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Class of 2020: After family tragedy, 8-year-old asks aunt to “healing prom”

8-year-old James asked his aunt, Sarah Glauser, to a "healing prom". James's brother passed away earlier this year, and the prom helped the family have fun again after their tragedy. (Photo: Linda Glauser)

EAST MILLCREEK, Utah – Sarah Glauser’s family is no stranger to tragedy. Her 5-year-old nephew was hit and killed earlier this year while riding his bike.

“It was, obviously, super unexpected and really heartbreaking,” Glauser said. 

On a less serious but still disappointing note, Skyline High School had to cancel its prom because of COVID-19. 

“It’s definitely sad. I mean, you kind of are looking forward to your senior prom your whole high school experience. So, when the school canceled prom it was really sad for, I think, a lot of the seniors,” Glauser said. 

While everyone was still trying to deal with the young boy’s death, the family decided to hold a prom for Sarah. Her 8-year-old nephew James, who had lost his brother, was the one who asked his aunt to the prom. 

It was a total surprise for Sarah. 

 

“He asked me that day, and I had no idea! So, it was a fun surprise, and getting ready was super exciting. I had no idea that my whole family was going to be there, and they had all gotten ready themselves. Everyone was dressed up,” Glauser said.  

James made sure to pick up his date. 

“He had a driver, and then we went up to the canyon and went on a little drive. We took pictures up there, and then we came back” Glauser said. 

The healing prom was traditional but also had family touches. 

“We had a really fun dinner. We had Crown Burger…and then we just went into the backyard and we had the dance and everyone was dancing and having a good time. And then we had a fire pit and we were able to roast s’mores. And then I went to James’s house and we watched Star Wars,” Glauser said. 

Sarah Glauser and her family call their day together “A Healing Prom” because it was the first time they could all be happy together since her nephew’s passing. 

“I think the best part was just being able to see James’s parents being happy, my brother and his wife. Their little family unit was just having so much fun. And I think it just gave us all hope for me and my family that we can be happy again and enjoy ourselves,” Glauser said.