a message from Calm Waters
Ethan and Amberly's Story
When James returned home to his family after serving as a sniper in the Gulf War, the nightmares and PTSD were more than he could bear. On Mother’s Day 2018, James ended his life, leaving his wife, Amberly, and their 9 year old son, Ethan, without the man they both loved so deeply.
“Our loss was very tragic,” Amberly said. “James was one of a kind. He was the head of our home and someone we thought would always be with us.”

Shortly after James’ death, Amberly and Ethan were referred to Calm Waters by their personal counselor. Even though they knew they needed help during their grief journey, Amberly was unsure about sharing her family’s trauma and experiences in a group setting.

“Suicide carries such a stigma and people really pull away from the word, so there was a lot of fear of how people in the support group would react,” said Amberly. “The biggest concern in seeking help was giving my son the time to be vulnerable and open up to his pain. As a parent you don’t want to see your child hurt.”

But after attending the first night of Calm Waters grief support group, Amberly’s fears were immediately put to rest when she saw the powerful change in her son’s life.
“After the first group, I could immediately tell a difference in Ethan’s face.  The sad boy I had come to know, had hope in his eyes again,” said Amberly. “Ethan was not able to physically tell anyone his dad had died until he shared his loss with the other children in his group at Calm Waters.”
When families come to Calm Waters, they experience a safe and nonjudgmental space to process their grief, while also learning healthy coping skills for the future.

“The biggest benefit in attending Calm Waters groups was discovering that in all the chaos, I am not alone,” Amberly said. “We absolutely love our Calm Waters family and cannot imagine going through this without any of them!”

You, too, can help children like Ethan and his mother heal from a significant loss. Will you please give $150 this holiday season and make a difference in the life of one family?

Calm Waters is the only non-faith based grief center in Central Oklahoma serving children and families who are struggling to find hope after a traumatic loss. It is our hope in 2020 to continue helping as many children and families in our community as possible. YOU CAN HELP MAKE THIS A POSSIBILITY!  

A gift of $150 allows a child and their family to begin the grief journey through our support groups located at our Center or in schools across Oklahoma City. Your gift will directly impact a grieving child and aid in their healing process. To make a gift, please donate online at g ive.ca lmwaters.org/donate by December 31.

THANK YOU for supporting Calm Waters Center for Children and Families. YOU TRULY MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

With gratitude,
Erin Engelke, Executive Director

P.S. Give before December 31 to sponsor a child and their family! Your gift of $150 will allow a child and their family to attend one of Calm Waters FREE support groups.
Calm Waters Center for Children and Families | 405-841-4800 | Calmwaters.org