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Four years after their son's death, Roser family says faith guided them through grief

Father's book offers help for people who've lost a loved one
Mason graduate Ethan Roser wasn't paying attention when track-and-field hammer hit him, police say
Posted at 3:55 PM, Apr 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-30 17:43:33-04

LOVELAND, Ohio — A Loveland family is opening up about losing their son, Ethan Roser, in a tragic accident four years ago and how they have been able to deal with their grief.

Roser, a Mason graduate, was 19 when he died in an accident while volunteering at a track and field competition near Chicago.

“At first I didn't want to live and didn't think that I could make it with this tragic loss,” said Ethan’s father Mark Roser.

Mark and Patricia Roser lost their son on April 22, 2017 when he was hit by a hammer during the competition.

“Everybody's blindsided at one time or another, and this was the biggest blindside hit of my life,” Mark said.

Ethan was in his first year studying ministry at Wheaton College. Just as faith guided Ethan through life, so too did it guide his parents through the loss of their son.

“I began to think more about the deposit that my son gave me, the lessons that I've learned from him and how my life was actually better because of him,” Patricia Roser said.

Mark, a minister himself, said he began to grapple with looming questions following Ethan’s death: “What's the purpose of this? Why did this happen?”

“I was asking ‘why?’ and I think that question is inevitable, not only for religious people but non-religious people.”

On his search to answer those questions, he decided to write about his journey and how he found answers in his book, “Blindsided.” The book offers 30 "points of comfort" to help readers deal with losing a loved one.

“I didn't know God was going to answer in such tangible ways and have an ongoing conversation with us,” he said. “I began to see, OK, this isn't just for me. This is comfort I've received that I can share with others.”

While honoring their son’s memory and sharing their journey with others, the Rosers hope to help all families dealing with a loss find peace.