Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestrup
Little book, big impact. Despite its small size this memoir is similar to other personal accounts written to reflect on life after a spouse dies. It joins the ranks of Calvin Trillin and Joan Didion searching for peace and paying tribute to their lost love. But while those authors lovingly look back on their long marriage, Kate Braestrup needs to face her future reality as a young wife and mother of four when her husband is killed in a car crash. This tragedy causes her to re-invent herself. She pursues her husband’s dream and becomes a Unitarian Universalist minister. She then becomes one of the first chaplains for the state of Maine Warden Service. Her story is filled with the touching tales of families in distress caused by the many accidents that can happen in the wilderness. She provides comfort to them and to the wardens who are so impacted by the life and death events of their job. In the process she heals herself and her 4 young children. Kate is frank, sarcastic and very funny. And while this book is not really religious, it is deep in faith and uplifting emotion which leaves the reader with much to think about. I loved it!