Ornaments, Candles, Tees and More! Order Soon for Christmas Delivery!🎄 ➔

Dear Speers Family,

I don’t know you. I have never met you but I know your names. I have seen pictures of you. I have cried over the loss of you. The tragedy of your death has affected me. The loss of your lives has hit me very hard. Mike, Michelle, Elli, Addalin, Emma, and Anniston, you will be missed. Greatly. Your family and friends will mourn and grieve for you always. You are loved. Your smiles and laughter will be yearned for.

 I want you to know that immediately after the news broke out of the fire, your community banded together. Coming forth to serve food and water to the firefighters who worked and labored to save you. Volunteer firefighters who came from their beds in the night to fight for your lives. Many knew you and called you friends. And they couldn’t do anything to help you. They grieved for you then while they watched the fire blaze. Already your friends are finding ways to remember you. A Pink Out on Halloween is in works. Neighbors, friends, children trick-or-treating will light up the night with pink glow sticks, house lights, and the town. For your little girls. To honor you and your family. Your neighbors are grieving but want to make a difference. They want to help. 

I don’t believe this will be the end of these events either. I have a feeling the community will continue to find ways to love and honor you years after you have been gone. Because you were so loved. The joy you had for your family and friends is being talked about. Your love for the outdoors and sports. How your girls loved your new home. One you just moved into a month ago because you had a dream of raising your family in the country. A farm in Nebraska with all 52 of the chickens you were raising. I have heard and read that you were just the nicest family. The sweetest girls.

And now you are all together in heaven. I believe there is peace in that. Family is leaning on that. The perpetual light is now shining on you always. I am crying as I write this, because I am so sad that you had to go. That your family will not experience proms, weddings, and grandbabies. That my friend who loves you will not get to make more memories with you. Her sons will no longer play with your daughters.

God is holding you all in His loving arms. You are home. You will be missed. You are so loved.

I held my sons a little tighter last night. I lay with them until sleep came. And I prayed for you. I prayed for your family and friends. There are many people who are reading the news and doing the same thing. Praying when words cannot be said. The State of Nebraska is grieving you. 

I want to help spread the word. I will be wearing pink. My sons will have pink glow sticks around their neck for your little girls. The love for the six of you will light up the world.

You will never be forgotten. You will be remembered not for how you all tragically died, but for how you lived. Full of life, love, and family. 

Read the full story in the Omaha World Herald

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Katie Weber

Me. My two little men. My second change. Motherhood. Depression. Divorce. Love. God. laugher. Friendship. My lovely. It's all right here. Follow along for more at Lovely in the Dark. 

When It Just Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas, Look for the Baby In the Manger

In: Faith, Grief
Nativity scene lit up

I don’t know about you, but each Christmas season I find myself trying to catch the “feeling.”  It seems like every year I hear myself say as December 25th looms around the corner, “It just doesn’t FEEL like Christmas.”  Part of that is living in Florida. I have never felt like I belonged here. I’ve always longed for cooler weather and the changing of seasons. Oh how my heart aches for a “white Christmas” that I fear I’ll never get.  I’ve heard others echo something similar. But it seems like we’ve become obsessed with chasing this evasive feeling that is...

Keep Reading

She Wore Caesars Woman and It Smelled Like Love

In: Grief, Grown Children
Woman with two children, color photo

They say the brain rewires itself to accommodate for losing one or more senses. A blind person develops great hearing, a deaf person great sight. Neither deaf nor blind, I have some loss of both. The result: a finely tuned sense of smell that intertwines with my memories and emotions. The aroma of cut grass transports me to summer. Cigarette smoke in the bathroom reminds me of my abusive grandfather. Loves Baby Soft powder scent embodies the year 1987. The pages of a book smell of escape. My grandmother’s perfume exudes love. Grandma Darleen shined like a beacon in an...

Keep Reading

It’s Another Christmas Without You

In: Grief, Loss
Woman hanging red ornament on tree

It’s that time of year. Everyone shines a little brighter, everything shimmers a little more. The cooler temps create a cozy atmosphere inside bringing family and friends together. For many, this time of year is both magical and lonely. Both bright and dim. Both cozy and uncomfortable. Grief has a way of sneaking up on you like that. It finds you where you are and sits with you.  RELATED: My Heart Is Broken This Christmas Without You This is the reality for those who have lost a loved one. There are many adjectives to describe loss. It affects everyone differently...

