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Companions on the Journey

A NOTE FROM MARY, Carla's grief counselor: Twenty-three years has passed since Kevin’s death and I am so grateful for God's Love that has blessed and protected each one of us through the years. We were all traumatized by this experience –a senseless and careless act by another person that shattered the hearts of so many lives. I just remember asking God to help me help the Blowey family. I had not ever been through anything like this before, personally or professionally. When I got the word about Kevin's accident, I was in Lubbock, Texas at Texas Tech University Medical School, speaking at my dear friend's funeral. I flew back to Montrose, Colorado not realizing how this was going to change all of our lives. There were times when nothing made sense. I do know that God put his loving arms around us all, and He carried some of us daily. As time went by, we knew we had to help each other heal from this horrible tragedy. Healing is an acceptance of our brokenness. We can claim to do all kinds of therapeutic techniques that will help fix us or make us feel better, but the truth is, only through the healing power of God's Love do we cope with the loss and pain, and begin to live again. Loving one another through this is what we did. God did the rest. Looking back, I realize that God gave us spiritual ears, spiritual eyes and spiritual feelings in order to cope with each other’s reactions every day. God also gave Carla "spiritual dreams". Carla’s dreams helped heal her heart, and God showed her how she could help others by sharing her dreams. Ultimately, we are healed by healing others. We are all children of God. He loves us and promises that He will never leave us. As parents, we never want to leave our children, either. Kevin was so precious and special, and he was loved dearly by his family. Leaving Kevin behind was never an option for Carla, but being able to join him in her spiritual dreams was her pathway to healing. Oh, to dream about those whom you love –that is a very special gift from God. So, "Love was the answer" and it was the only thing that brought us through those challenging times. Loving people and having to let go of them through death, before we are ready, is one of the hardest experiences in our lives no matter what our age or place in life. This past year, when my daughter’s father died, we loved him and held him through the process, and then, finally had to let him go...but do we really let go? It is a lifelong journey when you lose someone you love. My life has never been the same, since this experience. Like many of the parents, my reaction was that I never wanted my children to be too far away from me. I have had to learn to trust God and realize that everything belongs to God. I know Kevin is with God and he is looking forward to the day of joining his family again...but until then he will always be in their hearts and dreams. Love & Peace, Mary Zahasky, M.A., Panama Beach City, FL (2014)

A NOTE FROM AMBER, Kevin's sister: I was only eight-and-a-half years old when Kevin died. As a third grader, I was very confused and didn't really understand what death meant. I had a really hard time grasping the idea that I would never see my brother again. I was so surprised when I had dreams about Kevin. In one dream I remember him coming to the side of my bed and touching my face, letting me know that everything would be okay. While this was very cool, it was also a little frightening even though Mom told me not to be afraid to dream of him. I had no idea what my mom was going through, let alone the intensity of her dreams. All I knew was that she was not acting like the "Mommy" I knew. Reading Dreaming Kevin was very healing for me. The book answered many questions that I had been afraid to ask about or that I had not even thought of yet. Mom was very careful not to tell me too much too soon, waiting for me to be ready and receptive. So, it wasn't until I was a teenager that she shared some of the dreams with me. Dreaming Kevin filled in many lost memories for me. I was amazed at how much I had forgotten about right before the accident and right after. As I was reading about some of the events, it was like I would flash back and recover the memory. While there were many events that I forgot about, I was also amazed at all the things that happened that I was not aware of. When I read Dreaming Kevin, I had just finished my first semester of college. I dove right into the book, not realizing the effect it would have on me, and I was unprepared for the intense emotions it would bring up. Reading it was not an easy task for me. I was in tears all the way through the book. My mom's writing was so descriptive that it took me right back to that time. At times, I felt as though I was eight-and-a-half years old again, but I had the perspective of an 18-year-old. Reading Dreaming Kevin was truly a learning experience for me. I learned so much about my mom and what she and my father experienced. I hope that others can get as much out of this book as I did. I hope this book helps others in their journey to healing and lets them know they are not alone. (2005)

