87 pages • 2 hours readMichelle Zauner
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Zauner recounts a visit to see Eunmi in Seoul after Halmoni died. During the visit, Eunmi brought up a game she played with a coworker. She presented Zauner with five animals and asked which order she would leave them behind on a journey. The animal you choose to keep is meant to say something about who you are: the lion represents pride, the horse signifies career, the cow suggests wealth, the lamb is love, and the monkey is a child. Zauner chose to keep the monkey; Eunmi kept the horse. Zauner asked if Eunmi played this game with Chongmi, and Eunmi said Chongmi chose the monkey as well.
A few years later, Eunmi was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. Eunmi was 48 years old, had lived a straightlaced life, and never knew love. Eunmi died on Valentine’s Day, and her last words were, “Where are we going?” (112).
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Zauner and her parents flew to Seoul for the funeral, a three-day affair. After, Zauner and her mother sorted through Eunmi’s belongings, which were left to Zauner and Seong Young. Notably, they found a necklace that Chongmi bought for Eunmi; Chongmi said she would take it and get Zauner a matching one. While leaving Korea, Zauner felt as though her connection to Seoul had been severed.