Seward to build memorial in honor of lost children

 Posted By: Camila Orti

A special memorial is going up in Seward for parents who have to do the unthinkable.

Desperation, confusion and grief are some of many emotions felt by parents who have lost a child.

“Your world seems to end because you’re like, well, now what?” Nan Steckly of Milford said.

Steckly’s daughter Jessica died from lung disease three years ago when she was 25 years old.

“It was super hard because I wanted to fix it and I couldn’t fix it,” Steckly said.

Since 2002, she and other parents like her can turn to Heartfelt Incorporated for support. The group, which is based in Seward, says their purpose is to help families cope with losing a child. This summer, the organization is taking that mission to the next level- unveiling a children’s memorial park on a corner of Concordia’s campus so the memories of those kids will be permanently etched in stone.

“It’s really been a wonderful way to connect families and they have a place to go that can give them some peace and comfort,” Heartfelt Inc. President, Diane Krieser, said.

The park will have two pieces of artwork, benches, and three curved walls with the names of children that have passed away. Anybody is welcome to buy a brick and have their children’s names engraved. Organizers say they’ve already sold around 200 bricks.

“They’re from all over the United States,” Krieser said.

The memorial is expected to be finished by the end of May. Heartfelt Inc. says the funding isn’t quite there. They need a total of $350,000 to pay for the project, and right now they only have around $150,000. Organizers hope their second annual gala in Seward will help. The event begins at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Seward County Ag Pavilion on the fairgrounds. There will be an ice sculpture, a gourmet buffet, and both silent and live auctions. A very special auction item being featured this year is an angel made of debris from the Beaver Crossing tornado.

For more information or to get tickets, click here.