Perhaps his life was never what we would call normal. Still, a short time ago Ethan Stacy was alive. Breathing, walking, thinking, sleeping, dreaming. Dreaming? What must his dreams have been like? Ethan died a slow painful death at the hands of those who were supposed to protect him and cherish him.
How did this happen? How could life go so terribly wrong? Did Ethan’s tortured mother reach out for help? Who did she have to turn to? Where could she have gone? Could we have reached out to her, to Ethan, had we known?
I feel certain that Ethan’s mother was in her own hell, beaten down by life, by struggle, by abuse, by a thousand poor choices; trapped in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong person. Judgement is easy. Understanding is difficult, perhaps beyond us. What must she have experienced? What must she have felt? How could she have stood by and watched her son die a little at a time?
With the death of Ethan, a part of us died, too. It was the death of our innocence. We can no longer look the other way. We can no longer pretend that child abuse happens somewhere else. We can no longer pretend that this is not our problem.
It is time to look for solutions. The raw emotions that surface when we think of Ethan, a boy we didn’t even know, speak to us of change. Can we be part of the change? Where do we begin? The questions are painful. The answers are complicated.
I don’t know the answers, but I know one thing. We are building A Healing Place in South Salt Lake. This will be a place of healing for anyone whose life has been touched by abuse. Now that Ethan is gone, is there anyone whose life has not been touched by abuse?
If you would like to help us build A Healing Place, you can make a donation at www.ahealingplacemonument.org. If you would like to volunteer to help you can email me at the same site.
Change. It’s never easy, but this is a good place to begin.