“To write about your son is so beautiful – and truly, a wonderful testimony to his life. I thank you for your effort, and I believe you will help many, many people who have had similar tragedies. It helped me. I have now read your book two times, and I’m sure I will read it again and again. I loved every word.” —Polly Branche
“When I met you last Friday night, you were glowing. I know that feeling. And then, when you said your book is about your son who died 6 years ago at age 25 climbing in Yosemite, I felt shock and a literal disorientation.
Your words took me right to a place of my own dread. My son is 27 and he loves to scramble up rocks in order to get up high to jump off into water.
I have for years been working on letting go of so much in my life that causes my suffering — ideas, patterns, fears, the clinging part of the love I feel for so many and so much, above all, my son.
I had to read your book and began it Friday night. I had to understand how you could get from that place six years ago to the glow of the night I saw you. I love the photos of your son and the stones he loved to move on. He looks so like you.
Your book so beautifully portrays him — and your journey, with his spirit’s help, back into light.
I am glad you wrote the book — for your sake, for honoring him, and for guiding others. Glad too that you have been able to receive the gifts, perceive the signs and miracles that have come to reassure and comfort you. Your awareness and strength are inspiring.” —VMK
“My interest in Carol Hampson’s book Freedom To Fall was rooted in the death of my husband 32 years ago. For me, the beauty of reading her story was that I recognized myself in it over and over again. In this recognition, I felt less isolated and knew the journey I was on was not just mine but one that many people must travel after a great loss in their lives. Why now, after 32 years, is her book so helpful to me? It is because I postponed completing my grieving process by concentrating instead on outside responsibilities including raising two very young children to adulthood. Once they had left home and I had retired, the fact that I had not fully grieved my loss caught up with me and I found myself stuck in my life.
Carol’s book offers a story through which you can help yourself. It is a very personal account of how she climbed up from the despair of losing her only son to reclaim the joy and purpose in her life that she knew were there. It describes how she found her way to celebrate Chris’ life and death (as a moving on to a higher level of being) and how she has celebrated her own life as well.
Carol’s memoir is a very personal and poignant gift to anyone who is grieving or has experienced loss. As she said, the joy was there before she lost Chris and even at the depths of her despair, she knew she would be ok. Her faith sustained her to find her way from despair to joy.
Her raw account of that journey is just one example of how you can experience loss and trauma and find your way back to your life’s passion and vitality.
The intention is not for the reader to do it her way. Her memoir shares with you her way which can then become a model for healing. The power of the book is that it shows you that it can be done — but it is not easy and the pain is there. Reading about her journey and the excerpts from her journal makes it clear just how difficult the process is but with a commitment it is possible through the pain.
Sometimes you have to see it is possible to know it is possible . . . then you just have to find your own way.”—Mary Jacob
“This is an important book. The writing is beautiful and comforting–but also very honest.
I am not a religious person, but I followed along without any problems the book’s spiritual aspects. What the reader sees is how Carol moved through her grief. While we all do it in our own way, she offers us the universal experiences. For example, she shares conversations with herself and Chris. These are critical to our taking it all in, grieving, and ultimately finding joy again.
Carol offers concrete ideas that people can hold onto, so they can get through the first days and months and offers hope that they can get through. She helps people understand that they a give greater meaning on the anniversary of the beloved’s birthday or death. The reader learns that there are ways we can move on while still staying connected with the loved one. We learn about the essential “listening and stepping.”
Grieving also means interacting with the complexity of other relationships. The reader learns that they can use gifts they already have to connect with others and help get them through. Carol took time to collect Chris’s stories and to honor memories. Chris’s friends were wonderful! She learned about mountain climbing. She climbed herself in the ultimate quest. She instructs on possibility—to reach a better understanding and a greater meaning regarding death.
All of this took hard work—there is no other way.” — Verna Caby, Ph.D,educator and researcher in social and behavioral sciences
“I started reading your book and couldn’t put it down. The raw reality of your pain, your continued moments of surrender, and the strength in transformation are so vivid. Words cannot express how deep my gratitude and respect is for your journey. It offers a message of hope in the wrenching of circumstances.
“Since reading your book, I consciously crave to create more quiet and stillness in my life. It has led me to take up journaling again and to stop and breathe in the beauty of my surroundings a little more deeply. Your words, inspired by Chris, have moved me. His spirit lives on.” — Sarah Akerson Van Dam