In this particular blog, I wanted to write the constantly reoccurring connection between humour and grief -comedy and tragedy.
Author Steven King once stated that humour and fear are closely related in our brain.
For example, tens of thousands of years ago, the cavemen and the cave women would freak out when they heard a scary noise outside the cave. But then when a little animal jumped by, everybody laughed out of relief. Even since the beginning of time, laughter has been one of the ways that our brain tries to cope or make sense of something that scares or confuses us.
When it comes to making sense of the unknown, Monty Python’s Eric Idle has a similar theory. He says, “Life doesn’t make any sense, and we all pretend it does. Comedy’s job is to point out that it doesn’t make sense, and that it doesn’t make much difference anyway.”
I am chatting about humour, tragedy and grief today because I want to explain why I’ve been missing from social media for close to four months. I have still been doing my live presentations of Relieving Work-Related Stress with Humour because I am lucky enough to have good people around me who keep me working. However, I’ve let my blogs, podcasts and social media slide for the most part.
Last May, my dad suddenly passed away.
It was a shock to everyone who knew him. He was indeed eighty-six years old but he was still active. The week before, I golfed with him. The night before, we had dinner at my sister’s place.
I miss him every day. My dad and I were good friends.
In terms of parents, my two sisters and I won the lottery. We hit the jackpot when it came to scoring an amazing mother and father. They were our parents but they were also our friends.
My mom passed away three years ago after a long battle with osteoarthritis. She was in a lot of pain, especially during the last year. She spent the last six months of her life in the hospital with a good part of that in palliative care. My sisters, my dad, Flo (her superhero caregiver) and myself took turns visiting her. Every day she had someone by her side.
Did you know that dogs are allowed to visit palliative care?
When I visited my mom, I always took my dog, Barnie. At first, I didn’t know this was an option. A good friend of mine who is a doctor told me to look into it. All I needed to do was present the paperwork showing that Barnie had all of his shots. Also, if you bring a dog to palliative care, it should always be on a leash and obviously, have a calm, quiet disposition. There is A LOT of sitting around. So, if your dog is this type of a dog, I would highly recommend it. It’s a welcome relief to many other patients, visitors, staff, etc.
Barnie did what dogs do best – he was just present. He’s not particularly smart, he doesn’t do tricks, he doesn’t have a degree, but he just loves people. If they want to give him a pat or a scratch, even better.
During those six months, we sat by my mom’s side for many hours.
My dad was there every day. He insisted on taking the evening shift.
It was a lot of stress on all of us but especially for my dad. So much so that he suffered a minor heart attack during that time. In fact, he ended up down the hospital hallway from my mother for a couple of weeks. They ‘celebrated’ their last anniversary together – in the hospital.
So yes, there has been a lot of stuff going on over the last few years.
Everybody has their own challenge in life to deal with but as my comedic friend, Larry Horowitz, says;
“Everyone has their private hell but I wouldn’t trade mine for anyone else’s.”
As comedians, we tend to be fun and funny on the outside, especially when things go dark. We use humour as a coping mechanism.
As author Erma Bombeck once said, “There a thin line that separates laughter and pain. Comedy and tragedy. Humour and hurt. That is definitely true. I will tell you comedians are the first people to make a joke when things go off the tracks.”
Two Canadian comedians died recently of cancer – Tim Steeves and Alan Park. I worked with both of them over the years. Great guys. They didn’t deserve to die with so much more love and laughter left to give. At their memorials, many comedians spoke. What would normally be a sad event quickly turned into a roomful of laughter. It was almost a roast. It was all meant out of love but again, that’s how comedians cope. When everyone else is crying, we find the joke. Life is too sad and almost senseless without humour. Your friends are dead from cancer. Two months ago, they were helping you write a punchline. RIP Alan and Tim.
In honouring the humour of my friends and family who have passed, I promise to keep laughing and keep moving forward, especially during times of fear and/or sadness. Not only for myself but also for those around me. I promise to bring the ‘haha’ back to my podcasts, blogs, vlogs, presentations, etc. as I try to use this gift to stay on course.
If you would like to catch up on any of my other Laugh Long and Prosper episodes, voted one of the best podcasts of 2021 in Canada by CTV, check me out.
Judy Croon On Spotify, Soundcloud ,Amazon, FM PLAYER
Until next time folks, Laugh Long and Prosper!
This blog and podcast is sponsored by: by TROOL Social Media. TROOL Social knows that to be visible online you have to be fully committed and congruent in who you are and what you do. You must adopt the right mindset. Steer your ship to the SS Optimization & TROOL Social to get you sailing ‘on course’! Check ’em out!