I planned to follow my first post with something brilliant. Something that I hoped would inspire writers and storytellers.

This post is not what I planned, but it is the story of someone I loved.

One week ago, my grandfather passed away. It was not unexpected. It was not meaningless. My grandfather was 86. He lived a long life full of love, children, grandchildren, and accomplishments. And at the end of his life, he longed to be with his wife, his parents, and all friends and family that went before him.

Three days ago, I gathered with loved ones to honor his life. He was a favorite among friends. Always smiling, winking, and whistling a Frank Sinatra tune. He was known for his jokes and his candor and the life that he brought into any room.

My aunt filled poster boards with the likeness of this man. I gazed at the black and white photos, most of which I had never seen. Photos of from his time as a cook in the Navy, days looking life a member of The Rat Pack, sunny afternoons spent wooing my grandmother, their classically beautiful 1950s wedding, and some of his first moments as a father, holding my own father.

Death is hard. Grief is ugly. But his death allowed me to see pieces of his life that I would not have otherwise known. I didn’t know those photos still existed. My grandmother was the organizer of the two, and I thought many of those memories were lost after her death thirteen years ago.

And while I was mourning, I smiled while looking at these photos, enjoying every moment of discovery.

They helped me cherish a life well lived. His life. His vibrant story.


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