For Anneka

Life really is a song. Sometimes it hits you from behind.

The first Basic Course of PSI Seminars that I staffed was in January 2003, right after my husband and I had been through the many advanced courses of this self-development training all within a 6-month time.

In the small group I was leading was a girl named Anneka, a very beautiful and very challenging young woman who was resistant to the exercises, quite shut down and obstinate. Fearful really. Something in her reminded me of myself and I didn’t give up on her although I wanted to heave her across the room at times because her manner was affecting others in the workshop. After that weekend, I never heard from her or any of the other attendees again until 10 years later, 2013, when out of the blue came a note to me from Anneka. She had found my website and wrote to let me know she’d made something of herself, that PSI had been huge for her and my staying with her especially. It was quite a beautiful note to get.

Two nights ago with the Basic upcoming here in New York in July, I thought I’d reach out to her to see if she might come and staff or re-audit. I had no email for her so I plugged her name into Google. Instead of an email I found an obituary.

Anneka Foushee died a year ago February from a rare kind of cancer that one gets from asbestos poisoning. She was 41.

I was up for many hours the other night. Here’s a website I found, a fundraising site to help her Mom recoup some of the costs of having her in treatment for several years. It closed only a few days ago. There are also several sites where one can purchase her work.

Until the other night I was on the fence about whether to commit to staffing and leadership or to just attend as a re-audit. Finding this news helped decide it. It was Anneka’s call from beyond…”staff, please staff…”

I’m happy she took the time to write to me. I’m happiest that she found her voice in art, her purpose and quite a bit of love. She sure burned fiercely for a time…unforgettable.

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About Karen Kohler

Born in Frankfurt and raised in New York, Karen began her professional music career in Austin. Since returning to NYC in 2001, she has been a leading exponent of the cabaret arts as performer, director, producer and historian. Her performances blend multiple genres - classical, cabaret, jazz, blues and folk-rock - in six languages. She is founder of the award-winning ensemble, Kabarett Kollektif, and producer of Kabarett Fete, a celebrated international cabaret festival. Karen gives private lessons and conducts master classes in stagecraft, the art of public speaking and creativity coaching. View all posts by Karen Kohler

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