Woman writes book to overcome grief

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An East Liverpool woman who lost her husband and 22-month-old daughter in car accident two years ago is using her personal tragedy to help others.

Jennifer Hallam said her family was on their way to Presque Isle on Aug. 26, 2011, when her husband Troy veered left of center, sending their car over an embankment on Interstate 79. Troy and their daughter Hailey died.

Hallam said she was in the car at the time of the accident, but she doesn’t really remember what happened.

Dealing with her grief,  Hallam turned to writing as a way to remember her family. Her book, “A Hug Through the Air”  is about  her daughter and husband.

The title was inspired by Hailey because Hallam said whenever her daughter was too busy to give hugs, she would give hugs through the air.

“The book means so much to me because it was a way to keep my daughter alive following her passing, so that really is the most important thing, as well as helping other families who may have gone through the same thing cope with such a tragic loss,” Hallam said.

Hallam asked her friend, Kacey Francis, to illustrate the book, which is something Francis had never done before.

“I was really nervous. Actually, it seemed like a lot of pressure once I got into it because I wanted it to be perfect for her,” Francis said.

The book is going to be released Oct. 9, which would have been Hailey’s 4th birthday.

“It’s kind of like a birthday gift to her,” Hallam said.

Nearly two years after the accident, she said her husband and daughter are still teaching her things and this book keeps them connected.

“Just knowing that they’re happy and they’re together really kind of helps me get going each day,” Hallam said.

The book can be purchased at Todd Sparkle Market in East Liverpool, Sparkle Market in East Palestine, and Sparkle Market in Chester and New Cumberland, W.. Va., as well as Riverview Florists in East Liverpool and online at http://www.Haileyhugs.com.

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