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The Letter: My Journey Through Love, Loss, and Life Hardcover – June 26, 2012
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"Marie Tillman's gentle memoir of love and loss is an important reminder to all that life isn't measured by its length, but by its depth."―Regina Brett, New York Times bestselling author of God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours
"The Letter is a candid, eloquent account of unthinkable loss, its incapacitating aftermath, and Marie Tillman's long, lonely journey back to daylight. Graced with illuminating vignettes of her marriage to Pat Tillman, the ambivalent Army Ranger who was killed in Afghanistan by his comrades, The Letter is both a heart-rending elegy for an extraordinary man and an indispensable road map through the wilderness of bereavement. It's a brave and wonderful book."―Jon Krakauer, author of Into the Wild and Where Men Win Glory
"Marie Tillman's moving memoir, The Letter, is a story of profound courage. It takes courage to walk out into the unknown to reclaim one's life after a tragedy. It takes courage to live in a public way with such private pain. And it takes courage to share one's journey with an open heart knowing that it will bring comfort and connection to others. Marie's courageous example will inspire so many to recognize their own power to be architects of change."―Maria Shriver, Journalist, Author & Activist
"In this moving debut memoir, the author describes her struggle to deal with grief and to come to terms with the cynical abuse of his sacrifice...An inspiring account of the author's difficult decision to become a public advocate for military families."―Kirkus
"In this thoughtful memoir...[Marie Tillman] successfully honors her husband's legacy while offering solace and hope for those in anguish."―Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
The Letter by Marie Tillman is a heartfelt insight into her life after her husband's death as well as a journey through all stages of grief she's experienced since then. Pat Tillman's life had been in the spotlight very little before he died as both he and Marie have shied away from the public eye, preferring the coziness of their home, the serenity of their relationship, the comfort of their love. The NFL player who gave up a successful career as a football player to enlist in the army became an icon after his death in April 2004. The circumstances surrounding his death still create a lot of controversy, including two congressional hearings and multiple investigations. Somehow Marie had to learn how to cope with the media infatuation with her husband as well as with all the attention she unwillingly received.
I applaud Marie for her ability to capture real feelings, real emotions making the book that much more intense, allowing readers a close look into a grieving heart. The book contains very little dialogue, but it's easy to follow and finish in one sitting. Its simplicity, its reflection on life's fragility and what matters most as well as how Marie chose to navigate through the murky waters of healing is done gracefully. From a shy lotus lily living in Pat's shadow, Marie grew into a confident woman, working constantly to keep Pat's legacy alive. She went through the stages of grief in her own way, at her own pace, and came out not completely healed but stronger.
The Letter is a compelling, poignant book, a true story of heroism and altruism behind the deadly lines of war.
Marie Tillman's writing style...her `voice' (filled with raw honesty and true candor) ...made the experience even more powerful. I look forward to her next work and recommend this book with as much verve as possible.
The Letter is inspirational, Marie and Pat Tillman's story is amazing, and Marie Tillman, in her earned own right, is a national treasure.
Read The Letter and learn more about the continuing work of the Pat Tillman Foundation.
This book is written purely from the heart, with raw emotion and honest feelings openly shared. Marie has done an amazing job of bringing us into her world and showing us her journey through her grief. If you have lost someone special to you, or ever tried to help someone in their grief, The Letter will speak to you.
Amazing book...and what an amazing young lady Marie is.
The "Letter" of the title refers to the "just in case" letter written by Pat after his Iraq deployment, prior to redeployment to Afghanistan. Placed on her dresser, it stayed sealed until after his death. She tells us that such letters are common. The soul of the letter is Pat's request of her "...to live..."
She tells us that her family and that of Pat knew each other from the time she was four years old. I particularly enjoyed her reflections on Pat Tillman as the two of them grew up and their relationship evolved from acquaintances. One of the themes is the gap between the public use of Pat's sacrifice and the sensitive and intelligent human that he was. With all the public accolades, learning 30 days after notification of his death that it was fratricide was a kick in the gut to her and Pat's Family. We read her account of the persistence of the family to get the truth of the coverup, the Congressional hearings and the testimony of Donald Rumsfeld and Army Generals.
She discusses her evolving work life at ESPN, with work related moves from Seattle to New York, to L.A.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Marie Tillman tells her story with openness and insight into her private loss that was so public. I lived in Arizona where the story was huge because of ASU and the Cardinals. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lyn
Seemed a little whining rather than inspirational. Her husband was the strong one and the hero in this relationship!Published 5 months ago by czhammer
Really enjoyed the first half of the book. I thought because of the title of it, it was going to be more about her relationship with her husband...not the case. Read morePublished 11 months ago by kchegnoph
Excellent reading from page 1 to the end. We could feel the pain she suffered and shared with us and how she climbed
out of despair and became an inspiration to people in and... Read more
When I first saw this on my kindle daily deals I was excited for a cheap read but had no idea I'd be taken to so many places with Marie. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Da Honest Truth