A NOTE FROM STANN, Kevin's father: It has taken me many years to overcome the loss of my son, Kevin, whom I love and miss very much today. Part of my journey was being able to love and support my lovely wife, Carla, and beautiful daughter, Amber. However, I admit there were many times when I neglected my own grief. Most men and women don't grieve in the same way. As a bereaved father I dealt with the loss of Kevin differently than my wife. I was overwhelmed by the pressures of having to return to work and support the family. I was not comfortable talking about my feelings with many people, except with Carla, and even then, I was worried about how my pain would affect her. So, as many men do, I did not recognize that my pain was just as important and valid. It was difficult watching her be in so much pain and not be able to relate to her dream world. I wanted so much to experience those kind of dreams and have the same relationship with Kevin that she had. Thankfully, Kevin was persistent and found a way to come to me too. Carla's book has given me a better understanding of her inner world and the grieving process from a mother's perspective. It also helped me with my own grief issues and enabled me to heal some of my wounds. I encourage all bereaved fathers to take the risk to read our story and recognize that although as fathers our grief journeys may be different than our deceased child's mother...our feelings of loss are just as valid. What is most important is that we both loved in our own way. (2014)

A NOTE FROM PAUL, Carla’s brother: “Kevin is gone”. The time leading up to, and after, are personal blurs for me. But, I still remember Sandy’s words to me, and my inability to process what she was saying. Gone? Gone, where?! Through her emotion, she explained what had happened and that we had lost Kevin. I don’t remember my reaction other than being dumbfounded. The next thing I remember is hearing my father sobbing, when I drove to give him the news. It’s there that I remember my breaking down, sobbing with my father, as I saw the depth of his pain. Our drive out to Montrose to be with Carla, Stann and Amber, was near silent. They were emotionally and physically spent from the tragedy by the time we arrived. We cried together. But what struck me was my level of grief. I felt guilty that I was not experiencing the depth of grief that everyone else was feeling. It’s hard to explain. Yes, I was deeply, deeply sorrowful and emotional for the loss of Kevin, but the bottom level of my grief was for Carla and my father – feeling their hurt. I can attribute some of my response to what was happening in my life at that time. I was on the front side of recovery, so my ability to ‘feel” was dulled by years of drug abuse, starting just before and continuing through my mother’s illness and our loss of her to cancer. I honestly wouldn’t “feel” their loss, until many years later when my own daughter, Kailee was born, and I immediately felt the bond of parent and child. After Kailee was born, I remember crying many times –thinking of Kevin and finally knowing how empty and lost Carla, Stann, Amber and my father felt with his death. The next few days were amazing as our relatives arrived from out of state. The deep, deep, sorrow was still present, but very slowly, we turned a corner as we began to remember and be grateful for the short time we had with Kevin. Together, we shared stories, looked at photographs and laughed. It’s one of the most valuable lessons that I’ve learned –that even in death, we celebrate the life. I’ve practiced it many times, more recently with the passing of our father a few years ago. In each instance, I remember that I learned this lesson from my nephew, Kevin. I have been fortunate enough for Carla to trust me to help execute her vision for the cover of the book. It’s an honor to play a very small part in helping Carla give voice to her journey. I could not be more proud of her, and her efforts to help others experiencing their own losses. She continues to amaze. (2014) Paul S. Frocchi, Broadcast and Unscripted Project Manager SoCal Rentals, Inc.; photographer, Burbank, CA,

