As most of you know, when one applies to grad school, they have to write a letter of intent, which is one's way of gloating, so to speak, about one's experiences, qualifications, etc. My question is: Let's say your latest college course grades weren't the very best due to the death of a close relative (which can tend to have a toll on one's mind). Not that it's looking for pity or excuses, however, do YOU think it's alright to slip that bit of info in the letter? (The only purpose for doing this is to let the university be aware that the applicant normally does better in school.) How would you word it into the letter?