By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota mother is coming out with a new book that details life after a tragedy that captured headlines over a decade ago.

Debbie Mayer lost her three daughters in a New Year’s Day crash in 2004.  Her new book, called “After The Crash (Grieving With Hope In Light of Eternity),” is about grief and moving forward.

“I just started asking God, ‘How do you want me to use this story?'” Mayer said.

The story is the day she lost her three daughters: Krista (19), Nikki (17) and Jessica (12). Today a picture of the sisters is at the heart of the Mayer’s home on the mantle.

“She just loved people, and she loved family,” Mayer said, speaking of her youngest daughter.

The girls were on their way to Willmar, Minnesota, for bridesmaids activities before their brother’s wedding.  Mayer was at home when she and her husband got the news.

“I just pounded the table,” she said. “And I just went, ‘No.'”

The wedding went on two days later, and then, a funeral.  Since then, Mayer and her family have worked to find identity again through the pain. Over the years she has spoken at churches, helped lead a grief group, and most recently, spent years writing the book.

“It is a good opportunity to deal with a lot of things because everything comes to the surface,” Mayer said.

“After the Crash” is a story of loss, but most of all a story of survival and working through grief. Mayer said she has found joy in family, their son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter.  She wants others to understand that while loss never goes away, there is hope.

“God is in our suffering,” she said. “Give us the tools that we need to go forward.”

“After the Crash” officially goes on sale on Dec. 4. A portion of the proceeds will go to help raise money for the girls’ brother and his wife to adopt. For order info click here.


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