Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hit Hard: One Family's Journey of Letting Go of What Was--And Learning to Live Well with What Is” as Want to Read:
Hit Hard: One Family's Journey of Letting Go of What Was--And Learning to Live Well with What Is
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hit Hard: One Family's Journey of Letting Go of What Was--And Learning to Live Well with What Is

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  163 ratings  ·  70 reviews
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. Facing the devastating possibility that things would never be the same for their beloved son, they committed to staying strong as a family and finding a way to maintain their footing. But the journey would reshape their faith, their fami ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 9th 2019 by Tyndale Momentum
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Hit Hard, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Hit Hard

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  163 ratings  ·  70 reviews

Sort order
Start your review of Hit Hard: One Family's Journey of Letting Go of What Was--And Learning to Live Well with What Is
Corri Ogburn
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Although I have not experienced the same brand of loss as the Mcleods, their story connected with me, personally. They helped me identify what was so painful and challenging about facing "deaths" for which society and friends have few categories or supports. I appreciated their raw honesty about trauma's toll on all relationships; particularly on their marriage and on parenting other children in times of crisis. If you encounter the confusing loss of life-altering injury, betrayal, divorce, disa ...more
Toni Kim
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Faith is sometimes portrayed as an exercise in make-believe, in which people pretend that their lives are perfect and that their faith protects them from all harm. In Hit Hard: One Family's Journey of Letting Go of What Was--And Learning to Live Well with What Is, authors Pat and Tammy McLeod express a faith that is authentic and honest in the wake of their son Zach’s traumatic brain injury. Like the psalmists in the Bible, they pull no punches in describing their pain, their complaints, and the ...more
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful true story of McLeod's experiences over ten years of caring for their son, their family, their marriage and their walk with God. This book is a powerful redemptive story of pain and sorrow that they could hardly describe and yet, with God's help, they do. Not only do they describe it beautifully, they helped me to understand and hope in the beauty of God in this broken world. I loved it! ...more
Nancy W. Carroll
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For years, I’ve followed the McLeod’s journey through their son’s traumatic brain injuries with such admiration and curiosity. I couldn’t wait to read their story. How do families deal with such ongoing losses and sorrows? Their book, Hit Hard: One Family’s Journey of Letting Go of What Was and Learning to Live Well with What Is, stunned me with its honesty and surprised me by giving me hope and practical suggestions in my own losses. Written from the two very different perspectives of husband a ...more
Pebble Williams
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I laughed. I cried. I couldn’t put it down. Written with authenticity and depth of emotion on every page. You can draw strength whether you are currently going through a loss or trying to make sense of your own hard knocks.
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hit Hard is rich with emotion, simultaneously overflowing with sorrow and joy. With clarity and vulnerability, Pat and Tammy McLeod eloquently express the depth of their pain following their son's traumatic brain injury. In telling their story, they offer the words to describe the pain of complicated, undefined, ambiguous loss, a topic that is rarely discussed. I recommend this book to anyone who may be experiencing the struggle of losing someone while still having them. This book is also worth ...more
Michael Weaver
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Hit Hard” is the gripping tale of the McLeods encounter with Ambiguous Loss.
Many people struggle with grief, but few learn how to navigate its turbulent waters.
Read this book to learn how to not only survive loss, but to grow through it.
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fantastic read for sure. What a journey, my friends Pat and Tammy McLeod have been on over the past decade, plus. Having a son suffer severe brain damage in the midst of playing a sport that, not only did Zach (the son) love, but a sport that was part of the fabric of Pat's life. It's a known fact that many couples who go through tragedy end up in divorce and Hit Hard demonstrated how, except for the grace of God and a firm commitment to, well, the commitment made in the wedding ceremony, Pat ...more
Paul Gallagher
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hit Hard is a must-read. Once you begin the book frantically racing to the hospital with the authors, you will not put it down.

In Hit Hard, Pat and Tammy McLeod not only share the profound story of their son Zach's traumatic brain injury and the family's inspiring response, but provide a source of comfort, guidance, and hope to those facing challenge. Through its sheer honesty, Hit Hard shows those dealing with ambiguous loss - and loss of any nature - that it's okay to struggle, question, and
Greg Faxon
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: relationships
A fascinating, and heartbreaking, look into Pat and Tammy's experience with ambiguous loss. Offers a unique perspective on how to get through challenging times as a couple. Will make you grateful for your life and the people in it. ...more
Pauline Boss
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 McLeod ...more
Michelle Ule
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
A compelling and fascinating story of a family confronting the after-effects of their 17-year-old son getting hit hard in a football accident.

