Literally Died

*So you "literally" died of embarrassment last night? Tell me more about the arrangements for your funeral.*

Yesterday, while making funeral arrangements with a wife and her three adult children, it came time to pay. The wife goes to pull out her credit card and the children all start telling her to put it away as they start putting their cards on the table. As the third son puts down his card he and I simultaneously say, “You can make it a three way” “So it’s a three way” …

There was a silent pause that hung in the air as we all looked around the table at each other. 

Then, at the same time, they all started laughing. They were laughing so hard they were crying. The wife got mascara all over her face mask. 

I said, “Oh Lord, that did not come out as I intended.” This of course caused them to laugh even louder and harder. I mean, they were doubled over in their chairs laughing.

Laughter is a helpful coping mechanism. Especially in today’s society where sometimes it feels we are walking on a thin line, we don’t want to offend anyone, or we don’t feel like we’re grieving “properly.” Laughing at unintended dirty jokes is okay. Laughing at embarrassed funeral directors who just want to crawl under the table and die is okay. There’s no right way about this. Allowing yourself to laugh can be incredibly healing. It was like a dam had burst for this family and they were finally able to breathe.