Unreserved

Musician Kimberley Dawn deals with loss of child through music

​Métis musician Kimberley Dawn almost left the music business when her son died, giving up her career as her popularity started grow.
Country music artist Kimberley Dawn remains positive despite setbacks in her personal life. (Morris Entertainment)
Listen to the full episode24:41

Original airdate Aug. 7, 2016.

​Métis musician Kimberley Dawn almost left the music business when her son died, giving up her career as her popularity started grow.

Bobby had Down syndrome and suffered a stroke. He died eight months later.

"You try not to be selfish but in that moment, life is just so empty," said Dawn.

In fact, Dawn wasn't certain she would ever recover from the loss of her son. She couldn't plan the next day, she said. She was still going to work and going through life, but there was no meaning, she said.

"I don't know how you can say to someone how you can ever recover from losing a child or losing your heart completely."

Recovery process

But she did recover. And it was her son who helped her with that process.

Dawn's friend Tom Dutiaume asked her to come demo a few songs for him.

"He said, 'It will be good for you to get out,'" she said.

"So he brought me out to the studio and we started demoing some songs. And you know, it's kind of therapy, because you start getting behind that microphone, and we turned down the lights and the music starts coming through the headphones," said Dawn.

She wasn't in any direction with the songs she was singing, she said, but she did know the songs were fun and they were making her happy.

"I didn't need to record an album about how my son had died. What I needed to talk about was all the good things that were going to happen in life and all the things I had to look forward too."

The visit

It wasn't until she received a visit from her child that she made the decision to go back to music.

"I had this dream where he came to me … and he's like, 'Mom … are you going to go back to being Kiddely Dawn?' And I'm like, 'No.' And he says … 'It's time to go back to work. Your friends need you.'"

After this dream, Dawn knew she had to record a couple of more songs to complete her latest album, Until the Cowboys Come Home.

"It's been my therapy, 100 per cent my therapy, to be able to go on and record. And not only record, but get naked in front of people and sing these songs and deliver these songs. It was a real growing experience for me."

This week's playlist:

Ray St. Germain - I'm Might Proud I'm Metis
Kimberley Dawn - Until the Coyboys Come Home
Crystal Shawanda - My Roots Are Showing
Eagle and Hawk - Sundancer
Kimberley Dawn - My Spirit Flies 
Cher - Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves
Buffy Sainte-Marie - Up Where We Belong

now