My grandmother passed away in May. It was rather sudden and shook our family as we were not fully prepared to lose our matriarch.
As we gathered for her funeral proceedings, I found myself, not only sad, but also scared. I knew I was closing a chapter of my life but I was scared to fathom what that meant and what I would be losing. I worried that our family would unravel and our traditions would no longer be honored.
As we gathered to celebrate the life of my beautiful grandmother, I found my family coming together in a way we hadn’t in years. We cried and comforted each other, of course, but we also laughed and played together. All the cousins played wiffle ball like we did when we were kids, with my cousin running the bases with a baby vested to her chest!
I went to the garage to get the old wooden stilts I always insist on using when I visit Grandma and Pap. As I was walking the yard, one of the young cousins in the family asked me if she could try and if I could teach her. It was in that moment that I fully embraced that those young cousins were also crying with us, and laughing with us, and playing wiffle ball with us. It was in that moment that I realized, though our family had lost a major player, we would survive. Our bonds would last through this difficult time and our traditions would be handed down to the newest generations. One chapter ended but I took comfort in knowing that the next chapter of our family will still be filled with love, joy, traditions, and stilts.
“Love, Joy, Traditions, & Stilts” was written by Nicholas Park.
Nicholas Park is an actor, runner, Pinterest Perfectionist, and Soul Cycle NoMad. He lives with his husband and dog, Lucy in New York City.