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.