17 January 2012

Laughter in the midst of grief

Life in my family has always been full of laughter. Thus, even as we mourned together my mom's death, we made jokes in the middle of everything. Like, can you imagine what my mom would have said if she'd seen my father peeling apples? his first time, ever. Or how we'd tell each other not to forget to close the door to the garage - using the same tone that my mother would have used. And my father and I joked about how she'd be happy about her plot at the graveyard - her being on her own reflected her independence. Laughing about these and other things (like all the lasagnas that my sister and my father received - I think my sister was winning with 6!) is simply part of my family's way of trying to love life - and fighting against the dullness that grief can bring.

The strangeness of the jokes and the laughter is that it sometimes feels out of place with grief. The joy found in laughter seems to contradict the heaviness found in grief. Yet, the moments of joy and lightheartedness give me the strength to face again the sadness and to be willing to cry over our loss and the strangeness of what's next, remembering hope amidst the sadness.

1 comment:

Kim said...

(((Brenda))) I'm so so sorry to hear about your loss. I can't even begin to imagine losing my mom ... arg. It must ache.

We have a similar way of dealing with the hardships of life - laughter ... when Brad had his testicle removed (just over a year ago now), the anaesthesiologist asked when he came into the OR suite, "So, are you ready for this?" and Brad said, with a grin, "I'd give my left nut to get out of this place!" I guess the whole team laughed and said that was the best response they'd ever heard.

We started making jokes about it shortly after the surgery. Some thought it was too soon ... but only the person grieving can really know when it's soon enough. And sometimes, if you're like us, it needs to be earlier than the average person would think :)