Eva Piper experienced a life-changing crisis in 1989 when her husband, Don Piper, a minister, “died” in a terrible car accident but then returned to life.

He spent months in the hospital and then recounted his brief after-life experience in the best-selling “90 Minutes in Heaven.”

Now Eva Piper, 61, has told her side of the story in her first book, “A Walk Through the Dark,” which she called a handbook about overcoming a crisis.

“People wanted to know how to make it through a crisis. My short answer: with God,” she said.

Piper will have a book signing from 2 to 5 p.m. today at Barnes & Noble in Market Heights, 201 E. Central Texas Expressway.

She also will speak at a women’s retreat from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 3 at First Baptist Church of Killeen, 3310 S. W.S. Young Drive. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the church or at the book signing.

Piper, a Houston native, never intended to write a book, but her family and friends finally convinced her.

“I wrote it to give those in crisis encouragement and to let them and their friends know how to ask for help and how to help,” she said.

Piper described her experience as a caregiver as a lonely existence with lots of pressures to make critical decisions. Often, caregivers are overlooked, but they need support, too, she said.

“Caregivers don’t know what they need, so friends should give options. Instead of saying, ‘Call me if you need me,’ ask a caregiver, ‘Can I bring you a meal or do you prefer snacks and what kind?’ Piper said.

The hardest lesson for her to learn was asking for help, but a friend said she was robbing people of a blessing when she didn’t let them help her.

Stressing the importance of everyone having a life-support system in place, Piper said it’s not a question of “if” it is needed but “when.” She recommended taking specific actions, such as staying connected with families and church and maintaining a solid prayer life and connection with God.

Responses to her book have been positive.

Piper praised Cecil Murphey, her co-writer, with giving her a good writing framework. During the writing process, she had a chance to deal with things she hadn’t dealt with at that time.

“I grew stronger as a person, more confident and dug my roots deeper with my heavenly father,” she said.

“I was strengthened by the fire.”

While searching for a title, her father suggested “A Walk Through the Dark” because she had survived the walk herself.

“I want the book to help people make it through the dark in their lives,” she said.

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