Jessica Peterson releases book about grief

Thistles & Thorns can be pre-ordered ahead of its October 25 release.

RIVER FALLS, Wis. – Ten years ago, a father murdered his three young daughters in their home in River Falls.

This unimaginable act made headlines around the world.

Since then, the girls’ mother, Jessica Peterson, has worked hard to keep their memory alive – from helping build a community playground to speaking engagements.

Next month, she’ll share their story like you’ve never heard it before in a new book called Thistles & Thorns.

“There are times when grief comes up and bites me when I least expect it,” Peterson said.

In July 2012, while Peterson was at work, her ex-husband Aaron Schaffhausen came to her home and murdered their three daughters: Amara, 11, Sophie, 8, and Cecilia, 5.

It only took a few hours for a jury to find Schaffhausen guilty and sentence him to life in prison. Peterson, however, has no plans to leave the small town.

“People often ask, ‘How do you do it? How do you continue?’ And I say, ‘I don’t, but we do,’ Peterson said of community support. “If I was at the grocery store and collapsed sobbing in the aisle, they knew why. I mean, the first time I walked out of it without crying, the cashier said, ‘You ‘have done.

If the camaraderie carried Peterson through the dark times, the writing helped soften it. She began by writing letters to her daughters. The book took five years to complete and on his website Peterson writes that the story “will wreak havoc on the status quo of how to survive and how to grieve”.

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“You can be there with me during some of those tough times and you know what we’ve been through and what I’ve had to do to carry on and be their mother,” Peterson said. “While I know some people will read my story just for entertainment, I’m okay with this because it will reach someone who needs to hear my story.”

Peterson has since remarried and had two more children. Flint is Jessica’s first son and Trinity Hope arrived a year before him. Her husband, Matthew Peterson, had his first date with Jessica less than two weeks before his daughters were killed.

“We all face hardships and tragedies, whether big or small, it doesn’t have to make national headlines to be disgusting,” Peterson said. “Just knowing that someone else out there is hurting too and I’m here to nurture that light and hope some of it reaches you.”

Peterson’s new book will be released on October 25, but it’s available for pre-order now.

Exit: October 25, 2022 from Written Dreams Publishing, a small newspaper publisher located in Green Bay, Wisconsin


Pre-sale : Currently Thistles and thorns has been pre-ordered from readers in 40 states.

Size: It will be available worldwide in hardcover, paperback and ebook

Book launch party: Saturday, November 12 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Tattersall Distillery and Event Center, 1777 Paulson Road River Falls, Wisconsin.

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