Final Letter to my Grandpa
I hope this letter finds you well. Grandma and I have been emailing back and forth over the last few months and she has been keeping me updated on your condition. I was sad to hear from her that your health has gotten worse and that you may not live until Easter—just three weeks away.
As I grew up in another part of the country, I did not see you often. But I do remember the times I did. My memories always involve you making jokes, laughing, giving us attention and telling us stories. I remember, as I got older, having more grown-up discussions with you. During one of those talks, we discussed creative writing. At the time, I was 17 years old and had gotten a small piece published in a school publication. I was pleasantly surprised to find that writing short stories was a hobby of yours and that you had a deep love for fairy tales.
Given your health and that we’re approaching Easter, it’s worth noting how these stories speak about life and death. Death is unspeakably tragic. Fortunately, this tragedy need not have the last word. There is the good news of Easter which all the Fairy Tales, that I know you love, point to.
Do you remember the tale of the princess who broke the rule and fell into a deep sleep? She was lost to all until a kiss from the right prince awoke her to new life. This story is more than just humanity’s dreaming. It’s the Easter hope: that though we break the rule—and therefore death comes to us all—there is a Prince who can awaken us.
Do you remember Jack the Giant Killer? I know you do. The giant was evil in character and terrifying in size and yet little Jack defeated him at the beanstalk. The Easter hope is that in real human history one greater than Jack defeated at a tree our most terrifying of giants: Death itself.
And Cinderella? The good news of Easter we find there is that the humble really can be exalted.
And Belle and the Beast? The good news is that there is a love that, if we find it, will break the evil enchantment of Sin and Death, transform our souls from something monstrous to something lovely—hence the Easter symbol of an egg (we can be “born again”)
Easter is where mythology and history intersect and where fantasy kisses fact. It’s there that the abyss of death is swallowed up by the abyss of hope found in Jesus. He has paid for our sin and has been raised from the dead to give life to all who come to him.
Your whole life until now has been but the introduction and you’re now about to begin chapter one. Unlike your short stories, this will be the story that never ends and which will only get better as you go ever upward and onward into it. Your dreaming is almost over; you’re about to awaken to a more wonderful reality than you ever thought possible. Get ready to step out of the cramped and colourless corner you’re always called “reality” and step into the broad and vibrant wildlands you were made for.
Christ is the Easter King. In him, there is no fear—for all is forgiven. Time will mean nothing in the lands you are headed for—so I will meet you there shortly. We will exchange poems and short stories. I look forward to it. So please, leave a light on.
Happy Easter from your grandson,