Karen Blomain’s Gift

Karen Blomain with husband, Michael Downend

Sadly, we want to let our readers know that Karen Blomain lost her battle with cancer on August 15.  She underwent chemo earlier in the spring and despite hopes for a positive outcome, her husband and co-author Michael Downend e-mailed last week that the cancer was relentless and that his beloved Karen was dying.  My heart broke for him.  I could tell from the photos and stories he has sent over the past two years that he truly adored his wife and the life they shard.  I never met Karen and yet I know her.  You can know more about a person by reading their work than some people can know in a lifetime of sitting next to someone at work.  Karen revealed her keen perceptions on life and her exceptional sensitivity to the lives of others in her play, “An American Wife.”  I feel from her writing that she shared many of the characteristics of her leading lady, Stella, who Karen said, “imbues those around her with optimism and verve.”  And although her play was filled with pain of real life experience it demonstrated the power of courage and hope and the belief that angels can make a difference if we allow ourselves to see them.  Karen was honored by having one of her novels optioned by Barbara Streisand’s production company as well as their requesting a screenplay version of “An American Wife.”  And the fact that “An American Wife” received an Equity production as its premiere production is quite a testament to the strength and beauty of her writing.  I suppose it is strange to say that I will miss her and that I feel a sense of loss.  But I do.  In a world that sometimes drives us crazy, Karen had a voice that made sense.  She has left us a gift and I hope more audiences have the opportunity to enjoy it.