Every once in a while a book comes along that can change your life–a book so special, it is destined not just to be read but to be cherished, to be passed from one reader to another as a precious gift. Filled with wisdom and grace, tears and laughter, Hannah’s Gift is one such book. Within these pages Maria Housden shares the transformative lessons in living she received from her three-year-old daughter Hannah, who brought courage, honesty, and joy to her struggle with cancer.
During the last year of her short life, Hannah was fearless in the way she faced death–and irrepressibly joyful in the way she approached living. The little girl who wore her favorite red Mary Janes into the operating room changed the life of everyone who came in contact with her. Now, in a book that preserves Hannah’s indomitable spirit, Maria Housden offers the gift of her daughter’s last year to all of us.
In a lyrically told narrative, both moving and unforgettable, Housden recounts Hannah’s battle with cancer in simple, straightforward language that transcends grief and fear to become a celebration. From Hannah’s story emerge five profound lessons–of truth, joy, faith, compassion, and wonder–that have the power to change our lives.
During her illness Hannah showed how we can truly live in the moment and break free from lives suffocated by too many unlived joys. Even more memorable is the message Hannah delivered after her death to those she loved–a message of hope for anyone faced with the deepest questions of life and death.
Hannah’s Gift nourishes the soul with an ageless wisdom all the more invaluable for having come from someone so young. A remarkable story, remarkably told, it will bring comfort to anyone touched by loss, and renewed faith in the
power of love.
Closing her eyes and extending her arms, Hannah began to dance. Oblivious to everything but the shoes on her feet, she skipped and clicked across the floor, twirling in circles, faster and faster. There was something about her pure joy and the defiant nobility of the red shoes that caught everyone’s attention....
The true measure of a life is not its length but the fullness with which it is lived
Praise for Hannah's Gift: Lessons from a Life Fully Lived…
“Maria Housden’s testament to a dying daughter’s transcendent wisdom, a mother’s all-too-earthly devotion, and love’s uncanny gift for transforming the greatest suffering into joy and self-awareness comes as a gift to us all.”
–Mark Matousek, author of Sex Death Enlightenment
“Hannah’s Gift is a celebration of life in all its richness, pain, mystery, and wonder. Maria Housden gives us renewed faith in the transformative power of love.”
–John Welwood, author of Toward a Psychology of Awakening
“As Maria Housden guides us through her daughter’s grave illness, we too receive Hannah’s gift to the world. Like a master spiritual teacher, this remarkable little girl opens our hearts to what matters–compassion for ourselves and one another.”
–Joan Duncan Oliver, former editor in chief, One Spirit
Book Club and New Age magazine
“Superlatives seem pointless. Read it and weep for the sheer joy of being alive.”
–Jeremiah Abrams, author of Meeting the Shadow
"This portrait of a short, joyous life can be comforting to anyone who has lost a child."