Tragedy, hope and 2 families

Book recounts ordeal that began in 1995 in Glenwood Canyon

Art Daily’s second family Photo Special to the Sentinel.

Art Daley’s first family/ Special to the Sentinel

Art Daily estimates he’s driven through Glenwood Canyon 50 or 60 times since that fateful day when a boulder crashed down its walls and changed his life forever.

“Every time I go through, something changes in me. I’m just all of a sudden amazingly aware of where I am, what that canyon’s potential is. It’s not (being) fearful, but very aware,” Daily said.

Somewhere along the Colorado River lies the boulder that hit the vehicle the Aspen lawyer was driving 14 years ago. The tragedy, which Daily revisits in a new book, took the lives of his wife, Kathy, and their two sons, Tanner, 10, and Shea, 6.

Physically unscathed but left to cope with his sudden and unimaginable loss, Daily immediately was supported by community members looking out for his welfare. Among them was someone who tactfully suggested that he temporarily “take care of” a firearm Daily kept in his house.

“A thoughtful thing to do. I haven’t been thinking about dying, but every fiber of my being is crying out to be with my family,” Daily writes in the book “Out of the Canyon,” reflecting on his emotions immediately after the accident.

Daily co-authored the book with his wife, Allison, who was one of many strangers to reach out to him in his time of grief. Trading off occasional chapters, each talks about the grieving process — which Allison also has gone through following the suicide of her brother — and about moving on with life after loss.

The Dailys eventually started a family of their own, and Art again is the proud father of two sons. The book is a celebration of humankind rebuilding shattered lives.

“If it can give any message to any person of hope, then that’s really what we want,” Allison Daily said.

It’s also a story of the blending of two families, even though three of the family members are
no longer alive. The intuitive Allison writes of sensing the presence of Art’s lost loved ones soon after meeting him. She and Art believe the spirits of Kathy, Tanner and Shea are an integral part of the Daily family’s lives today, serving almost as guardian angels.

Art Daily considers it strengthening to still have Kathy around in spirit, supporting him and his new family.

“Ever since she and the boys have been taken away, she’s been there for us,” he said.


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