From Grief to Growth

Since The WARM Place opened its doors in 1989, we have served over 48,000 children and their family members. So many children that have attended our program walk away with the tools to help them process their grief when it inevitably resurfaces later in life. It brings us so much joy to know that these children find peace and healing on the other side of significant loss. We would like to introduce you to one of those remarkable children. Lauren St. Peters attended The WARM Place from 2016 to 2018 after the death of her father. Lauren is a senior at Aledo High School and a threat of an athlete. She will be attending the University of Nebraska in the fall where she will undoubtedly continue to make an impact.

LAUREN! We know this is a very busy season of life for you, but also very exciting! For those that don’t know you, please share a few things about yourself and your connection to The WARM Place.

Hi! My name is Lauren. I am a senior at Aledo High School and I will be continuing my education and track & field athletic career at the University of Nebraska in the fall! I am connected to The WARM Place because my dad died in a car accident in 2016. After his death I attended The WARM Place every other week from 2016-2018. 

As you mentioned, you have plans to attend the University of Nebraska in the fall – congratulations! What do you plan to study and what made you choose Nebraska?

Yes! I am so excited! I plan on studying business with a minor in communications. I hope to eventually go to a Theology seminary program to get a masters in Divinity. I choose Nebraska not only because of the high athletic level and rigor that the track program offers but the University as a whole. The second I stepped on campus it felt like home and I knew this is where I needed to be. 

Additionally, congratulations are in order for the State Championship award you won earlier this month at the UIL Track and Field State Championship, for the Shot Put with a throw of 48 feet, 9.75 inches! Your mom mentioned that you received your athletic abilities from your father. How does it make you feel to know you received these talents from him, and to see how successful you have become at such a young age?

First off, thank you! It makes it all the more special. It feels like I am bringing him with me as I compete. I truly am the athlete I am today because of who he was in my life at a young age. Coaching and cheering me on constantly, on and off the court/field. 

We learned that earlier this month you were also inducted into the Bearcat Hall of Fame, where 12 of roughly 500 senior students are recognized by faculty for their leadership and character. What an incredible honor, Lauren! How did it feel to be chosen and recognized?

It’s an honor! What a special opportunity to give thanks to the Lord for the many ways He has taught me to serve and love others before myself. I am so happy I can be an outlet for that in my school!

As someone who experienced the death of a loved one as a child, what advice would you give to other children who are experiencing that same tragedy right now?

I would say, lean into those around you. You are not meant to go through this alone! There are people who want to love and support you. So let them in and talk to them! Lastly I would say even though it doesn’t feel like it will get better, it will. For me personally, as I continue to heal from the passing of my dad, one thing that helps me on my grief journey is recognizing and feeling the Lord’s love for me in those moments has helped the most. Christ is sitting with you always and will never leave you. Like it says in John 11:35, “Jesus wept”. As you weep, He is weeping right next to you. Find what helps you.

Katy Roussey

Katy Roussey

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