COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — For the last four years Rachael Flick has become a symbol of hope in the face of horrific tragedy. In 2018, her husband, Micah, was shot and killed on the job as an El Paso County deputy when he and his team tried to arrest an auto-theft suspect at an apartment complex in Colorado Springs. The suspect also was killed.
"Then you get the call and everything is different now," she said.
Flick's call came as she was on phone with a friend counseling her through a miscarriage.
"After the 6th or 7th call I said, 'Friend, I am so sorry to interrupt you but I have to find out what's happening', " she said. "That first call was Micah's mom that I needed to come to the hospital, that Micah had been shot."
Minutes later the El Paso County Undersheriff, Joseph Breister, pulled into her driveway.
"He slid around the corner in his cruiser," she said. "He just kinda tumbled out of his car, and his pain was etched all over his face, and he just said, 'Rachael, I'm so sorry, he didn't make it. We tried everything, I'm so sorry, he didn't make it.' "
At his funeral, Flick stood in front of the world talking about her husband's heroic death. She told how her husband used his body as a shield and put himself between his killer and fellow officers.
"It came out of a place where I have a hope bigger than myself, where there is a bigger story than ours in caring for the people also impacted by it, and loving this nation in all of this mess and knowing I am going to see Micah again," she said as she recalled how she had the strength to speak on stage days after her husband was killed.
For a long time, Flick said she couldn't smile.
"I couldn't make my face do it," said Flick. "I remember standing in front of the mirror and memorizing a smile and making myself do it, memorizing how my eyes crinkled. When people smiled at me I would 'remember' how to smile because smiling felt so insincere."
A break from the pain didn't come until a year and a half later.
"We were on a jet ski in Table Rock lake in Missouri and the kids were saying, 'Faster, faster Mom' and I would go as fast as I could and spin around and flip us all off the jet ski and it hit me again I'm really laughing," she said.
She says for the Peery family, facing the "why" of his death may be one of the hardest parts.
"The 'why' has to be asked," said Flick. "It has to have room to be asked, have the freedom to fight for it, to wrestle with it, to scream at it, and at the end of the day then you have to let it go. You have to do that over and over again until you find the peace in your soul that allows you to let go of your need to know why."
Letting go while holding on to hope that others before them are ready to help guide them to a place of peace.
"Although I wish I had never become a part of this club, I do take comfort that I can offer that it is possible to survive, that there is life after death, that there is hope after loss," Flick said.
Flick says the best way for strangers to help is to donate to the fund created to help the family. For those who would like to help, donations can be made to Deputy Peery's family through Chase Bank under the Hugh Martin Fallen Officers Fund with Andrew Peery in the memo line.
Donations can be mailed to this address.
Hugh Martin & Fallen Officer Foundation
Attn: Robert Johnson, CPA Bradshaw & Associates PLLC
1980 Dominion Way, Suite 100 Colorado Springs, CO 80918
Officials say there are no other official accounts or fundraisers.
Deputy Andrew Peery: A life of service by Bill Folsom
Widow offers support to fallen deputy Andrew Peery's family by Dianne Derby
The Hundred Club of Colorado Springs helps family of fallen deputy by Maggie Bryan
Community pays respects to fallen Deputy Andrew Peery at flag raising ceremony by Ashley Portillo
Law enforcement community in Pueblo reacts to the loss of Deputy Andrew Peery by Sophia King
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