Prior to his death, Robin Williams was quoted in saying, “I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.”
Ethan Matthew Young breathed life into this sentiment, bringing light and laughter to those around him each and every day. A master story-teller, perfectly timed jokes, and a high tolerance for outrageousness, Ethan could entertain anyone. His greatest joy was the happiness of others. On September 24, 2013, Ethan died by suicide, leaving his friends and family lost without his beautiful spirit and infectious laughter.
Suicide loss leaves so many unanswered questions and a sense that somewhere, something went wrong. We have found great solace in sharing our grief journey alongside other families who are facing similar tragedy, even knowing that none of us would have chosen to be in this situation. More and more families are touched by suicide and the rates are increasing year after year. Today, one in seven high school students have considered suicide within the past school year…ONE IN SEVEN.
Efforts like SPEAK UP make resources accessible within the local community, resources that may make a difference for the young people who are struggling today. Join the annual SPEAK UP Walk, make a donation, or reach out and find out how you might get involved. Take time to speak with the young people in your family and hold a safe space for them to share how they are truly feeling.
Even though he was only 14, Ethan placed tremendous value in the quality of life for others.