LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)---It was an emotional day for many people in Muhlenberg County on Saturday, as a mother and 8 of her children were laid to rest.
Although it was a time of sorrow, there was religious reflection and even some laughs from friends.
"After seven I was sure they were trying out for a new show on TLC," one friend said.
Jokes and happy memories filled the auditorium where friends and family said goodbye to Nikki Watson and eight of her nine children.
Friends say that's how they would have wanted it.
"They were a very loving family. And they all liked to smile. And that's how they'll be remembered," says Tracie Caskey, a friend from church.
The mother and her children, ranging in age from four to 15, died in what authorities say was an accidental fire at their Depoy home.
Only the father, Chad, and their 11-year-old daughter Kylie made it out alive.
"Nikki was a wonderful woman. Very shy and quiet. I'd be hard pressed to find someone as good as Nikki," says Tracie Caskey.
A community wept, and embraced, as the caskets headed to their final resting place.
Strangers lined the roads, releasing balloons and opening their hearts.
"It's helped a lot of people open their eyes. You could be here today and gone tomorrow," says Teresa Pharis, a community member who wanted to show support for the Watson family.
But not many could've known the impact such a tragedy would have.
"It's when you lose someone as tragically as this, let alone nine as tragically as that, you find out what your friends and neighbors are about," says Tracie Caskey.
"You see a lot more people waving saying ‘Good Morning', and a lot more people at church. It makes you want to hold your babies closer," says Teresa Pharis.
Dad Chad and 11-year-old Kylie continue to recover at a Nashville hospital.
It was originally reported that The Band Perry was going pay for the funerals, but Tucker Funeral Home wanted to take care of the expenses. Instead, The Band Perry paid for the monuments and flowers.
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