A NOTE FROM SANDY, Stann's sister: I was at work when I received a phone call from the hospital informing me that my nephew Kevin was in an accident. I really didn't know what to expect, but I do know I was filled with dread on my way to the hospital. When I got there and saw my brother Stann and my sister-in-law Carla, I knew it wasn't good. Never in a million years could I have prepared for what had happened. I will never forget going into the exam room and seeing Kevin’s poor little body. His life forever taken from him in a totally senseless act. Stann and Carla were beside themselves with grief as any parent would have been. I most certainly would have been if it were one of my children. While at the hospital, I called my parents in Grand Junction, and Carla's father in Denver and told them the horrible news. I have three boys of my own (Rex Lee, Dean and Dillon) and honestly, I couldn't tell you where they were while all of this was going on. I believe they were at home, but I honestly do not remember. At some point, we left the hospital and went to Stann and Carla's house. Family and friends started to show up, and phone calls were made to inform other family members about Kevin’s death, although again, I don't remember who made them. Sometime that night I went home to be with my boys to explain to them what had happened. Of course, they didn't understand it any more than I did. I just thanked God that they were all alive and well, even though I was filled with sorrow at what had happened. I know it had to be very hard for Stann and Carla to have my boys around during this time. Especially my son, Dillon, who is four months older than Kevin. It had to be a constant reminder of what I still had and they no longer did. I remember going to the private family viewing at the funeral home. Some members of the family got up and talked. I don't remember who all talked or what was said, or even if I did or not. It was all a haze. The church for Kevin's funeral was packed. I couldn't believe all of the people that came. It was very touching to know there were so many people who cared about Kevin whether they knew him or not. I remember sobbing with grief during the service especially during the songs. The song "Heartlight" will always have a special place in my heart. Releasing the balloons after the service by the family members was an especially hard but touching thing to do. It was a way of saying goodbye to someone we shouldn't have had to say goodbye to. One day, after Kevin's funeral, Dillon and I were riding in the car and he said, "Look, Mommy! I see Kevin up in the clouds!" I burst into tears and said, "Yes Dillon, I believe you do!" It was such an innocent but truly believable statement for Dillon truly believed he could see his cousin. An especially hard time was during the trial. I couldn’t believe that the man who had caused this terrible injustice, could act as cold and heartless as he and his family did during the trial. It was unbelievable that the jury could not be informed that Kevin was dead. It wasn't that I felt that the man responsible should be in jail, but I felt he should be held accountable for his actions. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. It was a grave injustice to the memory of a little boy. The court system didn't do what I believe it is there for, not by a long shot. It is hard to believe that 23 years have passed since that horrible accident took Kevin's life. I think of Kevin often and I wonder what he would be doing today at the age of 28; would he be married, would he have kids, what would his career be? It seems as if there has always been a hole in our family since he passed away. Kevin and Dillon, used to dress up and be superheroes when they played together. One time Carla took a picture of them. I still have that picture of those two superheroes frozen in time. The only difference is, is that one of those superheroes isn't wearing a cape any more. He is wearing the wings of an angel. I love you Kevin. Sandra Blowey-Sackett, Irrigon, OR

A NOTE FROM HARRY, family friend and counselor: I was still at school when I heard the news of Kevin's accident and passing. I knew Stann, Carla's husband, quite well from working together at the middle school where we were employed and sometimes, we went on runs together. I was a school counselor and a licensed professional counselor. I had only talked with Carla a few times, but I could see that she had a strong intuitive side. I knew that side of her was communicated in hunches, visions, and dreams. It was communicated in dreams when she was blocking. My first reaction upon hearing the news was disbelief. Then, as the reality dawned, it was if all energy immediately left me. I felt confusion. I knew that if I was to be helpful at all I needed to center and restore my own energy. I was used to having a strong sense of guidance that I fully trusted. By the time the three of us first met alone, my guidance was restored. I just asked that I be open and say what was needed. During that meeting it was obvious that Carla was very fragile and making a supreme effort to hold herself together. Stann was naturally a very tough-minded man, but the confusion, like what I felt initially, was just below a controlled surface. The meeting was miraculous in many ways. Carla revealed to me her dreams just before Kevin's passing and one or two just afterwards. It was obvious that her dreams foretold the accident, and that Kevin was aware of it. After hearing the dreams, I asked her, "Are you ready to see this differently?" Carla later told me that my question initially shocked her. I could see at the time that it jarred her psyche into a different place. She could not fully accept the question at first, but she was just too spiritual a being not to see it and begin to open to it. As time went on my relationship with Carla grew closer in friendship. Kevin's passing had allowed for spiritual growth on the part of both of us. The major lesson I learned around Kevin's passing with both Stann and Carla was that love does indeed go on and on, and so do our loved ones. We do not ever have to feel separate from them. It also taught that we are all born to learn lessons that make us a more aware person and to make this world a better place. We see in action that our unconditional love does conquer all and bring us all closer together. Even now, I feel gratitude for Kevin and his lessons. (2014) Harry McDonald, M.A. retired licensed school and professional counselor and author of Touched By Love: A Parable for Today, Grand Junction, CO

