News | Reviews

 News about Hit Hard

When you Love a Prodigal Podcast
Surviving Ambiguous Loss Pt 2

March 19, 2024

When you Love a Prodigal Podcast
Recognizing Ambiguous Loss Pt 1

March 12, 2024

Pressing Beyond Podcast

April 15, 2022

Tammy and Zach Singing Together

March 30, 2022

Harvard University Lost and Found
Community Gatherings for Grieving and Hope

October 28, 2021

Discipleship in the Context of Cru
Vision New England: Church in Action Podcast

September 2, 2021

Life on Purpose Podcast with Amy Debrucque
Pat and Tammy McLeod Episode 13

June 16, 2021

The Church in Action: Episode 33: Hit Hard
Resiliency Through Ambiguous Loss

June 10, 2021

Brain Injury Association of Rhode Island
Growing Resilience in Ambiguous Loss

May 7, 2021

Christianity Today: Surprised by Grief Podcast
Episode 5: Suprised by Hope

Apr 22, 2021

The Boy Mom Podcast
Unexpected Heartbreak, Ambiguous Loss, and Trusting God for Hope {Episode 102}

Apr 21, 2021

Ambiguous Loss Talk to MA Department of Developmental Services (DDS) leaders

April 16, 2021

Happiness Series
Hit Hard: One Family’s Journey of Letting Go of What Was–and Learning to Live Well with What Is

Mar 30 2021

Moms of Tweens and Teens Podcast
When Everything Changes: A Family’s Journey After A Heartbreaking Accident That Happened To Their Son

Mar 27, 2021

Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts
Keynote by Pat and Tammy McLeod- starts at 6:28

March 25, 2021

Think Act Be Podcast by Seth J Gillihan, PhD
Ep. 130: Pat & Tammy McLeod — Can We Find Strength and Comfort Through Life’s Hardest Losses?

March 24, 2021

Thrive Global: Tammy McLeod
Individuals and organizations making an important social impact

March 2, 2021

Thrive Global: Pat McLeod
Individuals and organizations making an important social impact

March 2, 2021

TCK VOF Podcast
2.7 Ambiguous Loss: Loss Without a Funeral (Part 2)

Feb 2021

TCK VOF Podcast
2.6 Ambiguous Loss: Loss Without a Funeral (Part 1)

Feb 2021

Authority Magazine Article
Social Impact Heroes: Why & How Author Pat McLeod Is Helping To Change Our World

Feb 28, 2021

Authority Magazine Article
Social Impact Heroes: Why & How Author Tammy McLeod Is Helping To Change Our World

Feb 28, 2021

Trauma-informed Lens podcast
Trauma-Informed Lens Podcast Talking Ambiguous Loss & Trauma with Pat & Tammy McLeod

Feb 24, 2021

The Brainwaves Video Anthology
Tammy McLeod Teachers Make a Difference – Zach McLeod

Feb 24, 2021

The Brainwaves Video Anthology
Pat McLeod Teachers Make a Difference – Marty Brown

Feb 24, 2021

The Brainwaves Video Anthology
15-minute version of our story

Feb 24, 2021

Prepared Parents Website
Everything’s changed: how to cope with ambiguous loss

Dec 17, 2020

Prepared Parents Part 3
Part Three of Prepared Parenting’s three-part series of us sharing our journey with ambiguous loss.

Dec 16, 2020

Prepared Parents Part 2
Part Two of Prepared Parenting’s three-part series of us sharing our journey with ambiguous loss.

Dec 16, 2020

Prepared Parents Part 1
Part One of Prepared Parenting’s three-part series of us sharing our journey with ambiguous loss.

Dec 16, 2020

Quest with Todd Fisher
Harvard Chaplain’s Patrick and Tammy McLeod discuss ambiguous loss and the heartbreaking accident that happened to their son.

