May 26, 2015

Everything has Changed


I already know that 2015 is a year I'll remember as one of the defining years of my life. And for many reasons, one of them unfortunately being that 2015 is the year that my grandfather died.

My grandfather's death changed a lot of things for me, maybe even everything. It changed the mood of every family gathering; it changed the way I understand grief; it changed some of my basic beliefs about life.

You see, my grandfather Gerald (Gerry for short) was a good man. A lot people would have even considered him a great man. But as he was dying, he was suffering. And my family was suffering. My family is still suffering, and likely will always be to some extent.

Experiencing this made me question a lot of things, particularly the idea that I had been raised to believe: that life is good.

Because if good people, honest, loving, faithful people, are put through that kind of pain in life, then who could possibly call it good? My grandfather's death had me thinking that life was random at best, inevitably painful and pointless at worst.

And as you can imagine, feeling like life is just a transition period before inevitable pain doesn't make you the cheeriest person to be around. It wasn't too bad though, because my family wasn't the most chipper group on the block either. I was in good company.

So this weekend, when we all met at my grandmother's for Memorial Day, I was expecting a lot of the same.

But this time wasn't the same because this time, we had one more person with us in the living room: my cousin's month-old baby boy. We all passed the little nugget around until finally, he arrived at my grandmother. And then something sort of unexpected happened: my grandmother started crying. But, for the first time in months, they weren't tears of lonely sadness; she was crying because the baby was beautiful.

Because baby Isaac Gerald is beautiful. And he sort of has me thinking that if something that beautiful can exist, life could possibly not be all bad after all.