Keep Reading

Can You Grieve Someone You Never Knew?

In: Grief, Loss
Back of woman's head and braid looking at water

We love.  We lose.  We mourn.  Grief is a beautiful testament to someone we’ve loved, with whom we’ve built a relationship, and who holds a special place in our memories. But what about those we’ve never met? Is it possible to grieve someone we don’t know? The answer is yes.  In fact, this is more common than one would think. On a large scale, we need only look at celebrities and people of influence, and we will see this truth. How sad was the passing of Robin Williams? Here was a man who brought so much joy to the world....

Keep Reading

The Fragile Heart of Grief

In: Grief
Dandelion blowing in the wind

I started planting roses, and for a few years, it was this peaceful respite that I looked forward to each summer. Radiant petals would bloom, rising out of cold, lifeless soil bursting into an explosion of color. In early May, I started the cycle again and for weeks the roses were vibrant and rich with life. My dad died, and I realized I was no better at grief than I had been before. For two days we clung to the tiniest sliver of hope. We showed up, we stood vigil, we prayed, we cried. I watched my mom, my sisters,...

Keep Reading

When Mom Died, We Had Tea

In: Grief, Grown Children, Living
Table set as a tea party with framed picture of a woman, color photo

My mom was never, ever without a cup of Lipton’s tea. Like a dear friend, it held her hand, kept her warm, provided comfort. She boiled water in her navy-speckled kettle, then poured it into a cup and, completely ignoring the recommended four-minute steep instructions, immediately lifted it to her lips. It always mystified me how her mouth didn’t suffer third-degree burns. Mom’s penchant for thriftiness compelled her to use the same tea bag multiple times; only when it disintegrated and leaf particles floated to the surface did she accept defeat and reach for a fresh yellow packet. RELATED: Moments...

Keep Reading

My Mother Raised Me To Go On Without Her

In: Grief, Grown Children
Mother and grown daughter smiling in selfie

“The kids are spending the night at Grandma’s, and I’m eyeballs deep in Fritos while catching up on all my trash TV shows.” “I had to rush my son to urgent care, but thankfully my mom was able to stay with the three other kiddos while I took care of him.”  “I feel so lost when it comes to homeschooling; thankfully, my mom did it too, so she’s been an amazing guide to have.” To most people, these sentences might seem like wonderful, blessed bits of praise from a daughter about her mother, but to me, they’re like daggers straight...

Keep Reading

Dear Loss Mom, Grieve Your Baby In Heaven Without Guilt

In: Baby, Grief, Loss

My third baby was due on October 19, 2019. Instead, she was born into heaven on March 24, 2019. Not only do I grieve her more in October than in other months because of her due date, but I also grieve for so many other parents who have also lost their children.  RELATED: A Letter To My Mama From Your Baby In Heaven Pregnancy loss is such a strange journey to walk through. I’m years into it, and there are still days when the grief hits and the tears come and I can’t breathe. On other days, I am so...

Keep Reading

My Sister and I Return To Childhood To Grieve Our Mother

In: Grief
Two women, sitting on swings, color photo

“Grief is itself a medicine,” William Cowper. Everyone processes grief differently. The day after our mother’s death, my sister and I began our grief journey and took up swinging. Not that kind of swinging, Heaven forbid! No. What we chose instead was the weightless, transformational lightness of being that only a tried and true piece of playground equipment can supply.  That morning my sister and I waited rather anxiously for hospice (blessed hospice!) to pick up that wretched hospital bed. We wanted it gone, banished from our sight forever. When the truck carrying the bed and other supplies disappeared down...

Keep Reading

She Was Just a Dog…and So Much More

In: Grief, Living
Young woman in car with dog, same woman years later with dog, color photo

She was just a dog. One of my least favorite sayings is “it’s just a dog” when people comment on how much we love our pets—be it a dog, cat, lizard, chicken, hamster, etc. They’re not wrong . . . Harley was “just” a dog. One random spring morning I asked my mom if I could get a dog of my own. She was working and sick of the phone calls. She said I just had to ask dad. Well, we already had two dogs, so I didn’t have high hopes. Cue dad. He was just about to lie down to take...

Keep Reading