The day my grandfather died was actually the saddest day of my life. This is because as a child, I lived with my grandfather. Since I was living with him, my grandfather not only became the most important person in my life, but he was also my best friend with whom I shared my happier times and my sad times. Each time thoughts of my grandfather crossed my mind, I got a warm feeling in my heart, but all that changed the moment I received the saddest news that completely confused me; the news of my grandfather’s death. To make things worse, I did not even know that my grandfather was gravely ill because my mom and cousins had chosen not to tell me. I was sitting for my end-of-semester exams around the same time that he became ill.
I can still recall that fateful Thursday morning when my cousin arrived at the college’s residential hall where I was staying. He did not actually tell me what was happening, but from his hesitant voice, I could tell that something was terribly wrong. About an hour later, my mother also came, and it was she who clearly told me that my grandfather had actually passed away. Even though my mother told me the sad news with a soothing tone, I still did not believe her. I asked them to accompany me to my grandfather’s home. The one hour journey to my grandfather’s house felt like an eternity. I kept wishing my mother would drive faster and faster towards my grandfather’s house. As we headed towards his home, the memories of the many happy moments we spent together kept crossing my mind and as the thoughts kept coming, I could not help but to feel some intense sadness as tears freely rolled down my cheeks. It is only when I got to my grandfather’s house and realized that he was neither there to welcome us nor was he anywhere in the house that it truly hit me that my grandfather was indeed dead. Death had robbed me of a true friend.
A few days later, the time to hold a mass in honor of my departed grandfather came. My family members, neighbors, and family friends met in the local church where several speakers gave emotional speeches of what they could recall about my grandfather and best friend. Once the mass was over, we headed to the cemetery and found that some men had already made all the preparations for my grandfather’s burial. The pole bearers allowed us to have a last look at my grandfather so we could say our last goodbye before burial.
Tips for writing this essay:
An important point to remember when writing this essay is that one is supposed to write about how death affected the speaker or narrator of the essay. The essay should be organized chronologically, meaning, the order in which events occurred or took place. Furthermore, in an effort to draw the reader in, the writer needs to include what the speaker or narrator of the essay is feeling. Concrete details also help the reader to visualize the events taking place and, thus, to become more engaged.
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Tags: essay on death, narrative essays
Everyone has a mother, but not everyone is fortunate enough to be blessed with motherhood. As my grandmother acquired custody of me, I was separated from my mom when I was four years old. My grandma felt it necessary to do this by and large due to my mother’s drug use—chiefly, Heroin. Although my mother was allowed to visit me, I would not see her often. She came to visit when she found it necessary, as if there were an agenda. One time my mother came to visit my grandmother and me. She stayed for half a week. When she left, I gave her a hug, a kiss, and told her I loved her. Subsequently, I found my video games missing and my grandmother could not locate her jewelry; I realized, then, why my mother had come to spend time with us. Years passed, revelations were internalized, and my mom and I sustained a weary relationship. However, never have I felt more sorrow than when I returned the phone call that told of my mother’s death.
Although the phone call was the instant that brought the pain, it was the events hitherto that caused the depth of the pain. What is requisite to know are the months leading up to the end of my mother’s time. She was suffering from Ovarian Cancer, which was dubbed inoperable by the doctors because the years of Heroin use had deteriorated her insides to the point where trying to stitch her up would be like tailoring a suit made of tissue paper. In these months she was routinely treated with methadone, which is synthetic Heroin. Knowing my mother’s time was limited, my grandmother would incessantly urge me to see my mother. After all, she lived behind our apartment. Instead I ignored the pain, a fourteen-year-old too young to process the reality, and I went out to skateboard with my friends.
Warm sunshine rays gleamed as the chilling October breeze enveloped the day. It was eight days before I was to turn fifteen. After the sixth period bell rang letting the students out, my friend and I bolted for the front of the school like racehorses. For, on this day we were privileged with a ride from my friend’s mother, ten times better than having to endure the school bus. During the ride, my friend’s mother told him it was payday. My friend decided to take advantage of the situation and ask if we could rent movies. Gleefully, she one-upped him by adding to that the prospect of movie snacks. “Munchies, too!” my friend shouted. With eyes wide open and our mouths watering, we parked at the Albertson’s next to Hollywood Video. We were the hawks, and the munchies were our prey. As we scoped out our victims, I could not help but be happy. With most, this is an ordinary event, but for two teens who grew up on the east side of the tracks, this was the treatment of royalty.
With candy packed into our pockets and movies in our bag, we were chauffeured to the hotel where my friend and his mother resided. This hotel was not glamorous, not worth bragging about by movie stars or famous rappers, but a hotel that stood on a block where drug dealers, drug users, and other destitute souls congregated. We pulled up to the hotel, and as I walked up to the door a man with a face familiar said I needed to return a phone call. I thanked the man and wondered who the caller could be. Inside I was engulfed by pungent odors—stale cigarette smoke and un-bathed body odors—smells I was used to. But what alarmed me was a frantic face telling me I had to call my grandmother. My blood boiled, and my heart churned with regret, for I suspected the purpose of the phone call. My friend’s room was on the third floor, and on my way up I ran into a pale face also telling me of the phone call. My heart became a lump in my throat, making it hard to breathe. Today, still, I see those faces full of gloom, knowing that they were relaying a message to a boy who was yet to know of the pain he was destined to face.
Rushing up that last flight, I entered the room and called my grandmother. She answered. My eyes watered and my voice cracked. My grandmother’s voice was solemn and loving. “It’s your mom. She’s gone. She’s gone to heaven.” She was trying to hold it together, not for her, but for me. I hung up the phone. Walking home, I passed a tree that sat upon a ledge at a Buddhist temple. I sniffled, holding tears back, because as I smelled the sweet floral scent, it reminded me of all the times I had chosen skateboarding at that ledge over spending time with my mother. All I could think of was how I had lost a mother I had never built a real relationship with. Medics had yet to arrive, so my brother took me into the room where she had passed away. Her new kitten rested on her chest. I sat with her sobbing as her kitten’s purr catered to my sorrows. I was told she had died while sleeping, and for that I was grateful.
It is soon to be seven years since then. I have grown beyond holding the regret next to my heart, for I know my mother and I loved each other. Worrying about what I could have done is no longer a matter. I have learned instead to contemplate the present. Now I treat others with a consciousness of life’s volatility. Now I try to critique life positively, and with this adjusted perspective, I have been able to see the good in bad situations. I have never been as sad as I was the day of that phone call, but I will add that ever since I have lived my life with much intent.