Especially For You
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Finding a New Purpose After Unspeakable Loss
Awakening from every parent's worst nightmare, the death of his oldest son in a car crash, journalist and aspiring teacher Ken Brack sets out to find how people rebuild their lives after catastrophic loss. Meeting parents and siblings, students and entrepreneurs from across the country, Brack gathers the wrenching and ultimately uplifting stories of people who grow through extraordinary trials by finding a new purpose. Many of them confront the very forces that tore open their lives, which can exact a heavy cost. Especially For You offers fresh light on our responses to horrific ordeals, driven by an arresting emotional intimacy in the author's narrative voice.
Among the select families Brack follows are two parents whose response to tragedy breaks the silence about sexual assaults on college campuses as they confront a national disgrace. Other complete accounts are gathered for the first time, including those of the brother and friends of a volunteer firefighter who are inspired by his unselfishness to create a day of service and remembrance honoring 9/11 victims. Three brothers from Poland confront their Holocaust memories decades later to reassert their humanity, finding a mashed-up space to reconcile the past. Moving through such trials, many of these people reclaim gifts their loved ones left while discovering a sacred duty. Together they offer hope to others searching for answers.
A hybrid of narrative, reportorial, and creative nonfiction, the book speaks passionately to readers facing loss and to a broader audience moved by stories of compassion, resilience, and our capacity to heal. Six years after losing their son, the author and his wife reach out to other bereaved families, opening a nonprofit with support groups, counseling, and wellness programs that has become a leading resource in southern New England. The couple endures other occasional fractures as he grapples with the cause of their son's death while she manages their nonprofit, Hope Floats Healing and Wellness Center, in Kingston, Ma. A decade later, Denise Brack decides to make quilts for their two other children from their son Michael's clothes, a creative, restorative step that emerges as a unifying metaphor.
Author: Ken Brack