A NOTE FROM LAURA, Carla's friend: Carla came into my life 31 years ago traveling a parallel path. We were born in the same year, we were married in the same year and we had our first child in the same year. We met at a La Leche League support group as new moms, and our lives would never be the same. Today, we are grandmothers together having welcomed our first born grandchildren into this world in the same year. But, this is not a story about when we met or where we are today. This is a story about a profound event that blinded us both in the darkest night and the love it took to help us see again in the brilliant light of truth. Kevin’s fearless truth, as told through his mother’s transcendent love, brought us each through the darkness and into the light of God’s great love. For my part, paragraph by paragraph, sentence by sentence and word by word, I followed my friend’s courageous lead through the painful process of editing a truth I didn’t want to live. Together we came through the darkness as “sisters” for life, and I will be forever grateful for the journey. My later involvement in bringing the promise of wholeness to grieving young children through Carla’s vision of Rainbows for Children support groups in Montrose was supposed to bring healing to a child’s broken heart. In the end, it was the children of Rainbows who brought healing to my broken spirit. Once again, traveling through the darkness of a truth I didn’t want to live, I found the light of God’s great love living in us and through us. In the eyes of a wounded child, I saw the light of God and it changed everything. In their innocence and their faith, the grieving children I worked with shared a profound wisdom that can only come from real knowing and complete trust. And, in that knowing, I rediscovered the innocence and the healing power of a child’s love in me. (2014) Laura D. Pearsall, Ed.D., Bodega Bay, CA

A NOTE FROM NORM, family friend and minister: Oscar Wilde once said, “Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” When I think of Carla Blowey, I think of this quote. Carla is an advanced soul who has such keen insights to life. I met Carla shortly after the death of her son Kevin. I remember how fragile life felt then for her and Stann, trying to put the pieces of life back together after losing their very young son. I could see that this was going to be a powerful journey for both of them. I wondered how it would unfold because many couples who experience the loss of child often end up in divorce. I invited Carla and Stann to speak at a high school confirmation retreat I was leading for our church youth group. On the Saturday evening of the retreat, Carla and Stann shared their story and gave a talk on unconditional love and risking the walk of faith in grief. Afterward, the teens received love letters from their parents and friends. Carla and Stann’s talk transformed and opened up so many teenagers. I knew at that point that their journey was destined for greatness. Carla made a decision early on that Kevin’s life was instrumental in her own. Through really tough personal and spiritual work, Carla is one of the few people I know who used the grief of her son’s death to gain insight into her own life. We had many conversations as she continued to work through the pain, and I saw her embrace forgiveness. The dream that predicted Kevin’s death was also the tool that would lead to her wholeness. I knew that the dream was not simply a dream but rather an invitation to something much greater. And, that is exactly what happened. Through her dream work, I’ve watched Carla continue to heal and help others in that healing journey as well. She touches so many lives because of the work she continues to do in personal development. A conversation with Carla is never simply about the weather. A conversation with Carla always feels like you have been heard and that there is a great Divine life unfolding. A very beautiful friendship has developed over the years between us. She is a soul sister and each time we visit, it is always powerful. Carla is a true seeker and managed to use her grief journey to pull herself forward in consciousness to live a powerful life. Over the years, I have watched Carla grow and seen her heart and mind continue to be open to her next “yet to be”. She also possesses a gift to help you get to the heart of the matter for whatever is going on in your life. I often call Carla with my dreams and she always seems to pull forth such wisdom with her questions, insight and projections. As the quote said in the beginning, Carla sees the world in clarity before many do and that is the gift that she brings to the world. (2014) Rev. Norman L. Bouchard, M.Div., senior minister at Center for Spiritual Living and author of 29 Questions for the Ordinary Life (2011), Colorado Springs, CO

