Ryan Harman: the Essay That Made the Teacher Cry

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Table of contents

  1. Bittersweet Moments Before Tragedy
  2. Processing Loss and the Rollercoaster of Emotions
  3. A Teen’s Tribute resonates

When teenager Ryan Harman sat down to write an essay for her high school English class, she poured her heart out about her mother's battle with cancer and eventual passing. Little did she know the essay would strike an emotional chord with thousands on TikTok and encapsulate the profound experience of losing a parent.

Bittersweet Moments Before Tragedy

In the now viral essay, Ryan brings readers into the emotionally complex dynamics of her senior year. She recalls the excitement of approaching milestones like prom and graduation, juxtaposed with her mother's declining health after a sarcoma cancer diagnosis. Despite aggressive treatments, the cancer persisted, casting a shadow over Ryan's celebrations. She describes her mother summoning the strength to make it to Ryan's prom and graduation in May 2022 - two deeply important events she was determined to witness. After the pride and joy of graduation day, her health took a sudden turn.

Ryan vividly recounts getting the news that her mother was now in hospice care. She had left for senior week thrilled about the coming of age rituals. She returned to the devastating sight of her mother bedridden and her father delivering the difficult news that her remaining time was short. "My heart shattered into a million pieces," Ryan wrote.

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Processing Loss and the Rollercoaster of Emotions

Ryan brings readers intimately into her thought process and emotions as her family began their vigil, uncertain when the end would come. She described the blur of time and the constant tension wondering if each day would be their last with her.

When her mother temporarily regained consciousness after weeks bedridden, Ryan admitted complicated feelings of being upset that her mother was still alive and feeling like a "horrible human" for having those emotions. This raw admission elucidates how multi-layered emotions can be when facing the impending loss of a parent before one’s eyes.

Eventually the day came that her mother passed away. Ryan took readers inside that piercing moment and the immediate aftermath of having to process that her mom was gone. She encapsulated the profound emptiness and surreal quality of early grief.

While devastating, Ryan ultimately finds meaning andCause for gratitude in how her mother’s passing unfolded on her own terms at home surrounded by loved ones. She strives to honor her mom’s life by living boldly as she did. Though there is a void losing her mom so young created, Ryan feels she gained a guardian angel and celebrates the parent she was blessed to have while she was here.

A Teen’s Tribute resonates

Ryan Harman’s essay brought thousands to tears with its window into losing a parent through a teenager’s eyes. In vivid detail, she captured the rollercoaster of milestone events, declining health, the vigil, and aftermath of death. Her willingness to share such personal emotions allowed many dealing with loss themselves to feel seen and less alone. The essay blossomed into a viral tribute to her mother’s life and their relationship. Most of all, it encapsulated the power of a mother’s love as Ryan felt it carrying her through her journey into adulthood.

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Ryan Harman: the Essay That Made the Teacher Cry. (2023, July 25). WritingBros. Retrieved December 11, 2023, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/ryan-harman-the-essay-that-made-the-teacher-cry/
“Ryan Harman: the Essay That Made the Teacher Cry.” WritingBros, 25 Jul. 2023, writingbros.com/essay-examples/ryan-harman-the-essay-that-made-the-teacher-cry/
Ryan Harman: the Essay That Made the Teacher Cry. [online]. Available at: <https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/ryan-harman-the-essay-that-made-the-teacher-cry/> [Accessed 11 Dec. 2023].
Ryan Harman: the Essay That Made the Teacher Cry [Internet]. WritingBros. 2023 Jul 25 [cited 2023 Dec 11]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/ryan-harman-the-essay-that-made-the-teacher-cry/
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