One Family’s Journey of Letting Go of What Was – and Learning to Live Well with What Is


  • Dr. Pauline Boss
    This book is riveting... helpful with coping with losses of any kind.
    Dr. Pauline Boss
    Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota. Author of Ambiguous Loss and other books.
  • Matt Mikalatos
    ... experiencing loss? This book will bring you hope, comfort, joy, and a certainty that you are not alone.
    Matt Mikalatos
    Author of Good News for a Change and Sky Lantern
  • Dr. Robert C. Cantu
    Spiritual, riveting, compassionate, loving, cathartic, and so much more. A must-read for every parent and parent-to-be.
    Dr. Robert C. Cantu
    Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery and Neurology and Cofounder of the CTE Center, Boston University School of Medicine
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About Hit Hard

Life hit Pat and Tammy McLeod hard when their son Zach collapsed on a high school football field—he had sustained a severe brain injury. Two emergency brain surgeries later, Zach began waking up. Slowly the entire family woke up to the reality that life would never again be the same. The fallout of his injury would reshape their marriage, their family, their future and their faith in ways they never saw coming.

What would it take for them to navigate the endless fallout of their son’s life-transforming brain injury? How could they reconcile their grief over the life Zach lost, with gratitude for the life that remained? And how does a couple move forward together in their search for hope, rather than letting indefinable loss drive them apart? Hit Hard is the true story of the McLeods’ journey through ambiguous loss—both having and not having their son. It’s the story of a family who faced unexpected heartbreak, a story that offers us all glimpses of how we can pick up the pieces, redefine expectations, and find hope in the midst of unresolved pain.