A NOTE FROM ERIK, family friend and therapist: I moved to Montrose with my wife, Leslie, in 1992, where I joined a counseling practice as a marriage and family therapist. As newcomers to town, Leslie’s father introduced us to Carla, who was his hairdresser. We became not only her hairdressing clients but good friends as well, and our friendship spans over 20 years. I remember feeling so honored when she asked me to be a facilitator for Rainbows (the children’s grief support program). I was a very young therapist just getting started and honestly, I was kind of going through it blindly with my “text book” experience. I remember feeling like a kid when I joined the facilitator group because they were all experienced therapists. Looking back, it ended up being such a significant point in my career. I just jumped in and learned very quickly that being “Mr. Therapist” (what I thought a therapist should be) was not going to work with this group of 12 and 13-year-old teens! I remember getting that raised eyebrow look from the kids that said, “Seriously, you said what?!”. It was my first lesson in being authentic. The kids challenged me to be real, to be “me”, and not play the role. Truly, it was a wonderful lesson because it happened on the front end of my career and I learned to walk a more authentic path from the beginning. Working with the children’s grief group taught me that there really is magic in silence. I didn’t have to talk all the time! It just hit me profoundly when I was quiet while they talked or when we were all working in silence on our art projects. I remember thinking this is powerful stuff! I was witnessing the process and we were all being present to that moment. I remember growing up in my family, we had a Jewish expression that says, “God is closest to those with broken hearts.” I didn’t know how to describe it but I felt that when we were in group. I could feel God in the midst of us and it was such an empowering and fulfilling feeling. I was so young back then, I didn’t have many experiences where I felt touched like that. It is not something we are taught in school –we learn about textbook grief rather than the value of the process. It taught me that there are no cycles to grief –it’s not a cookie cutter process. Everyone has a different twist in the way they do it. So, it taught me to meet the client wherever they are in their process with the perspective that they are going to teach me about how they are doing it. It turned my whole head and heart around about how to facilitate as a therapist. The timing was especially significant because when I first moved to Montrose, my good friend, David, was killed in a motorcycle accident. I was going through my own grief and although I had “learned” about it, I didn’t know what to do with it. So facilitating the group helped me go through my own grief process as well. I didn’t see the therapeutic relationship like that because it was supposed to be me giving to the kids –saying and doing the right things for them. I didn’t see it was going to be this incredible exchange of giving between us. I’m grateful for that now because I’ve learned to be comfortable talking about death both personally and with my clients where I might not have been before. By and large, most people (therapists included) don’t want to talk about death, they don’t know what to say or they stumble around it. I’ve recognized that the easier time I have talking about it the easier it will be for my clients. And, it’s okay for us to talk about how difficult it is to talk about death! It allows humility around the fact that we don’t know how to articulate grief but we can allow ourselves to be vulnerable to do so if we make it safe for one another. I would encourage any therapist or facilitator working with the bereaved to do their own grief work first before they take on a family or a group. At the very least, be as clean as you can be because it is going to take you doing your own work and knowing yourself before you can reach your clients. One of the things that affected me deeply was listening to the children talk about the person they were grieving. I listened to what they focused on as they shared their memories –both positive and negative remarks. It made me think about the cliché of what would people say about me if I had died. It was profound to have that as a reminder through the years in all my relationships, especially with my daughters. What kind of an impact am I having on them? It made me impress upon my girls the sacredness of being present and the sacredness of time –that we don’t go to bed angry or leave the house without hugging and kissing each other and saying “I love you”. Now, even as teenagers, they come and find us before they leave to give a hug and kiss goodbye. I think it’s really special because now that I’ve seen lots of families in therapy I realize it’s not something that every family does naturally. The older I get the more I am embracing the idea that everything that happens moves me to something greater. My incredible experience with the grieving children in Rainbows absolutely has moved me to something greater. I am so grateful and so honored that Carla asked me to be a part of it. (2014) Erik Cooper, M.A. marriage and family therapist, author of Shall We Dance: A guide to happiness (2014), Montrose, CO

