<p>My uncle committed suicide and it took a severe toll on our family. I developed an anxiety disorder and my grades suffered tremendously. My parents were considering homeschool. I stuck it out and got better, and brought my low grades up to a 4.0.</p>
<p>Yes, the death of someone close to you is a hardship- and if it affected your grades you would need to explain it. If this is going to be an essay topic, I would consider telling this in a way that shows you, and how you dealt with it- especially how you overcame the anxiety disorder. The colleges would naturally be sympathetic to your loss, but the purpose of the essay is to show them something about who you are. I think they would be interested in how you overcame it- it shows your strengths.
I am sorry about your loss. It is hard to lose someone you love.</p>