Sunday, April 08, 2007

BYBS: Gallows Humor

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So always look on the bright side of death! Just before you draw your terminal breath. Life's a piece of shit, When you look at it. Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true,

- Life of Brian

Continuing in the thread of being grateful for humor, this post is about humor in the situation where things are really bad. In some situations you have to laugh or cry. Sometimes you cry and that is necessary. It expresses emotion and helps with the healing process.

Sometimes you laugh and I think that is also helpful. Laughing gives you an emotional "break" and also expresses something about the situation. The juxtaposition of humor into a situation that is so serious is part of what makes it funny.

For example, my grandmother was in the hospital, dying of cancer. My aunt visited and wanted to take a picture of the family members present. She was taking so long arranging people that my grandmother remarked "If you don't hurry up with this, I'll be dead before you take your damn picture!"

When Ronald Reagan had been shot and the doctors were about to operate, he asked: "All you guys are Republicans, right?"

My wife had gotten into a car accident and the first words out of her mouth to me were "I spilled my chai!" Later on in the day: "At least I don't have to go to work tomorrow."

I would love to hear about similar experiences that you've had.

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Blue Panther said...

You had a great grandmother!

Sometimes the humour is not intentional but forced. A few posts back, I wrote about an accident I had. Right after the accident when everyone wanted me to rest or get my wounds looked after, all I could think of was if I was making sure that all the formalities needed to get the insurance were being taken care of.


Have a great week!

msdemmie said...

Humour is essential in any situation I think, it diffuses tension and helps us accept the uncomfortable realities when we need to.

When I had my serious operation a few years back which left me with a colostomy - I used to introduce myself as the "bag lady". My way of dealing with the harsh realities of the situation.

Hope the snow melts quickly and that you have a great week.

Happy BYB Sunday and Happy Easter.

Kuanyin said...

Yes, humor is one of the best healing modalities...that's why the book written by Bernie Siegel resonated with so many people. By the way, I have a humor blog if you ever want to laugh about blogging: Blog-Blond.

Happy BYB Sunday!

Marilyn said...

I don't have any "gallows humor" I can think of right now but I do know that if Hubby and I weren't able to crack a joke in the middle of any argument, we might not have made it this far.

Nothing douses anger quite like a good laugh.

stev said...

humor is where the heart is :P

and its def one of the best things around our world nowadays :-*

Sandy Carlson said...

Humor...Yes...I recall my aunt's mother in law haunting my grandmother's kitchen after the latter had died. This was a Hatfield-McCoy situation, and we marveled the house didn't go up in smoke that the gangster's mother (the in-law) was manning the controls at the stove.

CyberCelt said...

I tend to laugh more, the more I am stressed.

When my mom was dying, my sisters and I purchased her funeral on her credit card. We would joke, "oh, girl, she is going to live to get that statement."

Humor helps almost any situation. People just look at us funny. LOL

stev said...

(off-topic: a small note that blogs moved to

Sandy Carlson said...

God bless you! A little humor can do so much good. Thanks for this.

Tanis said...

you should meet my family - my grandfather had a stroke almost two years ago now (On Feb. 10) - and my family is very close. my roommate and boyfriend rented a car and drove me home (12 hrs) and back in the same day - he died the next day. On the day after he died, we all went into the funeral home (20+ of us) and were making arrangements, and cracking jokes left right and centre. The funeral director actually smiled a few times (stony faced mortician and all). This Christmas I went to Grandpa's grave for the first time since the funeral, and it was hard, but again, most of my family was there, and we took wreaths and stuff for his cross - cracking jokes the whole time. Grandma was there, and she has declared that she wanted to be cremated and rototilled into the grave. She has had both knees replaced, with titanium. They're not gonna burn. She said that she wants one on one side of the cross and the other on the other side of the cross - my uncle had a great Christmas day telling Grandma how perverted she was :) Nothing helps a hard time better than humor.

Talk to you soon,

Whatever said...

I think I'm in love with your grandma :-)