Dec 7, 2020


May 28, 2020

Judy Douglass Blog Article
Understanding and Help for Ambiguous Loss During the Ongoing Pandemic / Tammy McLeod

March 19, 2020

Family Life Today Interview
Incomplete Healing

Jan 31, 2020

Family Life Today Interview
Letting Go of What Was

January 30, 2020

The Gospel Coalition Article 
One Couple, Two Responses to Grief

September 25, 2019

100 Huntley Street Interview
Ambiguous Loss / Pat and Tammy McLeod

September 24, 2019

Christianity Today Review
When Trauma on the Field Creates Trauma in the Home

September 5, 2019

Boston Public Radio Interview  
Tammy And Pat McLeod Had To Learn To Let Go Of The Past After Their Son’s Traumatic Brain Injury

August 12, 2019

Nightside with Dan Rea Interview
Hit Hard: Pat and Tammy McLeod

August 6, 2019

Fox News Interview
This week, Martha sat down with Pat McLeod and Tammy McLeod, authors of the memoir, Hit Hard.

August 5, 2019

Moody Radio Interview: Ken & Deb

July 26, 2019

Moody Radio Interview: Janet Parshall

July 22, 2019

Cru 19 Interview

July 23, 2019

Waypoint Adventure Article 
One program with many firsts

July 18, 2019

The ARC Article 
When Life Hits you with Ambiguous Loss

July 10, 2019

Crosswalk Article (Pat McLeod)
Blessed are Those Who Mourn: Meeting God in the Midst of Suffering

July 9, 2019

Crosswalk Article (Tammy McLeod)
3 Powerful Ways Churches can Offer Support Through Ambiguous Loss

July 9, 2019

Gordon Conwell Article 
Alumni Book Release: Hit Hard

July 9, 2019

Sports Spectrum Podcast
Pat and Tammy McLeod, Harvard University Chaplains on Ambiguous Loss

July 9, 2019

Boston Globe Article
After son’s brain injury, Harvard chaplains Pat and Tammy McLeod trace the evolution of grief, gratitude and belief

Jul 8, 2019

Listener Podcast
Hit Hard

July 7, 2019

Gettysburg Times Article
Hanover native discusses son’s football-related brain injury in new book

Jul 5, 2019

100 Huntley Street Coverage

Jul 4, 2019

Spirit Filled Woman Article 
Mourning with Those Who Mourn: How to Support Grieving Loved Ones through Ambiguous Loss

June 12, 2019

Channel 7 Coverage of Zach McLeod Reuniting with Tim Tebow

June 5, 2019

 Reviews about Hit Hard

What people are saying about Hit Hard

Review post on Caregiver Warrior

Susanne White of Caregiver Warrior

Review post on Sincerely Stacy for her monthly books roundup

Stacie Gorkow of Sincerely Stacy blog

Review of Hit hard on The Cyberlibrarian: Reviews and Views on Current Literature

Miriam Downey of the Cyberlibrarian blog

Summary and review of Hit hard on Medium: Literature Lust. Hit Hard: How to Deal With Ambiguous Loss

Melissa Gouty, Writer, teacher, speaker, and observer of human nature. Creative content for the literary world

A stirring and inspiring story about loss, grief, love, and faith. Pat and Tammy McLeod have much to teach us all about the meaning of ambiguous loss—how they let go of the son they once knew and learned to embrace the son they have today.

Ben Bradlee Jr., former Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist at the Boston Globe; author of The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams, and The Forgotten: How the People of One Pennsylvania County Elected Donald Trump and Changed America

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.

This book is riveting. I could not put it down. Pat and Tammy McLeod share their story of being “hit hard” by their eldest son’s head injury in a high school football game. With twists and turns, their story moves from sadness to joy and back again, but always informs and provides hope. While this book is about a child who is brain injured, it will be helpful for anyone coping with losses of any kind. The awful challenge is to embrace change—especially a change we loathe. In Hit Hard, the McLeods share their journey of how, with faith and dignity, they are coping with loss. I recommend this book not only for professionals but also for those who want to learn how to live with loss of any kind, clear or ambiguous. 

Dr. Pauline Boss, Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota; author of Ambiguous Loss and other books.

Hit Hard is a gripping, brutally honest narrative of the emotional devastation of parents and siblings when the athletically gifted eldest son suffers severe brain injury in a football accident, and of the disruptive effects of the injury on family relationships. When, after several years of flailing about in their grief, the family learns to identify what they are experiencing as “ambiguous loss,” they are finally able to acknowledge and celebrate what is good and precious in the life of their son, especially his unbounded joy in family and friends, and his unwavering faith in God. Told by the parents in alternating sections, the story is both gut-wrenching and inspiring.

