The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update


November 15, 2012

'See you in a minute'

Anderson woman relays own story of grief in hopes of helping others

ANDERSON, Ind. — Misty Novak had no idea what she would experience after losing her son, Zachary, 25, in a plane crash more than six years ago.

Novak, of Anderson, had countless books about grief but she didn’t feel like any of them properly addressed the emotions of the first year.

“A lot of books skimmed it but none really talked about what that first year was like,” she said. “I got a lot of nudging that I should write about it. It was like a calling for me.”

So when Novak retired — after 31 years as a teacher with Anderson Community Schools — she penned “See You In a Minute: A mother’s journey through the first year of grief.” Novak recently published the book that is currently for sale on Amazon. The book will also be sold at two upcoming book signings — from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Moneyhun’s and on Dec. 14 and 15 at the Anderson Public Library. Proceeds will benefit an Anderson University scholarship in Zachary’s name.

“I wanted to make a difference for those who don’t understand loss or are going through it themselves,” she said.

Talented son

Zachary Novak could do anything, she said. He began playing piano at three and at a very young age was proficient in the instrument. But his passions exceeded music. Novak bragged about her son’s skills as an artist and writer. Teachers of those subjects, as well as music, encouraged him to pursue careers in those fields.

He chose music, the art he for which he had a passion. Zachary continued the others as hobbies.

Even before he could drive, Zachary began a job as a choir director at Bethel United Methodist Church and then became choir director at his own Saint Ambrose Catholic Church, where he was also the organist.

“We received so many letters after he died that were so kind, talking about all the things he had done that we never even knew about,” Novak said. “Besides being excessively talented he gave so much to others.”

Zachary graduated from Anderson University with a degree in music education. In 2006, he was attending Indiana University working on his masters in conducting when the accident happened. He and four vocal performance majors from the school were returning from a rehearsal for a community concert in West Lafayette when their plane crashed near the Bloomington airport, killing the five students instantly.

Last March, Anderson University announced a gift from the Novak family to name the Green Room in the York Performance Hall and Galleries project in memory of Zachary, who earned his bachelor of arts there in 2004.

A cathartic process

The process of writing the book was cathartic for Novak — although in some ways painful for her and her family — reliving the grief. But she felt compelled to write, even the intimate details, about what she went through in order to help give others that their emotions are OK.

“You really aren’t anything without your faith, your hope and the love of others that get you through all of it,” Novak said. “After an experience like this, you could lose touch with your faith or you could deepen it. The book talks about all the miracles seen along the way. I hope it instills some hope for those that are in the depths of despair with grief too.”

Books purchased at the upcoming book signing will include a CD of songs performed by Zachary. He gave his mother the songs the year before he died. The title of the first song is “Being Alive.”

“Music can be healing,” Novak said. “Each one of the chapters in the book is the title of one of the songs. You can play the song and read the chapter or wait until the book is done.”

Misty and husband Dan Novak have two other children — Joel, 31, married to Hillary, with two children of their own, and daughter Brytni Hessler, married to Jason, with two children.

Find Abbey Doyle on Facebook and @heraldbulletin on Twitter, or call 640-4805.

Text Only
  • FEA - HB0725 - 13 The Musical - JC - 1.JPG Review: Musical takes you back to being '13'

    Wanting to kill your mom and pining for a Wonderbra are typical desires young teenage girls have, but that just scratches the surface of the relatable themes in Mainstage Theatre’s production of “13: The Musical.”

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • FEA - HB0726 - Naturalist Day Camp - JC 5 Mounds camps offer outdoor fun "Can toads go in the pool?" It's one of the many questions Douglass and other interpretive naturalists received during Naturalists Day Camp, the second of three day camps Mounds Park is offering this summer.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Verna Davis: Seek peace by turning from evil and doing good There's something we all want: peace. World peace. Family peace. Personal peace. We yearn for peace, a feeling of freedom from commotion and antagonism, of harmony in our relationships, of lack of strife or dissension. What would we do to have peace in our lives?

    July 25, 2014

  • Church News: July 26 The following are brief Church News items of local interest.

    July 25, 2014

  • Community Briefs: July 25 A compilation of community news as published in the Friday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    July 25, 2014

  • Live music: July 25

    Live entertainment at local venues as published in the Friday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    July 24, 2014

  • FEA - HB0724 - Amputee Support - JC 3 Supporting limb loss awareness

    A small group of amputees gathered for the Second Annual Show Your Mettle Day at Frazier’s Dairy Maid on Friday. The event, which offered free ice cream to amputees thanks to Prevail Prosthetics and Orthotics, served as a meet and greet to help support limb loss awareness in the community.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Jim Bailey: Now if Grace beats Bethel... Fans in the United States are just now waking up to the complexities of World Cup soccer, which is a lot more popular around the world than it is here.

    July 24, 2014

  • Community Briefs: July 24 A compilation of community news items as published in the Thursday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    July 24, 2014

  • NWS - HB0723 - Fair Food - JC 3 The 'fairest food of all' Rides along the midway and 4-H animals may be a big draw for the county fair, but there's plenty of food people look forward to and indulge in during the Madison County 4-H Fair.

    July 23, 2014 3 Photos

Reader Pet Photos

We're looking for your best pet photos! Share your photos of your favorite non-human companions in our new photo gallery. Click here to upload your photos

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin