#PeopleofCLE: Karly, equipped with a new worldview

Karly WhitakerNicky GrusenmeyerKarly Whitaker

Northeast Ohio is changing. These are the people shaping its future.

Our sixth installment:


Karly Whitaker, a single mom to one daughter, lives in Cleveland Heights. She writes about losing her husband unexpectedly when she was 39. She and Steven Kanner were peace activists in Iowa City shortly after 9/11 when they met. Their courtship consisted of peaceful protests against the war with Iraq. She credits her Jewish community with helping her process her grief. “When Steven died, I did not believe that our souls survived death. I didn’t believe that there was anything afterward, but I had some experiences that ... to me ... seemed to confirm that our souls survive in some way or another. So actually his death was so shocking, but at the same time, it opened up my whole worldview to this other dimension. That was honestly the thing that kept me going. Sometimes, I wonder if it’s self-delusion. But I had some experiences that to me seemed pretty clear that he’s still here. After going through that experience, I know without a doubt that love is the most real and enduring thing in our universe. And the reason we’re here is just to try to love each other the best we can while we’re here. That whole worldview has given me a sense of peace and purpose about why I’m here.” #peopleofcleveland #peopleofcle

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Nicky Grusenmeyer
Nicky Grusenmeyer

About the Author: Nicky Grusenmeyer

Nicky Grusenmeyer is a Cleveland native and junior at Cleveland State University. She is a reporter and ad manager for the CSU student newspaper, the Cleveland Stater. She has shadowed and worked closely with the Channel 5 news staff. She specializes in science writing, with an emphasis on environmental issues.