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SUSTAINING POWERS: Rising Above Grief & Loss

SUSTAINING POWERS: Rising Above Grief & Loss

Cathy Powers

This book is for anyone that has ever lost a loved one through traumatic brain injury. It is for any parent who has ever sat up at night worrying about a child serving in the military overseas. It is for those with a parent or grandparent suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, unable to fix or heal them. It is for those who can only watch and wait as their loved one slowly deteriorates and fades away. Cathy Powers writes to reveal her crisis of faith as her son’s survival was in question.

During her journey, Cathy documented her daily life and her son’s progress through a social media platform. While her story and continued faith in God, throughout even the hardest of times, was an inspiration to many, Cathy kept her true fears and struggles hidden. In this book, she opens up to what life was really like for a mother who is forced to live through her worst nightmare: the loss of her son.

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Full Description

This is the story of a mother, her family, and community’s journey to a new normal after a serious traffic accident in which her son sustained severe traumatic brain injury, hospitalization, coma, and the uncertainty of recovery, culminating in his death.

Cathy Powers, a North Carolinian mother of two, had her world turned upside down after receiving a telephone call from the US Air Force. The voice was not her funny and loving son, Airman Bryce Powers. It was an official calling from an airbase in Japan to inform that her son was struggling to hold on to life after being involved in a serious car accident during which he sustained severe brain trauma. She opens her heart to share the tragic, bittersweet, and sometimes even beautiful “new normal” she and her family are thrust into after tragedy strikes her only son, an airman stationed at a small base in Northern Japan.

Cathy writes about the passing of time, the depression from dwindling hope that Bryce would one day emerge from his vegetative state, and eventually, his placement at a 90-day “Emerging Consciousness Program” in Richmond, VA. It was everyone’s hope that Bryce would experience improvement and be able to start participating in his recovery, because he was surrounded by a team of healthcare professionals who do everything in their power to promote healing. This didn’t happen.

ISBN# 978-1-931117-71-5
Pages 352
Year 2017


Cathy Powers is a wife, mother of two children -- one still living, a Christian who actively lives out her faith, and a committed spokesperson about how TBI affects parents, family, and community. In her own words, "I continue to walk this grief journey with both good and bad days. . . The only reason I have made it this far with a smile on my face and joy in my heart is because I’m continually choosing to rely on God to help me through each and every day. He is here in spite of my troubles.


  • Foreword
  • Author's Note
  • Prologue
  • Chapter One: Early Morning Phone Call
  • Chapter Two: Hopeful Signs
  • Chapter Three: The First Miracle
  • Chapter Four: Why Won't He Wake Up?
  • Chapter Five: Flight to America
  • Chapter Six: Angel of Intercession
  • Chapter Seven: Thanksgiving by Faith
  • Chapter Eight: To the Mainland
  • Chapter Nine: The Ninety-Day Clock
  • Chapter Ten: Family Reunion
  • Chapter Eleven: Believing for a Miracle
  • Chapter Twelve: Christmas in a Coma
  • Chapter Thirteen: Into the New Year
  • Chapter Fourteen: A Happy 21st Birthday
  • Chapter Fifteen: The Halfway Point
  • Chapter Sixteen: It's All Right to Be Human
  • Chapter Seventeen: The Full Ninety Days
  • Chapter Eighteen: God's Healing In His Time
  • Chapter Nineteen: Walking by Faith, Not by Sight
  • Chapter Twenty: Living on a Prayer
  • Chapter Twenty-One: Screaming Loudly on the Inside
  • Chapter Twenty-Two: Honoring Bryce's Wishes
  • Chapter Twenty-Three: Comfort Care
  • Chapter Twenty-Four: No Papers to Sign
  • Chapter Twenty-Five: Renewing Our Vows
  • Chapter Twenty-Six: 7,777 Days on Earth
  • Chapter Twenty-Seven: Going Home Alone
  • Chapter Twenty-Eight: Grieving in Our Own Way
  • Chapter Twenty-Nine: Where to Go from Here?
  • Chapter Thirty: The Rest of the Story
  • Chapter Thirty-One: Seventy Days
  • Epilogue
  • Acknowledgments


I continue to walk this grief journey with both good and bad days. I miss Bryce so much and I don’t expect these aching feelings will ever change.

