“Ten years ago, I lost someone very dear to me. My grandfather was my best friend. He lived with my grandmother in his village in Dagana. He was well-reputed, and respected by many. I stayed with him as a child and we were very close. I would follow him everywhere and he enjoyed my company. He loved me a lot. After my parents and I moved to Thimphu, I still visited them every vacation. I was only 9 years old when he died. It remains one of the saddest moments of my life. My loss taught me something very important – to spend more time with the people you love.

I am 19 now and in class 11. I struggle with my studies but I try my best. Being good at studies is out of my hands so I try to be better in other ways. I don’t drink alcohol or do drugs. I understand that I’m at the precipice of everything and that this is when I need to take care of my heart the most. My parents are people who have been financially affected by the pandemic. But we are together, and that is ultimately what matters most. You must remember that no matter what circumstances you face, what your friends do or say, you are the one in control of yourself. Stay true to your beliefs and principles, and make sure they are pure and strong.

I once went to Dungtsho with a group of friends and we got a lot of time to talk to each other on the trip as we didn’t have any distractions. My agay’s passing made me realize how important such moments are. I hope I can have more of them with the people who have made my very normal life special.”

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