I can laugh.
My Gramma died on that day and I can laugh. The absurdity shocks me. That I was capable of that range of emotion on that day.
Of course, clichés become clichés through repetition. So it goes that ‘life goes on’.
Even in the moments of death.
I first got the call that my Gramma did not have long to live from my brother. I happened to be watching 40 Year Old Virgin at the time. Upon answering the phone, the DVD was paused and I got the news. While my brother is giving me her prognosis of 2 days tops, I notice the TV screen paused. There, sitting bold and stationary is a close up, full screen shot of Steve Carrells crotch- protruding and in plaid.
Early the next morning, my brother and I drive the five or so hours to get back home. We chuckle at my atrocious shifting abilities as we bounce down the road and I adjust to Craig’s standard. We laugh outright at the bold Christmas display of red bulbs flashing “Happy Birthday Jesus!” We stay firmly planted in denial for as long as we can.
Once we reach the hospital, things are not quite so funny anymore. It is sad and surprising. Difficult and confusing. Heartfelt and heart wrenching.
We say our goodbyes.
I always imagined that in a moment nearing the end, the grief would be all-consuming. But whether it is denial at play or simply life moving forward, I find myself hungry. I find myself curious at the score in the hockey game. I find myself giggling when, after a nurse directs me to the washrooms, my Gramma’s sister realizes she has been using the Men’s bathroom all day.
Then official word comes, she has passed away. Upon death we cry, we are afraid and we grieve. And we laugh.
We laugh remembering her say time and time again “Pigs Ass n’ Cabbage” after asking her what’s for dinner. We laugh when out of nowhere my Grandpa indignantly insists “Well I’m not paying the bills on the computer!” We laugh at her favourite term of endearment ‘Ugly Mugly’.
With absurdity, there is life. My Gramma created this family and lived a good life. So yes, we can laugh.