9 years ago, when I started writing about the trials and balancing act of cancer at home, I was mostly funny. It was the counterbalance to the intense pressure of being the caregiver to a dying spouse while being the breadwinner of the house and still maintaining the illusion of goodness for the children we had to raise. I made everyone feel comfortable with what was going on. I lulled everyone into feeling better about our situation. People around us were okay because they thought I was okay.
I sent pictures of the kids smashing pumpkins in our driveway, my late husband and I vacationing, and always having a good time with our family. Occasionally, I’d toss in pictures of him at chemo or in a hospital gown, but for the most part I kept everyone informed, sane, and feeling pretty good. Our friends and family could forget that we were struggling with this pending… situation (?) We knew what was on the horizon but we were all so comfortable in the daily humor that it was easy to forget what was there.
Then, we understood what was happening. His death was expected. I could tackle it with the absurd and the hilarious.
Her loss? Hers was a sucker punch. Right into my core. Into everything I am. Along with everything else, it sucked the humor out of me. I could always find my way through things with humor, but this is too much. And I hate that. So much was stolen from my life – and to have my funny taken away too? That’s just the salt into the wound.
Every day I struggle with what is coming. I know I’m going to have to move forward and carry her life (and his) with me in a different way than I had before. How can I do it without exploiting the humor as my crutch? I know I have to make a conscious effort to do it, but I don’t know where to start. I don’t know how to start. This entire situation is just ludicrous.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that my identity has taken a hit in so many ways and I don’t know how to cope with that. I can go to my support group and I can commune with those around me and I can tell people that I’m part of that extra special grief club (child + spouse) that includes Joe Biden and Keanu Reeves and I can start to rebuild my life into these new circumstances. But I can’t do it without humor. I need to find it and pull it back into my life.
I want to be funny again. I just don’t know how.
Life without humor stinks. 0 stars. Would not recommend.