My Personal Essay

Throughout my life, I have encountered many devastating losses and exceptional triumph that has taught me valuable lessons that have influenced my judgment on the world and the way I communicate with people.

In 2013, my Yé Yé, my dad’s dad, passed away due to smoking. My dad's side of the family were all at our Màh Màh's, my dad’s mom, house. We all stood next to what would be his deathbed. Being a clueless 7 year old, I didn't understand why everyone was sad and stressed. I didn't want to ask anyone and just went with everything. After minutes of all my relatives talking, something terrifying must've happened while everyone was talking because everyone ran to his bedside and began crying and yelling. They all sat down on their feet and bowed their heads down to the wooden floor. Still confused, I followed along. I can't remember anything after than other than everyone crying as they hugged other relatives and left.

Looking back, I now understand what was happening. I realize that we were praying that our Yé Yé to have more time on Earth with us and have more joyful moments. As a kid, I had a hard time talking and speaking to others. I wished that I spoke more so he could see that he didn't need to worry for me. I loved the way we would make laugh and thought he was a cool grandpa. The thought of him makes me cry and happy that he is in a better place now.

The year 2014 was also a dark year for my mom's side of the family. In 2014, my great-grandpa passed away at the age of 91. He passed away from being old and sick. I remember the moment when my mom told me the terrible news. About midnight, I was woken up by the sound of two people sobbing faintly. Confused, I followed the sobbing, which led me to the hallway between my brother and grandma's room. I will never forget the image of my mom and grandma, the strongest women I know, crying hysterically. In the hallway between my brother and grandma's bedroom, I saw my mom and grandma sobbing. When I asked them what was wrong, my mom responded with her eyes overflowing with tears," Your Lǎo Gōng passed away." Those five words startled me and left me speechless. I didn't know how else to react to this shocking news but to stand with them looking down at the room in disbelief for several minutes.

Although I wasn't as close to him as I was with my Yé Yé, I still miss him very much and miss his shiny bald head and his contagious smile that was as big as the Sun.

In the timeline of my life, I had experiences that taught me valuable lessons from losses and triumphs. Even though experiencing losses have caused me to look sad and dead, it has shaped me to be a better person.