So, my dad called me up a few months ago and dropped the bombshell: he’s got a “bit of cancer.” Now, this is the same guy who once made a joke by saying “who’s next? who’s next?” at a funeral. My father’s typical inappropriate comedy timing, but he made me laugh, none the less. We call that a juxtaposition, making a joke graveside; the two are not supposed to go well together. But still, when I heard he had “a bit of cancer” and it might be him next, it wasn’t so funny anymore.
The truth is we are all going to lose loved ones, and one day, loved ones will lose us. We cannot escape the grim reaper, but why am I even talking about death? It’s just a “bit of cancer.” We don’t even know at this point.
Over the past few months, it’s been a roller coaster of emotions. One minute my dad’s acting like it’s no big deal, the next he’s talking like he’s on his deathbed. And I’m 998 miles away in Canada while he’s over in England, so it’s not like I can just pop over and give him a hug.
But here’s the thing: I’m a comedy therapist, and I use therapy and humour to cope with life’s challenges. So, I’ve been compassionate and present to all my emotions – sadness, anger, fear – and then I take it a step further and start to discover the absurdity of it all. I even wrote a twenty-minute set complete with a song.
I mean, who doesn’t want to cry-laugh about death and dying, right? Sure, it’s a little morbid, but it’s also a celebration of life, love, and all the crazy stuff that comes with it.
There is a deep joy to be found in sadness because of the love I have for my dad. So, while I may not be able to give him that hug in person, I can still laugh with him and cherish every moment we have together.
So, if you’re feeling down about the tough stuff life throws your way, don’t forget it’s part of the rich tapestry of life, and it’s okay to add some humor to the mix and find ‘the funny.’ It doesn’t solve everything, but it sure can make life’s journey a lot more bearable.