Illness and death are things that affect us all, often at the worst possible times. They are never easy to deal with, but being thousands of miles away from your loved ones during such times makes coping with these events even more difficult as you are often forced to cope with tragedy all by yourself, without the support of your loved ones and without the ability to provide support to your loved ones.
I have lived in California since 2002 and have had to cope with the deaths of various family members as well as other tragic news: loved ones who were victims of drunk driving accidents, pancreatic cancer, and now a brain tumor.
You would think that my ability to cope with such news would improve over time, but that has not been the case for me. In fact, the most recent news which I received in the wee hours of morning on Saturday, November 13th struck me the hardest. Despite a looming final exam on Monday and another exam on Thursday, I am completely unable to focus. All I want to do is return home to New York to be there with my loved ones, my family. At this point, there is nothing more important than that.