Nicholas Wolterstorff, Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology, Yale University; Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia

On the surface, Hit Hard tells the story of a young man’s brain trauma and its long-term impact on the McLeod family. But there is far more to this book than a story about a catastrophic injury. Parents Pat and Tammy alternate as authors, often reflecting on the same incident from two points of view. In essence, they weave two stories into one, which underscores how each member of a family—of a community, really—is affected so differently by the same loss, especially a loss that never ends. The story itself is compelling on its own. But their honesty, their maturity of faith, their confession of hope, and their commitment to deal with the harsh reality of the experience without yielding to despair set this book apart as profound, insightful, and helpful. I was so captured that I read it in one sitting.

Gerald L. Sittser, Professor of Theology, Whitworth University; author of A Grace Disguised

The McLeod family has been on a remarkable journey. By sharing the highs, the lows, and the unvarnished truth of their son Zachary’s serious brain injury, they invite us all to reflect on finding meaning in tragedy, coping with a new reality, and discovering the depth of a family’s love.

Chris Nowinski, PhD, cofounder and CEO, Concussion Legacy Foundation; author of Head Games: The Global Concussion Crisis

Good stories can help us find meaning in the midst of devastating tragedy. Hit Hard is one of those stories. It’s a hard but wonderful story that shows us how to deal with unimaginable loss.

Matt Carroll, Former Boston Globe Reporter, Pulitzer Prize winner as a member of the Globe’s Spotlight team

Hit Hard is a story of tragedy, grief, heartbreak, acceptance, hope, and redemption that will encourage every reader who has also been hit hard by the reality of this life in a fallen world outside the Garden of Eden. I have been privileged to know Pat and Tammy through this difficult journey. I have witnessed, through the pain and challenges, their struggle to accept the unknown and begin grieving without closure. Their faith has inspired me, and Zach is so fortunate to have parents who are deeply committed to Christ and to him. Hit Hard does not answer the question of why these difficult things happen to faithful believers. It does provide an inspirational guide to what we are to do when the challenge before us is so great that, without faith in a faithful God, we would lose our way. Pat and Tammy do not lose their way. Instead they show the rest of us how to find ours.

Stephen Arterburn, bestselling author and founder of NewLife Ministries and Women of Faith

Jesus told us that in this life we will have trouble (John 16:33). Hit Hard is a heartfelt and courageous testimony of fear, disillusionment, and hope in the midst of loss. Pat and Tammy corroborate the reality of so many Christians who walk through the shadow of death and still feel evil. In this regard, Hit Hard is a generous and empathetic love offering to the body of Christ.

Jonathan L. Walton, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals, Harvard University 

One of the greatest destroyers of hope in our lives is a lack of honesty about pain, grief, and loss. In Hit Hard, Pat and Tammy McLeod share, with painful honesty, the reality of living through ambiguous loss together as a family. I wept several times reading this book and was moved by their commitment to Christ and especially their son Zach’s focus on God. If you are 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

I’ve known Pat and Tammy McLeod since 1986. This is the story about how their family’s life changed when their sixteen-year old son, Zach, suffered a traumatic brain injury after a routine hit during a high school football game. It is a story about marriage and its imperfections; about parenting and its vulnerability; about the struggle of faith in life’s uncertainty. It is a story about overwhelming grief and unexpected slivers of grace; about loneliness and friendship; about finding a marker when you are lost. It is a story about finding a name for their experience—ambiguous loss—and trying to hang on to God and each other when sometimes “hanging on” is all you can do. You will find yourself in this story somewhere. As I read it, I thought of being a parent, being a child, being a brother, being a friend, and being a person of faith. I cried and I laughed . . . it seemed like real life.

Dr. Ron Sanders, author of After the Election and Campus Minister at Stanford University

Hit Hard hits hard. By sharing their experience through story, Pat and Tammy offer humanity a wonderful gift from their struggle, making meaning of their loss in the crucible called life. Their story resonates with issues that transcend geographic location, class, and race, not only because it interweaves their experiences in South Africa and in the US, but because ambiguous loss and its ubiquitousness is a reality for many people across the world.

Edwin Smith, Edwin T. Smith, Former Director, University of Pretoria Mamelodi Campus

Clarity. That is what this book brings to those searching for meaning in the midst of loss and suffering, or for those who feel caught up in a story that has no last chapter.

Bob Swenson, ex All-Pro linebacker, Denver Broncos; founder of the Freedom 58 Project