Take My Hand

Kerry Fisher and Pat Sowa

Extract for Take My Hand

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‘Everyone should read it…it may just save a life.’ Susan Elliot Wright, bestselling author of The Things We Never Said

Friends for over thirty years, Kerry and Pat’s worlds came crashing down when their teenage sons were both diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses within weeks of each other.

They quickly discovered that there was no handbook on coping when your child is seriously ill but took solace in their friendship – texting at all hours and finding glimmers of dark humour on difficult days. Together these two ordinary mothers found a way to navigate their new normal and wanted to share what they’d learnt. With heartfelt honesty, they offer practical, sanity-saving strategies that allow you to keep putting one foot in front of the other when your family is in crisis, including how to:

– Tame raging mother guilt. It’s often the elephant in the room. Could I have prevented this happening? Is it all my fault? Kerry and Pat share all the reasons why you shouldn’t blame yourself.

– Ask for what you need from the people who want to help but don’t know how – forget the flowers but please fix the hoover, walk the dog and pick my other child up from school. Knowing someone else is dealing with everyday chores is a great comfort when you’re already spread too thinly.

– Look after yourself (even when you don’t care about yourself).
When keeping someone you love alive consumes every scrap of energy, looking after yourself is at the bottom of the priority list. But serious illness can quickly deplete everyone’s resources: Kerry and Pat list all the ways they found to replenish their energy.

– Be hopeful in the aftershock of tragedy. Kerry and Pat show you how to move forwards alongside the grief, and still take the joy where you find it rather than waiting for the grief ‘to be over’ to start living again.

Like a wise companion offering comfort and hope, Take My Hand is a lifeline both to those overwhelmed by heartbreak and for friends and family who don’t know how to help. Most of all, it’s a powerful reminder that no matter how difficult life gets, you are not alone.

Take My Hand is helping so many people:

‘Knowing that I am not the only parent to be facing the difficulties of caring for a child with mental health issues has made such a difference to my personal journey.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

‘A must-read… filled with helpful advice, quotes, tips and an in-depth understanding of what support was useful.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

‘I took much healing from Pat’s compassion and sharing of her grief… read in one sitting.’ Reader Review

‘It took my breath away. I thought it was brave, honest, and unselfish in the way that throughout the book Kerry and Pat’s motive was to help others! Julia Saunders

‘I urge anyone suffering loss to pick this up.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

‘Generous and brave… a book for anyone who has a friend or family member going through something like this.’ Susan Lynes

‘Should be given to everyone as part of a manual for life.’ Beth Miller

‘Heart-breaking, honest, inspiring, and affecting.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

‘For every parent who talked to me and for every youngster who confided their thoughts to me rather than upset their parents, this book is amazing!!!’ Carole Valente, Support Worker in a children’s cancer unit

‘This book had me in tears multiple times…both heartrending and uplifting.’ Sean’s Book Reviews, 5 stars

‘An absolute must read… heart-breaking and equally heart-warming.’ NetGalley Reviewer, 5 stars

‘Heart-breaking and uplifting in equal measure.’ Emma Boughton