Death is complicated.

This week has been an educational experience for me. We lost my grandpa on Tuesday, and the days between then and now have been filled with making arrangements and buying funeral clothes and ordering flowers and locating paperwork and calling long-lost family and friends.

To be honest, all the things that have to be done when someone dies works out well for a process-driven person like me. He wasn’t gone for two hours before I wanted to be DOING something. So I googled “things to do when someone dies” and made myself some lists.

I keep thinking, though, about what a freaking nightmare this would be under other circumstances. Grandpa was old and very ill, and while we are all sad to see him go, we all consider his peaceful passing a blessing. His funeral was pre-arranged and paid for, his assets had been relinquished to pay for his nursing home care long ago. There’s not much to do – but there’s a ton of things to do.

I can only imagine how awful all this would be if we were in complete shock and utterly grief-stricken.

Death is complicated. And it sucks.

So, um, happy Friday?!?

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A Heart of Gold.

My grandpa passed away yesterday.

He had been fighting pneumonia since Sunday, and fighting dementia for many years.

I feel like we lost him a long time ago.

But this is it, time to google “logistical things to do when someone dies” and say our final goodbyes.

My very first memory involves my grandpa – my sister was born when I was 21 months old, and she spent a week at Dayton Children’s Hospital in the NICU. There was a slide there, red and white if I recall, and I remember my grandpa catching me at the bottom.

He’s in just about all of my memories after that.

Sitting in the stands at my basketball games, popping out of the crowd to snap a picture as we marched by with the band, making sure to rinse the freezer burn off my Pudding Pop before slathering it with peanut butter.

When I was very young – probably 7 or 8 – my grandma and I were talking about Grandpa, and what she told me has stuck with me all these years.

“He has a heart of gold, and he’d do anything in the world for you girls.”

She was right on both accounts.

Goodbye, Grandpa. We’ll miss you.

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It doesn’t take much.

It doesn’t take much to amuse me. Clearly. I mean, I think this blog is freaking hilarious.

My standards aren’t terribly high.

Take this hand soap, for example.

The lovely woman who cleans our house left it for us right before Christmas, and a few days later I told Andy “This good-smelling hand soap makes me ridiculously happy.” He was all, “I know! Me too! We should get more!” So then a few days after Christmas we went to Bath and Body Works to invest in more small bottles of happiness.

It was tough to decide, though, how many to buy. I mean, we are talking about soap that smells good. It’s a major investment! Andy said, “We have four sinks. We should buy one for every sink!” And then I said, “But wait – they are six for $20…. maybe we should buy six.” Andy justified this extravagant purchase by saying that we’d definitely get around to using all six eventually – and then he hit his estrogen limit, grabbed Sam, and ran out of the store, leaving Kate and me to make the tough decisions on exactly which scents to buy.

Spending that $20 seemed like an agonizing decision, and I don’t know why. I’m sure we spent more than that at Wendy’s on the way to the mall that day. But even after I made the purchase, I was comparing the price to the 10 for $10 Softsoaps available at CVS, and it even crossed my mind that I should check Pinterest for ways to make my own smelly soap for a nickel.

That is dumb.

The soap makes me (and Andy and Kate. I’m not sure Sam cares. Or washes his hands.) happy every time I use it. It’s a simple, cheap (yes, cheap) way to infuse a little happiness into my day. That’s well worth $20.

What simple things make you happy? How do you (or can you start) to work them into your daily routine?

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