Dear Readers,

So, it’s been two weeks. Right? Yeah, two weeks.

I meant to write sooner.

I really did.

But grandparents die and you miss weddings and drive and fly to cross the nation to pay your last respects, and you do your best to get by. And sadly enough, sometimes that means that you don’t write about life and beauty and love, because there isn’t much of it, even while there is.

I didn’t know what to write, either. Do I write about what’s hard? That’s easy, losing family, driving toward carrying him to his final resting place, offering his graveside service, or choosing what to remember him by.

Or can I write about the happy things? The beautiful sunsets and sunrises, the walks on an island with family, the beautiful words shared about those we love, seeing the untouched beauty of Montana and the modern, yet rustic city of Seattle, or seeing best friends after too long?

Well, I want to write about both.

I want you to know about it all.

I want you to know—I spoke about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at my grandfather’s grave because I didn’t want to be like the first brother—only wanting the power over death to do my own will or the second to have the dead with me and not let them have peace—but rather like the third, like my grandfather, who embraced death as a friend.

I want you to know that it hurt to sit there and know he was gone from this life, and no amount of religious conviction can take that away from any of us. I find hope through my beliefs, but in that moment, seeing his casket with the American flag on top, I am just as we all are—smaller, and somehow less than normal.

I felt a bit broken, seeing my father, an amazing pillar of strength, waver and become the boy who had just lost his father. I felt so much it hurt, physically, to sit.

And yet I am glad for it. Because it reminds me that I am here, that I am alive, and that lives matter to me.

And the sunrises were amazing.

And so were the moments shared with family.

And even when things aren’t okay, and even when I can’t see the road in front of me, I know that there’s something beautiful coming.

I’ll end this one with a quote;

“Everything ends, and that’s always sad. But everything begins again too, and that’s always happy. Be happy.”

Yes, it’s from a nerdy TV show, but today it was what I needed to remember for my grandpa, and what I want to share with you.

Be happy.