Mother of Station victim hopes book will inspire others

Claire Bruyere

A woman who lost her daughter in The Station nightclub fire reflects on a book she wrote in her memory.

Claire Bruyere said she hopes her message of cherishing loved ones can still inspire others 10 years after the tragedy.

"I know she'll be forever young, and, beautiful, and, her love will shine through any cloud. So, on gloomy days, I'll look for you my little one. My very own beacon of light, radiating down through the darkness, and, your smile will light up the skies," said Bruyere, as she reads the words from her book.

Bruyere said she never imagined she'd become a self-published author, but tragedy intervened.

"It was scary. Five days it took before they identified her. It was so sad," Bruyere said.

Her daughter, Bonnie, was one of the 100 people killed in The Station fire.

"I'd be up in the middle of the night, 3 o'clock in the morning, writing stuff down. And then it kind of just turned into a thing, and then I decided what a beautiful tribute it would be to her if I did publish it. And if one person read about her, that would be one more person she touched," Bruyere said.

Bruyere found a way to channel her grief through words, while at the same time, honoring the life her daughter lived.

"This story is about that beautiful star. My guiding light in the darkness of those lonely days," Bruyere said.

And as days turned into weeks, months and years, Bruyere realized she was not alone as she met others who also lost loved ones in the fire. She realizes now some positive things have come out of it.

"Good friendships and someone to talk to and someone who understands," Bruyere said. "One woman and I, Bonnie Hoisington and I, have become like sisters, and I believe that her daughter and my daughter are together in heaven."

She hopes her book, "Ashes in the Wind," carries an important message that resonates as much today as when she first put down the words.

"Love your kids and do what you have to do for them. Enjoy every day, because God knows I don't have that anymore," Bruyere said.

After 10 years, Bruyere, like many, is eager to see a permanent memorial on the site.

"Remember their good times and their happy memories, and not be so sad," Bruyere said.

Even more important than a place to go to, is the place in her heart that will always hold her daughter, Bonnie.

"We try not to grieve. We try to be happy that she's safe and with heaven, and I don't have to worry about her anymore, thank God," Bruyere said.