In Memoriam: Hayley Caroline Jensen
“A life short lived is not a life left undone. Hayley had the rare gift of being genuinely comfortable with the person she was, and she had the wisdom to know that we each make our own happiness.”
Karen Abel, Hayley’s aunt
“To this day she is a reminder to me, and everyone she touches, of the Lord’s faithfulness. Her strength of spirit and constant joyfulness continue to prove that she is a huge gift from God.”
Amy Hammond, Class of 2011
“I admire her strength. She has remained joyful despite all she has been forced to endure. Her joyfulness is contagious….She is my role model for perseverance and courage.”
Jenny Price, Class of 2011
The following is from the eulogy delivered by Karen Beman at Hayley’s memorial service:
There are times in the course of our life journey when we know we are in the presence of someone very, very special. Someone who has much to teach us, and by her example, reflects the essence of courage, grace, and fortitude—and yet despite enormous obstacles, has remained completely herself—living life, drawing from a deep well of joy, abundant creativity, and offering us the wisdom and maturity of someone well beyond her years.
Hayley had many talents, but one in particular was clearly a reflection of the spirit within her. She had a talent for expressing beauty—not only in her physical beauty, but through the written word, in song as a member of the choir, as a competitive dancer, and as an artist who always had much to say about the world around her. She had that natural blend of grace and style which drew others to her. She was known to set a high bar for any performance, always leading others but never forgetting to have fun along the way. She was competitive, but in the best sense of the word, always stretching and pushing to the next level. By example, she encouraged others to reach farther and exceed their own expectations.
Hayley loved Bear Creek because of the people—teachers who guided, challenged, and loved her; friends who laughed, cried, and rode the roller coaster of Middle School and Upper School together; but most of all she loved life, from a place deep within—from a heart that at a very early age had a profound knowledge of what was really important in life. Her every action reflected the ability to love deeply, cling to a profound faith, and to never let a day pass without seizing the great joy that comes with life—no matter the road that is set before us.
As her illness progressed, and her physical limitations increased, what was truly inspiring was the fact that the physical boundaries did not constrain her spirit; they only magnified the exceptional young woman that she was.
Hayley was a very special member of the class of 2011, and she clearly was an inspiration to all her classmates.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness....” 2 Timothy 4:7-8
After a courageous two-and-a-half-year battle with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, Hayley Jensen passed away on December 20, 2011. She will be deeply missed by family, friends, and The Bear Creek School community.
On March 5, 2012, Hayley’s parents accepted an honorary Bear Creek diploma awarded posthumously to Hayley by Patrick Carruth, President and Headmaster.