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The Minority Report | Ashley Kim

Photo Credit: Bobby Jones

It’s a characteristically cool March night in 2014. My best friends and I are waiting for a table in the cramped waiting area of our favorite Denver eatery, City O’ City. The ambiance is calm yet arrogant—a vibe that 17-year-old me couldn’t get enough of—and all I’m thinking about is my friends, having a good time, and myself.

Naturally, I was annoyed when, in the midst of my having a good time with my friends and thinking about myself, I looked down at my phone and saw that my mom was calling.

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The week before, she had asked me to join her and my dad in visiting my grandma in the assisted living home she was staying in. I told her I had too much homework and didn’t have time. Besides, I hated seeing her like that. I told her I would go next time.  

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“Your grandma just passed away,” is what I think my mom said when I answered. I don’t remember exactly. I just remember tears, a lot of tears, and a deafening silence that rang in my ears—one that I haven’t quite been able to get rid of since that night. 

Losing my grandma was the first time I had lost someone so important to me and one of the hardest things that I have ever been through. The experience has made me understand that losing someone and the grief that follows is not a feeling that anybody is fully equipped to deal with.

I always think about what I could have done, and if I would feel any better if I had stopped thinking about myself for a minute, if I had remembered that minor responsibilities could never compare to time spent with loved ones. 

Since then, I’ve tried to have more meaningful interactions with my family members. I’ve tried to be a more caring and thoughtful daughter, sister, aunt, and cousin. I don’t know if I’m succeeding, but I know I never want to feel guilty thinking about what I could have done or should have said before it’s too late. It’s often difficult to remember that our time on earth is never certain.

I’m still not quite sure how to feel about losing my grandma. Maybe it’s supposed to be that way.

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