If you’ve ever endured the devastating experience of having someone close to you take their own life, you know the terrible way it shakes your whole world.
Any death, unexpected or not, is heartbreaking for everyone involved, but suicide adds a unique element of self-doubt and confusion.
Was there anything you could’ve said to prevent it? Was there something you should’ve done differently?
In April 2017, their mother also took her own life.
In spite of the unimaginable devastation, there was some hope.
The children’s aunt and uncle Lana and Dan Weber immediately took in all of the kids, even though they already had five children of their own.
“There really wasn’t any hesitation. We knew they were coming here,” Lana Weber said. “With us, they would have access to their school and friends and support system. We also knew that that’s what their mom would want.”
The newly enlarged Hammond clan has taken some getting used to.
“It takes some finesse to work the bathroom situation,” Lana joked.
However, the family has faced far more challenging problems, including mental health issues that the adult Webers never fully addressed.
“(The children) had parents who had been mentally ill and they were used to taking care of themselves quite a bit,” Lana said. “They were used to banding together and looking out for one another.”
Despite the tragedy, Dan Weber told Inside Edition that the year has “been good. Great kids.”
“They’ve been through a lot,” he said. “We’ve been through a lot.”
That’s why an unexpected gift from a Secret Santa proved to be such a blessing. Nate Eaton from East Idaho News explained that an anonymous donor was in the process of giving away $250,000 and wanted the Webers to have a share of it.
“The Webers are doing all they can just to love these kids as their own,” Eaton said. “So Secret Santa wants to give them $10,000.”
With a camera crew in tow, Eaton knocked on the family’s door and explained to the surprised group how they had a gift waiting for them.
“It’s nothing too big, obviously in a small box,” he said.
Lana uttered a small exclamation of astonishment when she saw what was inside. For his part, Dan uttered a simple, “Wow.”
When asked what she has learned over the past year, Lana said, “Enjoy every minute, and just love your family. Hold them close, (and) more than anything, live in the moment.”
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