Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Guest Blogger : Ferree Hardy

We at Fine Print are very excited to bring a series of posts by local authors. We have asked them to share their thoughts about their favorite book, something they've read recently, or the role reading has played in their lives. Ferree Hardy, a former employee of the Washington-Centerville Public Library, recently published her first book Postcards from the Widow's Path. The book is an examination of the the Biblical Book of Ruth through a widow's eyes, guiding new widows through journalling exercises to help them through grief toward growth. She enjoys reading, writing, boating, hiking, biking, and baking and is proud to say she wears her own holes in her jeans. You can follow Ferree's blog at www.widowschristianplace.com or www.ferreehardy.blogspot.com. Ferree Hardy will be one of the authors featured at A Tasting With Friends at Benham's Grove on September 13. For more information on this event or to buy tickets, check out this page.

Every type of loss—death of a loved one; loss of a home and belongings; loss of innocence and faith; loss of health; divorce of hope and dreams—every loss is a catastrophe to the one who suffers.

When college professor and author Jerry Sittser was driving home from a day trip with his whole family, their minivan was hit head-on by a drunk driver. Sittser’s wife, his mother, and four-year-old Diana Jane, were killed. He lost women from three generations of his life. Left to navigate grief with his three other children (ages 2 – 9), he too, felt his loss was catastrophic and I don’t think anyone would disagree.

A profound book crystalized from this experience—A Grace Disguised—How the Soul Grows Through Loss. Sittser’s mastery of thought, language and faith provide the bereaved with a looking glass of their new reality. The hope is not trite or clich├ęd; the grace is not delicate, it’s real.

Someone who’d experienced her own suffering and sacrifice gave me this book when my first husband and father of our three teens died instantly of a brain aneurysm the day before my 44th birthday. She told me, “Wait a while, six months or so before you read this. You’ll know when you’re ready.” Wise words for such a insightful pages; the early days of grief are filled with too many other things to process. I recommend reading A Grace Disguised when the shock begins to wear off and questions about life's fairness and justice start to pound. Better yet, read it now, before you need it.

The subtitle says it all--how the soul grows through loss. In my work with widows since my own loss, it’s been my joy to see that happen over and over again—the soul does grow if and when we let it. Jerry Sittser shows through example, not preachy formula, the sacred metamorphosis of applied faith.

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