HUMANS OF THE U: KAREN CONE-UEMURA

“My son, Ethan, died unexpectedly on Feb. 26, 2014, when he was 14. He died from massive cardiac arrest secondary to chronic pulmonary hypertension, which we didn’t even know he had. My world fell apart that day. The thing is, when something falls apart, we have the opportunity to figure out a way to put it back together. In this case, the pieces create a different picture, one that will always have a hue of sadness. His death sent me on a spiritual journey, causing me to examine my beliefs about life, death and the afterlife. I’ll never be the same, but I have decided to make meaning of Ethan’s death and live my life according to how I believe he would’ve wanted to live his. He was a huge advocate of social justice causes, so I continue to be as active as possible. He was a thinker, which causes me to slow down and think before acting. There are so many marvelous aspects of Ethan. He has been, and will always be, a source of inspiration — reminding me that life is short, and we need to be as beneficial to the world as possible.”

Karen Cone-Uemura, licensed psychologist at the U Counseling Center

We’ll be featuring Humans of the U and sharing their stories throughout the year with the university community. If you know someone with a compelling story, let us know at ThisWeek@utah.edu.