The last few weeks have felt a bit like that.
Twelve months ago, we welcomed a new member to our family. A week later, we lost someone dear to us: our father and father-in-law, the thread that held the families together. We lurched between joy and grief, but I can't help feeling the gorgeous little baby who joined us helped to soften the blow of loss.
Every day he brings joy to our lives, and everything else falls in behind that. His presence in our lives has muted the losses we've felt.
A few months ago when a dear friend's father died in his sleep (himself a friend of more than twenty years), I was distraught, inconsolable... until I hugged a tiny little boy whose first reaction when he sees me is to smile, grab a handful of my hair and hug me hard.
It doesn't mean we miss our loved ones less. The ache of loss still grips us. Each day brings with it a new realisation that Al is gone, and now Frank is gone too. We won't see them again, or talk to them, or see them smile.
But watching a new life unfold, watching a little boy discover the world around him, where everything is new and interesting and wonderful, helps us remember the joys we experienced with those who are gone. He helps us remember that life is good.