A NOTE FROM BETH, Carla's friend: "People like us, who believe in physics, know that distinctions between past, present and future are only stubbornly persistent illusions." ~Albert Einstein When I first met Carla in 1995, her pain was still palpable. We worked together for the local hospice, doing different tasks and I got the opportunity to watch her closely as she worked with other’s suffering as well as her own. When Carla wrote Dreaming Kevin and published it, even though I had heard the story, the reading of it moved me in deep ways. I dreamed of her dreams for a long time. The images and messages of my own healing were again catalyzed by the intrepid nature of Carla’s pilgrimage towards healing and wholeness. Now, nearly 20 years after I first met this brave heart, and even though our physical paths rarely cross, my heart is entwined with hers. The work that she did inspired in me to do some of my own deeper grief work and has continued unabated. I have done some exploration into quantum physics as it relates to dream work, near death experiences and altered consciousness. The experience of Carla’s healing seems to be related to the morphogenic field formed by the spiritual DNA that both she and Kevin are part of. Spiritual DNA can be defined, if far from being understood, as the blueprint for morphogenesis, the creation of shape, of our spiritual nature, our longings, depth, intent and the ultimate flowering of our spiritual selves. In this perspective we literally are formed in the memory bank or pooled memory of our ancestors. A developing embryo or seedling "tunes in" to the form of past members of the same species through a process sometimes called morphic resonance. Where fields of experience transmit forms and behavior that are not necessarily just biological. This I have come to believe, includes our spiritual heritage, our spiritual ancestral wisdom. Carla and Kevin, and the rest of his family have become part of the blueprint for morphogenesis of a new level of healing from trauma and the resulting grief. Kevin and Carla have grown together past Kevin’s physical passage. It seems that once any of us have been connected to another’s spiritual DNA, their resonance, we are never again far from it. In fact this resonance moves out in unweakened ripples into the world. Such is this story of Carla’s, and I believe Kevin’s, healing. And because of the nature of healing and love, it is the healing of me, those touched by me. And now you too are being called to become part of this resonance. My deepest prayer is that you will let this story heal you in places and dimensions you haven’t even realized that healing was needed. (2014) Beth Patterson, M.A. in Religion, hospice chaplain; director, Denver, CO

A NOTE FROM MARY ANN, Amber's teacher and family friend: My husband Dave and I, and our children are longtime friends of the Bloweys. After Kevin’s death, Stann and Carla were concerned about the Amber’s emotional well-being in dealing with Kevin’s death. Coincidently, I was teaching third grade at another elementary school in Montrose and the decision was made to transfer Amber into my classroom. I wanted to provide comfort and security, not only for Amber but also for Stann and Carla as well, as they were dealing with a tremendous amount of grief. Before Amber arrived, I knew that I would need to make her comfortable and watch for any signs that she needed an extra hug, and be available to talk to her. When Amber arrived in my class, she was nervous. I assured her I was there if she needed anything. Having been close friends with Amber’s family reassured her that I knew what she was going through. In the beginning, she seemed sad, but as the year went on, she began to smile more. She made several friendships in our class. On a few occasions, I noticed her by herself at recess, so I went to her to offer comfort. I did notice at times that Amber would drift off in thought. Amber talked about the death of her brother with other students and answered questions other students were curious about. We did have a class discussion about loss, where students shared deaths they had experienced in their own families. It was important to me that Amber found our class to be a secure and caring environment. Mary Ann Arellano, retired elementary school teacher, Montrose, CO

A NOTE FROM LINDA, Amber’s teacher: As an elementary school teacher, there are few honors or compliments that come our way. Early in my career, a great compliment did come along, when Amber was enrolled into our fourth grade classroom, by her parents request. I thought at the time, the honor was mine, as the classroom teacher. After all, I was entrusted to offer a secure, gentle, loving and enriching environment to a young girl grieving the loss of her five-year-old brother. It soon became clear that the honor belonged to the entire class. Lead by Amber’s courage and quiet, (seemingly) confident ways, she accomplished her vision that she receive no special treatment or stand out because of her current circumstances. With her grief not evident, she was just like everyone else…except, she was not. None of us is, thank goodness. We are all unique individuals whose identities are shaped by our experiences. Rather than treating Amber alone as exceptional, we treated everyone exceptionally. Together, we created that secure, gentle, loving, and enriching environment for us all. One cannot do that alone. At a young age, Amber taught us how much an individual offers a friend, a class, a group or a community when we share the richness of ourselves, and go on with the experience we call life. Linda Becker, retired elementary school teacher, Montrose, CO

