Her mother and brother died four months apart. This is how baseball got her through grief.

Teresa Strasser's mom died exactly four months to the day after her brother died, sending her into a complicated, compounded grief spiral. Three years later, she and her father watched her son play Little League baseball – and saw how the sport proved an apt metaphor for grief faster than you could say "strike."

"There's something eternal about baseball that seems to tie the living to the dead, that seems to tie the past to the future," Strasser says, discussing her new memoir "Making It Home: Life Lessons From a Season of Little League" (Berkley, 352 pp., out Tuesday). "And that might be inherent to the sport itself. Because theoretically, a game of baseball could go on forever. It has no clock. So up until the final out, anyone could win, and that fills the sport with hope, because your team always has a chance to come back."

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Strasser laughed and grieved her way through a Q&A with USA TODAY.

Teresa Strasser's mom died exactly four months to the day after her brother died, sending her into a complicated, compounded grief spiral.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Question: Did you know during the Little League season that you wanted to write this book? Your notes about each game are so detailed.

Answer: All the games in the book are pieced together from my husband's notes. He is a very careful note taker and a very "Moneyball"-style coach. He had spreadsheets for his draft, he had multiple potential lineups for every game. And yeah, he kept track of not only (my son) Nate's box scores, but a lot of the plays from the game. So it was fairly easy for me to piece it together. Writing the games was more difficult, because I'm not really a sports writer. I really had to keep track of balls and strikes, and runs and innings, and teams and coaches and players. So that was tricky for me to weave in and out of the grief story and the family story, and then actually really write baseball scenes.

You said that the cancer version of your brother is the one that you knew best. When you think of him now, what's the version of him that sticks out the most?

He had a very rare cancer and his death was long and arduous and he didn't look like himself. He was on steroids, his face was swollen. In the end, he was (in) a wheelchair and he'd been a big, strong, barrel-chested guy. He'd been an athlete. And I think one of the beautiful things about the season I write about in the book is that after my brother died, I think that's all I could see. And that's the brother that my dad and I remembered. But baseball resurrected the baseball version of my brother, who was this slick little lefty, who ate up fastballs, who never missed a ground ball at first, like my dad said, "he played the bounce, and the bounce never played him." And for the first time since my brother died, we could see that version of him when we looked out onto the diamond. And in that way, it really seemed to bring back the dead.

Teresa Strasser discussed her new memoir "Making It Home," out Tuesday.

The hospital bed scenes, in particular, were just extremely vivid, and I understood completely.

Those were the hardest scenes to write. I feel on the verge of tears now even thinking about it, because I assume most people can relate. I wanted to be there every single second for my brother. I wanted him to look like my brother. I didn't want him to look scared and sick and swollen and compromised. And I didn't want to remember him that way. Even now, I've got a lot of pictures from that time, because I knew I wasn't going to get those days back. And it's only been recently that I can even look at those pictures. And in a lot of them, his little kids are crawling all over the hospital bed. So it's really sad because they don't know any different. They were really young toddlers. It's nice when some time passes after that phase. I can remember my brother in the way he was before he got sick. And in particular when he was 12 and was an all-star.

I also loved reading about your son's relationship as a parallel to you and your brother. Are they still really close? Do you encourage their closeness?

Having two boys, there's three entities. There's the older brother, the younger brother and there's the relationship between the two. And watching that is one of my very favorite things about being a mother, especially because my brother and I were separated when my parents got divorced. My dad took my brother and my mom took me, so I didn't have that. I always wondered what that would be like, to have a sibling that you grew up with in the same house. And now I know because I see them together.

Is there anything that we didn't cover that you wanted to make sure to mention?

I felt like I had been shot out of a cannon into this bleak, dark, confusing world. Baseball was where we knew what to expect. The rules were the rules. Fair was fair and foul was foul. And that was a lot of comfort to my dad and I. You knew what to expect, and it wasn't going to change much. You're going to get three strikes.

We just put our feet in the dirt. We prayed for wins. We let losses wash over us. We knew that there were endless possibilities for magical happy endings. And we didn't always get a happy ending, but we knew one was always possible.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Teresa Strasser's 'Making It Home': How baseball healed grief