The club no one wants to join {Editor’s Column}

We received word Tuesday afternoon that our oldest son, Ethan, was killed in a single-vehicle accident near Glenwood late Monday night. He would have been 26 later this month.

There’s a lot of things I could say, but I’m saving them for his obituary, which I will write later this week, after we get Thursday’s paper put to bed and after I’ve had a minute or two to process.

It’s the club no parent wants to join, and yet so many of my friends and acquaintances are members, whether through illness, accident or suicide. I’ve read their Facebook posts, sent my thoughts and prayers, cried with them and hugged them when I could, and secretly—as we do—hoped and prayed I’d never know that kind of trauma.

And yet, here I am. Because life happens. And so does death. Perhaps last week’s funeral plus baby shower column was my personal reminder. None of us are getting out of here alive. The real kicker is we don’t know when, like some sort of horrible cosmic joke.

Ethan lived more fully, and more authentically to himself, during his quarter of a century on this planet than many of us do in a “full” 70 years. He knew what he wanted and he did it, from the time he was a toddler until he was in his 20’s, and there was no stopping him. These words from my column last week could have been written about my son, and I need to remember them, so here they are again, maybe they’ll help one of you, too: “Others leave a future because they inspire, encourage and motivate others to take up their torch, whether that torch is a commitment to philanthropy and volunteerism, or a legacy of integrity and honor.”

That said, if this week’s paper is rife with typos and errors, if we missed your ad or forgot to run a picture you sent in, we ask you to extend us a little grace, as you always do. And if you could keep us in your prayers as we walk out the next few days, weeks and months, we’d appreciate that, too.


By Niki Turner |


  1. You are such a wordsmith ~ even in time of such intense grief. My heart goes out to you, my friend.

  2. Ethan always marched to the beat of his own drum, he was a unique kid and we loved him. No words come to us now, we are so sorry for all of you.

  3. He brought so much joy to this world! An absolutely radiant soul. A love light like no other. Love, peace and comfort to you.

  4. Welcome to the club. My first born son left us 35 years ago and I will never forget every detail of his death and funeral. My heart goes out to you. Eldrid Eliasen Anding

  5. Grace and strength and comfort to you my writing friend. Holding you and your family in prayer.

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