he essay that made my English teacher cry

The Essay that Made My English Teacher Cry: A Teen’s Grief in Words

Lately, a college-goer girl’s essay went viral on social media, leaving almost everyone in tears. What was that essay, and why was everyone affected by the words? Let’s explore the story behind this. 

A teenager named Ryan Harman became immensely popular on TikTok when she shared a heartwrenching story of her mother’s journey from cancer diagnosis to death. As a matter of fact, this essay was written for her English class, and it made her West Virginia University professor cry. The 18-year-old shared the essay through a video on TikTok in May this year, saying, “the essay that made my English teacher cry,” and garnered over 13 million views within a few days. 

According to Harman, when life was “supposed to be at its peak,” her mother started struggling between life and death due to sarcoma. This type of rare cancer can develop in human muscles, fat, blood vessels, nerves, deep skin tissues, and fibrous tissues. She wrote that her mom had to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments in order to fight this mortal illness that was stealing her life every day. 

the essay that made my english teacher cry
the essay that made my english teacher cry


Further, she says, “She never asked the doctors for a time expectancy; she wanted to live the best she could with her three children and her husband. My mom had a goal from the start, to watch me go to my senior prom and to see me and my sister, Madeleine, walk across the stage at graduation. She achieved both of those goals.”  Ryan states that during her graduation ceremony on May 26, 2022, she saw her mom in the wheelchair, watching her daughter proudly. It was a moment of pride for herself, too. 

In this long-winded essay, Ryan shared each and every moment of grief. She said that after her graduation ceremony, she went on a week-long beach trip with her friends. However, she kept contacting her mother through texts and Facetime calls. But, after spending a week away from home, when she returned home, bad news welcomed her. Their father was worried about their mom’s degrading health

the essay that made my english teacher cry
the essay that made my english teacher cry


She was told that the tumors had grown rapidly, resulting in a 75% collapse in her mother’s spine. Further, she wrote, “The first couple days following her entering hospice care, I was in shock, I didn’t believe that my mom was going to die when I was only 18 years old. I remember sending a text to my sister, Madeleine, and asking, “Is Mom going to die?” Her response was, “In a few weeks, yeah.” My heart shattered into a million pieces.”

Ms Harman mentioned that her mother died when she was just 18 years old, and it was absolutely unbearable loss for her. “On July 7th, my mom said to my dad, “I’m so tired I need to go, I will see you later,” as she closed her eyes. My dad came down the stairs and told us we all need to go say our final goodbyes.”  The essay was full of tragedy she went through and made every reader heartbreak. The teen concluded the essay by saying that she feels her existence every day like an angel is looking at her. 

I'm a senior writer at USA Business Minds covering business , news and finance . Previously, I covered finance and business at USA Business Magazine, ranging from professional league media deals, sponsorships, labor agreements, and athlete portfolios. Before joining USA Business Minds, I work as Freelancer.