Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Final Months of a Beautiful Life

This week I am in New Jersey helping to care for my dying grandfather, a man we call Bumpy. Bumpy has always been the pinnacle of strength in our family, a man we all look up to and ask for advice on how to navigate life. Growing up Bumpy taught me many important lessons, including how to correctly tie a bow tie (always a distinguished gentleman) and how NOT to put your elbows on the table during dinner. His steadfast and adoring love for my grandmother is still going strong, even as he is too weak to stand for more than a few minutes at a time.

In order to leave us all something to remember him (not that we won't have a plethora of memories) in the past month Bumpy published his own book of letters. This collection is a treasure trove of various letter he has written to friends and family members over the years, a true testament to who Bumpy is. We all received countless penned letters over the years, it was truly a gift of his. Bumpy had a way of writing letters that made the recipient feel incredibly lucky to have such an interested correspondent.

Watching my grandfather come to the end of his life has been an enlightening time for me. Our family is incredibly lucky, and to die in your own home, with your wife of 65 years by your side, surrounding by all of your loved ones and with all of your faculties intact, is an enormous gift. It really is beautiful, may we all be so lucky.

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