Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Here if You Need Me by Kate Baestrup

In the blink of an eye the lives of Kate Baestrup and her four children were changed forever. Husband and father, Drew Griffith, a Maine State Trooper, was killed instantly when a vehicle struck his patrol car. Drew’s plan, before this horrible tragedy, was to retire in 15 years and then train to be a Unitarian Universalist minister. Unfortunately, that was not to be. Instead, Baestrup chose to carry forward his goal herself by pursuing the clerical calling.


Her story is unique. After several years of Divinity School she found employment as a chaplain for the Maine Game Warden Service. Baestrup’s position requires her to be available at search and rescue missions in a pastoral capacity, waiting with the families and offering comfort and support.

She recounts scenes of a child gone missing in the woods, the disappearance of an ice fisherman, suicide and murder. Her observations are keen and eloquent, filled with compassion and infused with humor. Take for example Baestrup’s touching account where she describes honoring her deceased husband by bathing and dressing his body prior to witnessing his cremation. What could be an unpleasant topic is skillfully written in a way that turns this book into a heartfelt and inspiring read.

Look for Here if You Need Me on the VBPL catalog. For more books on life after the loss of a spouse, you may also want to read the beautifully written Signs of Life by Natalie Taylor and A Widow’s Story by Joyce Carol Oates.

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