Talking about Bran yesterday, we started off by remembering his final illness, but soon enough we were talking about his roof-climbing and his heroic drinking and how he had taken his nephew and niece to roll about in the bunkers of a posh golf club (and incidentally help themselves to the golf balls). The last few years, when he was seriously incapacitated, have fallen into perspective. He is no longer the cripple he became (it was typical of him to insist on the non-pc word) but a combination of all the different selves he was in the course of his 50 odd years. It's like looking at a cubist painting. Nothing is obscured. We can see all the different sides of him at once.
Something similar happened when my father died. I got out the old family albums and looked at pictures of him as a curly-haired little boy and shy youth and through them (there were so many!) realised something of the depth of the relationship he had had with his own mother and father (my adored grandparents) and understood for the first time all sorts of things about the dynamics within our family. My father and I were never close. He thought I was a slacker and I thought he was a selfish old brute. But after his death I got to review his life as a whole, from beginning to end, and found, to my surprise, that I loved him.