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H is for Hawk
Winner of BookBrowse's 2015 Nonfiction Award.
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This is a deeply personal story but one that is also universal. How does it speak to your own life experience?

Created: 03/20/16

Replies: 9

Posted Mar. 20, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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This is a deeply personal story but one that is also universal. How does it speak to your own life experience?

This is a story of a woman grieving in a highly unusual way. It is a deeply personal story but what makes it universal? How does it speak to your own life experience?


Posted Apr. 03, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
maureend

Join Date: 02/14/16

Posts: 1

RE: This is a deeply personal story but one that is also universal. How does it speak to your own life experience?

It really spoke to me on the level of Helen training the hawk and how love and perseverance can make life so worthwhile.


Posted Apr. 03, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 392

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RE: This is a deeply personal story but one that is also universal. How does it speak to your own life experience?

I had a difficult time with the beginning of the book as it seemed a little off kilter but as I realized that this strange project was her way of dealing with her grief by being totally obsessive about training a hawk as a way of getting through it and feeling connected to her father in her mind. I personally have become immersed in some things when there was a major loss in my life and it is a rather common coping mechanism I think though not quite as strange and all consuming as training the hawk was for her.


Posted Apr. 03, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lorettaf

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 25

RE: This is a deeply personal story but one that is also universal. How does it speak to your own life experience?

Many of the goals we strive for in life require hard work, patience, and perseverance. Exactly what Helen needed in training her hawk. When I went to college and grad school as an older adult, I needed all of those and courage too. Marriage and raising children also require these traits.


Posted Apr. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barb23703

Join Date: 10/04/15

Posts: 53

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RE: This is a deeply personal story but one that is also universal. How does it speak to your own life experience?

I found that I identified with Helen greatly, as I started reading the book while on a plane, headed to Indiana to attend the funeral of an Aunt who had great influenced my life - as well as deal with issues regarding my mother's care, as she has dementia. While reading the book, I reflected on losing my own father in 1995 and wondered how I dealt with that loss. I realized that instead of training a hawk, I threw myself in to being be best professional and mother at the same time - trying to be a SuperMom and SuperEmployee. I admire Helen's self-awareness - that even though it may have seemed to her that it was taking a long time, as a reader we see how she walked those early days of her grief and got a glimpse of her moving from child to young adult (at least in life-experience and attitude) to a more confident woman.


Posted Apr. 07, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanp

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 91

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RE: This is a deeply personal story but one that is also universal. How does it speak to your own life experience?

I handle grief in a very different way. I try to deal with it as a problem to solve and go on with life. That may sound as if I handle it in a cold impersonal way but I do grieve. At the time of my husband's death I knew that my life would be very difficult. I had just started painting and as one with a great appreciation but no talent, I filled my free time with becoming skillful. I also accepted every invitation extended to me even when I really didn't want to accept. I knew that well-meaning friends knew that social interaction would be hard for me but that it was needed. The universal part of grief is that we will all experience it even if we find our own way to overcome it.


Posted Apr. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
againstthetide

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 20

RE: This is a deeply personal story but one that is also universal. How does it speak to your own life experience?

I've never had a loss like this through a premature death. When my grandparents passed, it mostly seemed like time and I felt sad for myself, but not the deep grief portrayed in this book. However, when my parents divorced (when I was 12), I recall how catastrophic that felt to me, and I do agree that focusing outside the situation, primarily on being a very strong student, was one way of coping. I think working with an animal is a little different because there is an actual relationship - - you aren't just throwing yourself into a hobby, but rather Helen was also bonding with a creature . . .so fostering a whole new relationship while mourning the loss of another.


Posted Apr. 13, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marganna

Join Date: 10/14/11

Posts: 90

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RE: This is a deeply personal story but one that is also universal. How does it speak to your own life experience?

I read the book as Helen's story & didn't try to compare it to mine. So...now how does it speak to my own life experiences? I can say I hope I would have the ability to "train a hawk" the next time grief strikes. (figuratively speaking) - I can relate to her profound grief & applaud her ability to absorb herself in her passion and slowly bring herself back into a world of joy, relationships, change & loss. Her ability to recover her balance can be used as a positive role model for handling grief. - we don't all do it alike & I loved her story.


Posted Apr. 13, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tracyb

Join Date: 09/22/11

Posts: 63

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RE: This is a deeply personal story but one that is also universal. How does it speak to your own life experience?

Not sure that I have ever had this experience with abrupt loss. After a great loss one may shut out everything else & focus on what they can control or try to control. Helen control was to train Mabel. Being guided by the books of the past. Trusting that the hawk could make her whole/human again. The time taken by the training was all encompassing leaving no time to talk.


Posted Apr. 30, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Windsong

Join Date: 05/07/13

Posts: 70

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RE: This is a deeply personal story but one that is also universal. How does it speak to your own life experience?

I wish I had read this book before my sister died of pancreatic cancer. Perhaps I would have thought to immerse myself with a project so intense that I could have worked through my grief in a productive way. Instead I became immersed in helping others and forgot about myself.


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