Can one add humor to a grief story?

Image from hospicewhispers.com

The message I have to deliver is one people need but not one they necessarily want to hear.

Many expect that they will hear a sad story and there will be no humor. After all, it’s a story about my child’s depression, addiction to heroin and his suicide. So of course there are parts that bring me and the audience to tears. It’s not a comedy.

However, I am also telling a story about the funniest, most popular kid in school. And there are times in our story that I had to laugh or I would have imploded on myself.

The last five years before he died were not completely without joy. My son loved to make me laugh. He’d light up when I did and the look of joy on his face when I couldn’t even catch my breath from laughing is a memory I don’t ever want to forget.

Sometimes I gotta laugh at the stuff people say to me.

When someone says, “I don’t think your message about suicide would fit our wine and cheese fundraiser,” I gotta fire back. “Oh yeah, you’re exactly right. Suicide and addiction are totally brunch topics. It goes much better with omelets and muffins.” Maybe they’ll get that there is no “right” time to talk about it. And maybe they won’t. But at least I’ll have a moment of humor to boost my day.

Laughter allows us a break from the tension. I need it. The audience needs it. And my grief needs it.

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked mental health speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational mental health keynotes, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, anxiety, coping strategies/resilience, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

4 thoughts on “Can one add humor to a grief story?”

  1. Humour has a way of soothing the soul. You and Charles must have been kindred souls.
    My son Riley and Charles sound so similar in personality types.
    Losing myself in the remembered quirkiness, love and laughter helps sooth my heart that aches to wrap him in a hug.

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