A NOTE FROM MITCH, Carla’s friend, and professional colleague: I have known Carla for many, many years. We met at a grief conference where we were speaking as presenters and became fast friends. I consider her my sister of the heart. Carla is an incredibly gifted intuitive with unparalleled insights into dream recall and wisdom in the archetypal components and symbology of dream word. Dreaming Kevin will not only provide you with insight into deciphering your own dreams, provide tips for remembering your dream, but how to incorporate that cryptic knowledge that is sorted out in REM to aid you in you daily journey of discovery. Her book validates that continuing connections are real and that dream world is a real and necessary part of the grief journey. Her story, her pain, her love, her discoveries, her healing is very real. Wrought from the depths of unimaginable pain and horror, she has blessed the world with this captivating and healing tome of self-discovery and purpose that will open your eyes, warm you heart, and enlighten your soul. Dreaming Kevin: The Path to Healing is just that, a path to healing. Thank you, Carla and Kevin. Mitch Carmody, author Letters from My Son

A NOTE FROM SHARON, Carla's friend and professional colleague: It was July 2005, and I was in Boston as a first time presenter at The Compassionate Friends National Conference, an art therapist and as a bereaved mother, whose seventeen-year-old daughter Kristin, ended her own life. I was facilitating my collage workshop, "The Art of Healing...loss, grief and grace," that introduced participants to a creative approach to healing. On my arrival, I checked out the TCF bookstore, offering hundreds of books on grief and bereavement. I was drawn to one book and finally bought it. I tucked Dreaming Kevin: The Path to Healing into my suitcase, knowing I'd read it in the coming days. On the first morning of the conference, I spotted the one person I knew in a sea of fifteen-hundred attendees. I made my way toward Mitch, hoping there would be an empty seat for me. I sat down as he introduced me to his friend, Carla Blowey, author of Dreaming Kevin. I sensed my movement toward Carla from the night before when I unknowingly bought her book. That moment changed us forever for it set us on a path of friendship, as professionals and as mothers committed to our unique healing journeys. Carla and I sat, we talked, we laughed, we cried. We attended each other's workshops. I was captivated by the journeys we shared, for Carla's dreams and my collage images intermingled, as healing modalities that beckoned us into the depths and back into the light. Carla engaged the elements of her dreams while I engaged the fragments and elements of my collage creations. In the end there was healing. When I met Carla, I was at a crossroads with my professional work as an art therapist. As the Compassionate Friends National Conference came to a close, Carla urged me to consider a synthesis of the various ways I was exploring my own healing as a template for my work with others. As a dream worker, she urged me to combine my creative process of collage with my meditation and dream work. I listened and felt the winds of change blowing through me. When I returned home to Baltimore, I sat in my garden under the shade of our maple tree, and read Dreaming Kevin. "I was overcome by her prophetic dream alerting her to her son's death, and the spirited transmission that would occur for both mother and son. She shared her story with passion.(Strouse, 2013) I was transfixed by this real and honest description of grief, which "involved finding her way into all the elements of her dream so that she could free herself from the guilt she harbored over Kevin's death." (Strouse, 2013) Carla and I see each other at national and regional conferences, where we continue to offer our individual workshops, along with workshops we have developed as co-facilitators. We take particular pleasure, combining dream work and image making, which serve as powerful and transformational experiences for participants. I am blessed to have met Carla, and to have picked up Dreaming Kevin, which introduced me to dream work as a way through grief. I sense Kevin and Kristin's part in bringing us together, and I am grateful. (2014) Sharon Strouse, MA, ATR, art therapist, author of Artful Grief: A diary of healing,, Cockeysville, MD

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