Losing A Family Member Essays

Last year we published an essay by Holly Kellner titled, “Why Having Conversations or Writing College Essays On Your Story of Loss Is Okay.” Since then we’ve gotten emails asking for tips on how to write your college essay on your loss or asking for comments/edits on drafts themselves.

While we’re happy to help edit as many college essay drafts as we possibly can, we also want to make sure that all the information you need is in one place. Over the next few weeks we’ll be publishing content that’s directly related to the college application process — including the essay, financial aid and any other resources that will help make this process easier.

For starters here are some tips to keep in mind when working on your first outline or draft for your college essay:

Stay True To Your Story

The biggest advantage at your disposal when writing an essay about your loss is that you’re the only one who has ever experienced your specific kind of loss. (Trust me: this is an advantage) Even if you have siblings who all lost the same parent or sibling, you’re the only one who has lost your specific relationship. Stay true to how the loss impacted you.

Always Go Back To You

You want to make sure that you’re telling the story of who you are, this is what admissions officers want to read. Think of it this way, you’re encouraging someone to read an essay that’s told through the lens of a loss but that looks directly at who you are because of it.

Be Detailed

Instead of speaking in generalizations about what grief or loss mean to you, tell us specific stories about how what you’ve experienced is specific to you.

The Bad Days Count Too

Not all stories of loss or grief go back to incredible epiphanies. Not all stories of loss or grief are uphill stories either. Lots of experiences go back to hitting a specific kind of rock bottom and building your way back from that. Your stories are hard and real, don’t be afraid to show the imperfect pieces too, they add character to your story.

Don’t Be Ashamed 

Don’t let anyone tell you that this is a cliche essay topic to write about. It’s not. It’s 100% not. Your story of loss is unique and probably the most life changing thing you’ve experienced. It’s helped turn you into the person you are today and it’s a story worth telling.

If you have any questions regarding the college essay writing process, feel free to email us at write@toodamnyoung.com (Subject: College Essay) or tweet us your questions, @2DamnYoung.

If you have any other tips you’d like to add, comment down below!

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Losing a Loved One Essay example

1045 WordsFeb 19th, 20135 Pages

Losing a Loved One
Losing a loved one is like having the rug swept from under you. We make plans for the day, and do not think twice about how those plans can be taken away in the blink of an eye. I never thought much about it myself, until I was faced with the shock, and undeniable truth of my uncle’s death. I do not think anyone really thinks about tragedy until they are actually faced with shocking news. It is amazing how we take life for granted. The tragedy never goes away. You just learn how to cope with it and keep moving on.
My mom had been going to school in Virginia and staying at my Aunt Ana’s house. She had been away for two weeks and wanted to come home for the weekend. My mom had suggested that I go back with her and visit…show more content…

I felt as if I was paralyzed, I felt that if I moved it would be real. I just had this blank look on my face. I had no reaction at first and I wanted to deny it, all of it. I kept saying to myself, no it is a lie, they made a mistake. To my complete horror I was wrong.
My mom kept saying "I have got to go see Fran. I need to see with my brother" My mom ran down stairs to get ready to go, I followed her and just stood there, still paralyzed. She hugged me and said that she loved me. I had never seen my mom so panicked. She went into the bathroom to take a shower and I could still hear her sobbing through the door. I was all by myself, now. I was standing in the middle of the family room as the words "He is dead" pierced my heart like daggers of ice. I was screaming OH, GOD NO, and started to cry uncontrollably. The realization that I would never see my uncle again struck me. After I got myself under control I went and packed my things to leave with my mother. As soon as we were done we were on the next flight to New Jersey.
I come from a big family with many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. As I was standing there all alone I thought back to the time when I got to spend a week with Fran. Almost a year ago to the date, most of the family was together for my other uncle's wedding. All the cousins sat at the same table and we had such a good time together. He was a busy person, he

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