I used to wonder what would become of us if Bryce didn’t get better. At times I was sure that this tragedy would swallow our entire family. It is indeed hard to bounce back and thrive with living when faced with such a huge loss. There are times when the grief and pain are so intense, it would be easy to stop living the good life and simply exist instead.

There is nothing anyone can say, do, or promise that will take away the pain one feels when grieving the precious lost life of your child. However, I can say for sure that I am thriving, and I still have a hope and a future promised to me.

What’s the secret? The only reason I have made it this far with a smile on my face and joy in my heart is because I’m continually choosing to rely on God to help me through each and every day. He is here in spite of my troubles.

I am confident that he will turn our circumstances, and what was meant to harm or destroy us, into something good.

I believe He helped me write this book to share this message of hope with you. I pray it will be received into the hands of all who need to read it.

The message is simple: God is great, despite what we see, feel, hear, or think. Regardless of the bad things that happen in our lives, if we daily choose to give Him our heart, He will in turn give us His peace. He is the Healer of the wounded and brokenhearted.


March 10, 2017

Good Morning Cathy. I received your book yesterday and was able to read the first chapter, but, unfortunately, I may not get to read the rest for a while. I have been staying with my 82-year-old Dad since my Mom passed away last Summer. When I put your book down, my Dad picked it up and started reading it. When I went to bed, he was still reading it. Let me just say: I have NEVER seen my Dad read a book!! It is amazing!!! I am hoping your book will bring him some peace after losing his wife of 59 years. So, once again, Thank You for sharing your journey with us and making us love Bryce like he was our own. By the way, I will let you know how much I love your book when I am able to read it. Love you. – Wanda Jo Sullivan, Powersville, GA

March 9, 2017, 5:01 pm

Your book arrived yesterday at 2 pm, and I cleared my calendar to read for the remainder of the afternoon. I finished your book at 9:41 pm after a dinner break. It is a beautiful, heart-wrenching work, Cathy. Knowing the outcome, I was in tears for many hours while reading. Your honesty and brilliant faith both broke my heart and opened it. Thank you for writing this story and sharing you and your family’s journey with us. I hope it brings y ou much healing. I visited Bryce today to show him your book and tell him how much he is loved. -- Susan K. Coti

March 8, 2017

Yesterday I had the pleasure of finally getting to meet this amazing woman, Cathy Powers. I became online friends and one of thousands of prayer warriors for her son, Bryce, when she started a page for him in October of 2012. He was in the USAF, stationed in Japan, when he was involved in a horrific car accident. I have followed her and her family’s story ever since. I am so proud of her for all the hard work she has done to share her story in her new book! SUSTAINING POWERS is a book about rising above grief and loss. I started reading this last night and never put it down. I read the entire book and climbed into bed an absolutely changed person. Cathy Powers – thank you for being so honest in your book. I was beyond excited when I got my signed copy with a sweet note inside. WOW – you touched me so deeply with raw emotion. I am blessed to be your friend and love you and your sweet, loving heart. -- Sandy Kenley

March 6, 2017

I finished this amazing book, SUSTAINING POWERS, by Cathy Powers. I started it and couldn’t put it down. The choices this family had to make. The heartbreak and forgiveness. How one family’s loss turned into other lives learning what it’s like to watch others trusting completely in God. Through their journey, many hearts have been touched and will continue to be touched by the words of this sweet, living mother. I would completely recommend this book. Please give this new author a chance by buying this book. -- Elsie Musselwhite Autrey, Indian Train, NC

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