The Macleods share their volatile emotions as they confront the permanent disability of their child. As they relate their story, they finally find the description that helps the most: ambiguous loss.

The book shows ways to deal with loss with an unflinching voice. I learned from this story. I hope I never need to know any of it.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Pat and Tammy McLeod present a wrenching but hope-filled portrait of a family thrust into a crucible of faith when their oldest son suffers a traumatic brain injury. As a mother, I think and pray constantly about keeping my children from harm. Hit Hard tells what happens when God seemingly fails to answer a parent’s prayer for protection. Everybody loves happy endings: Christians love stories of answered prayers, of miraculous cures, of “you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good” a la Jos ...more
4.5 stars for me. A wonderful story. About ambiguous grief which more people need to be aware of. Demonstrated and spoken about beautifully. They keep it real and show their hearts during this journey. I shed a few tears while reading this. Oh my goodness Zach’s faith and joy was humbling and convicting. Just a wonderful book, sad but healing, raw and honest. Challenging also to have a faith, joy and love for God like Zach does. Highly recommended.
Dylan Dalessandro
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I liked this book because it represents a powerful journey through distressing topics, such as disability, religious faith, suffering, and ambiguous loss. Pat and Tammy Mcleod share their stories of loss of faith, dealing with their son’s disabilities, and moving past sorrow, creating an alternating POV story.
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Incredible story! Awesome read! This book took me from ripping my heart out to skipping on a mountain top and everywhere in between! Not the kind of book you want to read….. but you need to! Like a raft ride on a raging Montana river it will take you through the wilderness of trying to navigate trauma and tragedy while keeping your life together and your family afloat.
As a result of a fallen world EVERYONE experiences pain and loss. Theirs is a story of the kind of loss that is constant, ambig
Shandra Galloway
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a gift to humanity. I have read many books on grief but this is the first I have seen on ambiguous loss. It tapped into so many emotions and towards the end, it gave me a framework for things I didn't have words for previously. To have a book written from both perspectives in a marriage was particularly brilliant. Thank you, Pat and Tammy. ...more
Bethany Gerdin
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
As a nurse and PhD grad whose dissertation was on family and end of life - I love this book intellectually.

As a mother, wife, and friend - I love this book emotionally.

As a Christian - I love this book spiritually.

I am grateful the authors shared their journey in ambiguous loss in such a brave, honest, and raw way. Their struggle, humility, pain, and growth was heartbreaking and inspiring to read.
Shawn Cramer
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can't say enough positive remarks about Pat and Tammy McLeod's new book, "Hit Hard." The book highlights God's grand story of guiding the McCleads through suffering - not as helpless victims or more-than-human heroes, but as participants in a redemptive drama. As the curse affects all of us with suffering, this book gives hope and advice as we await redemption far as the curse is found. The comforting advice doesn't come from a lofty pedestal, but through an honest journey and commitment to wr ...more
Neil Holzapfel
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hit Hard is Pat and Tammy McLeod's  honest, gripping story of their son Zach's debilitating football injury that left him permanently disabled, unable to live in his own, yet eternally living with joy and zeal in every moment with profound appreciation for every person around him. Pat and Tammy continue to live with hope through every parent's worst nightmare, seeing a child die in so many ways, yet still be alive. This is ambiguous loss, the paradox of lost but not lost. When I studied in Bosto ...more
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My friend Tammy McLeod once said to me, “Suffering is Suffering”.

We were talking about a painful event in my own family, that by comparison seemed insignificant to the losses she was and would continue to experience as her family walked through her son Zach's traumatic brain injury. Her words gave me freedom to do my own grieving, and to show compassion to others without placing suffering on a scale of “degrees” of pain incurred.

