and inspiring to see.

What I will always remember is the almost mystical way she talked about the developing brain. Her amazement at the mystery of life was deeply enhanced by her love of her own children and her deep rootedness in her mothering of them. I have absolutely no doubt that they were the central miracle of her life. So many of her discoveries were illustrated by tales of them, and she introduced them so proudly to me on the one occasion I met them (don't worry that you don't remember me - no reason why you would). But I remember you and am holding you in the Light during these early difficult days ahead. Your Mom was a very unusual person and although I didn't know her very well, it feels like I can still see her trail of light in the ways I teach because she raised the bar so high. Go well.
Nov 11, 2012, T. Wells:
I feel so blessed and fortunate to have known this amazing woman! Rest in Peace sweet Karin! Thanks for showing all of us what COURAGE looks like. Love you.
Nov 11, 2012, C. Twing:
Sending my love to you, dear Sona and family. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.
Nov 11, 2012, O. Orth:
Karen, you are one of the most inspiring women I've ever met. You had such a brilliance, as well as fervor for what you did. But your heart is really what made you a step above the rest. I could tell from the first time I met with you that you genuinely cared for me, and believed in me, and I could never explain how much that meant. You are an amazing woman, and I am honored to call you my friend. I hope to see you again one day.
Nov 11, 2012, D. Nelson:
My thoughts are with you Karin and all of your loved ones. I will always be grateful to have met and worked with such an amazing and brilliant woman. I will forever be inspired by all I learned just watching you work. I only hope that I can impact families in the way that you did.
Nov 11, 2012, L. Anderson:
Thinking of you; so thankful our lives have touched. Love and prayers.
Nov 11, 2012, L. Benjamin:
Karin, I want you to know how much I admired you, how much I loved working with you at Rockwood Pediatrics. You taught me so much. I loved your gentle and loving ways, and that beautiful smile. hank you, Karin, for your wonderful friendship. My prayers are with you and your family. May God wrap His loving arms around you and give you peace and rest.
Nov 10, 2012, M. Baumann:
My thoughts and heart are with Karin. I don't know her family and friends, but Karin seems blessed to have a lot of people in her life who deeply care for her, and my thoughts and heart are you all too in this time of pain. I was one of Karin's PSU students. I was deeply inspired by her curiosity, genuineness, passion for science and sharing the knowledge, and of course by her infectious smile.
Nov 10, 2012, C. Twing:
Dear Sona and Aslan, I know how difficult this time is for you and your family. I hope you know how much your mom loved you. You were the joy of her life. Continue to live the legacy she has given you. She is an amazing woman. I pray that she goes peacefully knowing that she is surrounded by those who love her. Praying that you all feel God's love and peace. You are special to us too! Farewell, sweet Karin.
Nov 10, 2012, M.L. O’Brien:
I dreamed last night that you were at complete peace and were comfortable. I pray for your family that they find the comfort knowing that they are there for you now as you have always been there for them.
Nov 10, 2012, T. Fratto:
My Dear Dr. Karin, You have been such a positive influence on my life. I will always cherish our laughs and your sense of humor. You will always be in my heart.
Nov 10, 2012, L. Benjamin:
I saw you last week only for a moment and then had to leave because your physical therapist needed to work with you. I waited awhile for a clearance to go back in but had to leave to get to work. I have a day off this Wednesday and would like to come visit you. I thought I would bring pictures from the Rockwood Office to show you when you use to work there. I really look forward to seeing you and maybe visiting with your wonderful family too. Your smile really brightens my day. See you soon!
Nov 9, 2012, M.L. O’Brien:
Your smile inspires EVERYONE! I hope you are comfortable and pain free. Thank you for the gift you have been to me.
Nov 9, 2012, J. Unsbee:
I am getting ready to visit my mom in England, and I wanted to be sure to say hello to you. I loved working at RKW-PEDS when you were there. You would spend so much time with your patients, and loved each one! You are in my prayers. It is wonderful to see you are still smiling that beautiful smile. Your children are so lucky to have you. I know they have been a blessing to you! Hugs.
Nov 9, 2012, D. Kelso:
Sona is so beautiful and as always she is the organized one. She says that Aslan is excelling in his film studies. They are the lights of your life and they are shining brightly. I love you.
Nov 8, 2012, D. Nelson:
We are thinking about you! It is great to see all of the pictures and see those who are with you and supporting you. I only wish I could provide the picture of you dressed as a mad scientist when you taught the brain dissection class at work. You have such a beautiful spirit, and I'm so fortunate to have learned so much working with you and through your guidance with [my daughter]. She is so lucky to be healthy because of you! We love you.
Nov 8, 2012, M. Baumann:
It looks like you have a nice hospital room. In the picture you have less tubes and wires stuck into you than I was picturing in my mind –thank goodness. Do you have a window?

