The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon 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 - HB0423 - food truck file -NE Food Truckin' Thursday returns

    A new favorite that combines food and cars is rolling back into town next week. Food Truckin' Thursday starts back up May 1. For about six months, local vendors will pull up their food trucks to Citizens Park Plaza at Ninth and Main streets from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • FEA HB0423 Tipton Community Briefs: April 23

    A compilation of community news as published in the Wednesday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Community Briefs: April 22

    A compilation of community news as published in the Tuesday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    April 22, 2014

  • life saver.jpg Man credited with saving life says he was doing his job

    When Richard Goff walked into Louis Moyer's home, he smelled gas.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEA HB0421 Silent Movie 2 Acting without words

    Nineteen area students will take a walk down the red carpet Tuesday evening as their film projects premiere at the Paramount Theatre during the WRC Silent Film Festival.

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Community Briefs: April 21

    A compilation of community news as published in the Monday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    April 20, 2014

  • FEA - HB0420 - Cross carrier - JC 2 Crossing over to Christianity

    Tim Hanshew lives by 1 Corinthians 1:18: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” For the past six years, he has shared that power by carrying a large wooden cross throughout Anderson.

    April 19, 2014 4 Photos

  • 2014 Debutante Cotillion participants

    The 11 participants in this year’s Debutante Cotillion Beautillion Militaire were asked a variety of questions, including their influences, words that describe themselves and favorite “words to live by.” The event begins at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at Madison Park Church of God, 6607 Providence Drive. Call Antoinette Davis at 620-2229 for tickets, which are $270 per table or $30 each.

    April 19, 2014

  • FEA - HB0420 - 1008 Location, location, location When imagining the house of a farmer, people don’t tend to envision the home built by George and Nancy Likens. By pouring time and attention into their haven since they originally constructed the house in 1975, they have created an updated and lovely environment in the perfect setting.

    April 19, 2014 6 Photos

  • Timmons, Theresa mug Theresa Timmons: Dinosaurs run amok at mamaw's house I love my new job as a grandparent. It includes playing imaginary tennis with imaginary tennis rackets, making elaborate tents in the living room, and hair-pulling.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

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