Tammy and her husband Pat have written Hit Hard; a beautiful accoun
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I picked up Hit Hard while taking a break from another good read by an author that has published dozens of books which have sold millions of copies worldwide, and what a refreshing break it was! I found the writing of this seasoned author not nearly as compelling or engaging as what Pat and Tammy McLeod have now offered the world. Every word, every reflection and memory of Hit Hard is saturated in authenticity. As a parent, I was moved to tears by the closing scene, father and son running headlo ...more
Jim Layman
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
If you pick up this book, you won’t easily put it down. Not without being touched, possibly inspired. Pat and Tammy McLeod tell the gripping story of their son Zach’s traumatic brain injury and the family’s plunge into living with “ambiguous loss”.
Tenderly honest, this volume speaks to parents, to siblings, to couples, to friends and care givers. The journey Pat and Tammy have undertaken to understand and embrace their differing pathways of grief and loss is, in itself, a powerful teaching.
David Tannenwald
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an outstanding book. The McLeods tell a very personal and powerful story. In addition, they delve into a powerful and meaningful concept, ambiguous loss, from which many people can benefit. Finally, the writing itself moves. In short, this is a powerful, meaningful, and compelling book, and I would give it my highest recommendation.
Jack Kremers
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a captivating story written by a family describing their response to a debilitating football injury to their 16 year old son. The immediate tragedy and the subsequent struggles to live within a new family framework are real and deeply personal. Sharing the experiences including the faith required make this a valuable read for all those facing similar losses and struggles.
Damian Long
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! Not only is the story gripping, but the interplay between the authors brings you right into their marriage and family – struggles, conflicts, triumphs, reconciliation. Their faith unites them, carries them, and inspires others as it so honestly bends without breaking. Though I know this family well and even walked closely with them through this tragedy, reading their story gave me so much more insight into the constant, yet subversive onslaught of ambiguous loss. I ...more
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hit Hard is a raw look at a family forced into a new reality, one of staggering losses and constant mercies, unresolved conflict and unshakable commitment. I was left with more questions than answers and yet with a profound sense of God’s ability to bring beauty out of brokenness. I am inspired by the McLeod’s perseverance and deeply grateful for their vulnerability. I was taken up in their grief, in their joy, and in the profound tension of a broken world loved by a crucified Savior.
Beth Sturman
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Pat and Tammy give an incredibly vulnerable and intimate glimpse into their journey dealing with ambiguous loss. Their story is as authentic as it is riveting; neither of them papers over their suffering or their shortcomings, yet their faith shines through as deep and relevant rather than chock full of hollow platitudes. Having the writing alternate between Pat's and Tammy's perspectives was a helpful way to frame the several seemingly disjointed sides of ambiguous loss. It illustrated not only ...more
Bill H
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hit Hard is what happened to me when I read this page-turner by Pat and Tammy McLeod. I was hit hard by the drama of the story that never waned throughout the book. I was hit hard by how an incident that nobody expected, that was nobody’s fault, that nobody was prepared to deal with nearly wiped out a family that had everything going for it. And I was hit hard by how the McLeods held on by their fingernails to their sanity, to one another, and to their faith in God. This book’s title not only de ...more
Alex White
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Profound. Pat and Tammy take you by the hand and guide you through a period of indefinable loss with striking openness and clarity. The vulnerability they display shows the triumphant and redeeming power of God's love, a love that can be hard to understand but fundamentally necessary in our lives. Their words have much to give for people of all backgrounds: athletes, parents, coaches, students, teachers, brothers, sisters. Everyone can derive significant benefit from their story. ...more
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • In Praise of Retreat: Finding Sanctuary in the Modern World
  • One Last Second
  • The Dance
  • Astrid Sees All
  • Captain for Life: My Story as a Hall of Fame Linebacker
  • Overtime: Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines at the Crossroads of College Football
  • Face: One Square Foot of Skin
  • Grace & Steel: Dorothy, Barbara, Laura, and the Women of the Bush Dynasty
  • Dusk, Night, Dawn: On Revival and Courage
  • Every Moment Holy
  • Inside Out
  • The Water Dancer
  • Dear Sweet Pea (Dumplin', #2.5)
  • Rare, Medium, or Done Well: Make the Most of Your Life
  • Ties That Tether
  • A Different Way to Win: Dan Rooney's Story from the Super Bowl to the Rooney Rule
  • Peyton Manning: The Inspiring Story of One of Football’s Greatest Quarterbacks (Football Biography Books)
  • Tell Me Lies
See similar books…
I was born and grew up on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains (Montana and Wyoming) with a love for the outdoors and a passion for sports.

I loved studying science and playing football at Montana State University. It was there that I began to study the life of Jesus Christ and became one of his followers.

Shortly after graduating, my love for teaching and coaching gave way to a growing passio

News & Interviews

Summer is perfect for plenty of things: mojitos, sleeping with the window fan on, and sprawling out with a hot romance novel (in a heavily...
36 likes · 2 comments
“I felt like I was in the middle of a slow-motion shipwreck. The ship was sinking, and no one could change that. I could barely tread water in the swirling, debris-ridden sea of emotions--fighting to keep my nose above the waves, struggling for each breath.” 1 likes
“We functioned. We remained committed to each other. But how was it that we felt so disconnected when permanently connected by a shared tragedy?” 0 likes
More quotes…