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O my Lord, Jesus Christ,
What a heart of compassion you are!
You saw and felt my deep sorrow
Even before me asking!
All that I could do was weeping!
Weeping over my beloved son!
There in his shroud — carried out to be buried!

— from “The Widow of Nain” by Alice Hanna

“I have committed him to Christ and I have done all that I can and there is nothing in my hand to do.” These poignant words belong to Om Yousef*, who lost her eldest son to cancer at the tender age of seven. She had already endured the tragedy of losing her farmer husband when he was just 28. The family lives in the village of Om El Kosur, Assiut.

Yousef, who had been a participant in Not Alone, had been sick for most of his short life – almost four years. He suffered from leukemia, liver enlargement and kidney stones. His cancer had been in remission for two years, raising his mother’s hopes, but six months later, Yousef passed away. The final words of this very brave child were, “I am okay.”

Though she is suffering intensely from her loss, Om Yousef has the support of Coptic Orphans and the Volunteer Rep. She also has her youngest son, Raouf, who is a participant in Not Alone.

*Names of participants have been changed to protect their privacy.