Last weekend my grandfather died. This weekend was about coping, and here are the two things that are helping me get through:
Remembrance… I remember the satisfaction my grandfather got from spreading honey from his own beehive on a piece of toast. I remember how he approached the challenge of a good crossword puzzle. I remember all the things he taught me, like how to take care of a vegetable garden and how to understand the punch lines in the Sunday comics. I remember the way he commanded respect from everyone around him. I remember his wit and his charm. I remember the way he told the same stories over and over, and how they never got old.
Forgiveness… Gandhi said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” As far as I can tell, when a loved one passes you have a choice to make; you can choose to hang on to unfinished (and often unforgiven) business, or you can forgive them and yourself if necessary, and move on knowing that everyone did the best they could with the cards they were dealt. Sometimes the greatest challenge is helping those around you to forgive as well.