Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Commentary

October 4, 2012

It's time to lighten up

When someone you love is no longer there, has moved on to the great unknown, and you suddenly realize you will not be seeing them again in this life, emotions begin to swirl. There is, of course, shock, overwhelming sorrow, aching loss, regret, and helplessness. These are the things that make up grief. This is what one expects to feel at any memorial service.

What one does not usually expect at such a service is laughter, and lots of it.

I'm not talking about laughter such as that of the businessmen who chortled over the passing of Ebenezer Scrooge in Dickens's A Christmas Carol; not the bitter, vindictive laughter of those done wrong by he who has passed. This is the laughter of those who have gathered to celebrate a life well-lived; someone who brought laughter and smiles while she lived and would love nothing more than knowing that her love of life and those around her has lived on and will last for many years to come.

I've just come from such a memorial for my much-loved Aunt Marion, and I have to say it was one of the best times I've had in a long time. Not only did I get to gather with a group of people I don't get to see often, people who shared so much of my childhood, I got to relive some great times and laughter created by someone who helped to teach me to face life with laughter; someone without whom I would probably not be able to write a weekly humor commentary column; someone who would probably read these first few paragraphs I've written and think that they were sweet, but would let me know that I probably needed to move it along, lighten up a bit and quit laying it on so thick.

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