University Lutheran ChurchLutheran Campus Ministry

at Arizona State University - 340 E. 15th Street, Tempe, AZ 85281-6612 (480) 967-3543 (map)
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Book On Former Student

 The Devil's Fingernail and Heather Aron Gross
Available from and in the Church's Library

Some in our community remember student Heather Gross.  Heather graduated in 2003 and moved to her home area in Salt Lake City, Utah.  About five years after graduation Heather was killed by an avalanche while skiing in bounds.

Her mother, Alyce wrote a book about Heather and about her own grief journey following Heather's death.

Pastor Gary and the church library each have a copy. It is also for sale on  The title is, " The Devil's Fingernail and Heather Aron Gross". Alyce Gross is the author. 

An avalanche slammed Alyce Gross into a new reality on December 14, 2008, when it killed her daughter. In this nonfiction work, Alyce climbs from the lowest pit to an eleven thousand foot tombstone. Two parts show the dark depths of Sheol compared to the brilliant light shared by her agape filled daughter. Her hope is to inspire the reader to stay in communion with God while facing death and grief. She explains what gave and continues to give her comfort, and she boldly shares her struggle with prayer, faith, and doubt. The second and longest volume is about the deceased daughter, Heather, as told through letters, emails, and Facebook comments from friends showing her unusual capacity for love. A good portion is written by Heather in a small amount of childhood poetry and pros as well as her many entertaining travel emails as an adventurous young adult. A dark side is also shared through some of Heather’s journal entries. Her death, at age twenty-seven was extraordinary and is covered by news articles and reports. Although her challenging life was short, her mother’s hope is that Heather’s example will last long, spread far and wide, and continue to motivate others to live life abundantly as God intended.

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