Ethan’s mother died just 13 days before he turned twelve years old.
“My friend Joseph came to my birthday party,” Ethan said. “He handed me a present, gave me a hug, and whispered in my ear, ‘I’m sorry about your mom.’ That meant everything to me. He showed me that I was loved and that people cared for me.”
What else helped? Ethan said that serving others was another source of comfort.
“Even though I was sad, other people were having troubles too,” Ethan said. “I helped them, and that made me feel better.”
Ethan wasn’t happy all the time, and that’s important to understand too—that grieving a loss is healthy and normal.
“There were moments at night when I cried,” he says. “At those times, I felt comforted when I turned to the Lord and prayed to be happy again. I remember thinking that I knew I would see my mom again.”
“I’m still sad my mom’s not here,” Ethan said. “But her passing hasn’t felt as final because I know we can be resurrected and have eternal families. That knowledge really helps me.”
You can read more of Ethan’s story here in the August 2023 For the Strength of Youth magazine.