I have been working with a client in a divorce case over the last few weeks, who is a brilliant left-brained engineer, but he is struggling to figure out what it means that his ex-wife has borderline personality disorder, and what damage her behaviors may be doing their 4 year old. I think I finally got through to him with an explanation about the neural connections between the mpfc, amygdala and brain stem. But I’m not sure I got it right?? I explained how the amygdala sniffs most of the electrical signals going through the brain, and that there are excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in the amygdala. I said she probably has measurably fewer GABA receptors in a part of her amygdala, which can inhibit it from hijacking the brain. I explained how the amygdala can work faster than other parts of the brain and send an overwhelming signal to the brain stem which activates the FFF ANS system. His ex-wife is pretty extreme, and acts out in front of their child. I explained that his child may not develop neural networks between her amygdala and mpfc as well, making it harder for her manage her own emotions when she grows up. He seemed to understand, and responded by telling me about a family friend who was involved with a study in London about taxi drivers... Was I close?
Nov 8, 2012, J. Bingham:
Sona, thank you so much for setting this up for us to share about the lovely Karin! She is one of those dear people that the heart can connect with immediately. What a loving and thoughtful person! If you only knew how much she looked forward to meeting you in England, and then the joy of being with you there! She willingly shared some of her moments with me as she knew how starved I was for a child to want to be with me and actually share special time for several days alone. Karin always thinks of the other person....very rare in these times. I loved her immediately and today when Ardie shared the events of the past couple months the tears started running down my cheeks....to think of her tubed up, but laughing through it because of others.... You are lucky to have such a wonderful role model in your life Sona.....God bless you.
Nov 8, 2012, J. and A. Siegmund:
We had the pleasure of meeting Karin when she was visiting her sister Ardie. We both benefited from Karin's advice concerning a problem we've had with our two sons. She was helpful and open during an extended discussion.
Nov 8, 2012, M.L. O’Brien:
I just saw you Monday and you are still the same beautiful spirit with the monumental smile and heart that touches everyone's heart It was only a few months ago that I heard you give one of your fabulous lectures about the brain You are a natural teacher YOU change people's lives with your energy enthusiasm intelligence and HEART! I am sorry that you are working so hard just to breathe now. May you be helped by the love of you family and all of the people who love you so.
Nov 8, 2012, G. Crosby:
So sorry for what you are going through. "Dear Jesus, please be with Karin in a special way...hold her in the palm of your hand." I would love to see you.
Nov 7, 2012, J. Albee:
This is a copy of a letter i wrote to bloomer (karin) a few years ago.

dear bloomer - i can't even begin to tell you or anyone what you mean to me - we have known each other for 45 years - we were thrown together by the alphabet - close seats in a big study hall - a seated near b - you talked all the time - you broke all the rules i knew - you challenged everything i thought was real - you made things look upside down - you made no sense and with that made more sense than anyone - i was totally entranced and remain so all these years later - you have always foraged ahead - persuading the whole world to your view - every step of the way challenging the staid and mundane around you - no one encounters you without knowing they met someone special, unique and different in a delightful way - you are always a part of me and i thank you....
Nov 7, 2012, B. Weatherly:
I'm praying for you...love...you are a great mom and amazing woman.
Nov 6, 2012, C. Giles:
Karin is an amazing person and we all are so blessed to know her. Such a happy and content person, such a strong image. My thoughts and prayers are constantly with you all, although I wish I could be there in person. Much love!
Nov 6, 2012, C. and B. Twing:
Karin - I am saddened by this news. What a brave fight you have given. I am blessed to know you. You were one of those parents that was like a mother tiger for her kids. I appreciate how you always wanted the best for your children. I think of the times you came to our house and would cheer as Aslan and Sona learned to play the guitar. I remember your proud smile at the graduation of both. They have grown into beautiful young adults. Bruce and I have prayed and will continue to pray that you will feel God close and real through this journey. I still have the picture that your drew of God's hand and the verse you had Aslan and Sona write - God's love does continue forever and ever. We send our love, friend. May He wrap His arms around you and your loved ones.