Monday, July 25, 2011

My Two Favorite Things

 Most people can't, but I can actually narrow all my favorite things into a first place two entry tie. My two favorite things are my family and humor. Saturday morning my nephew passed away. He was sixteen days old. He had been born with Down syndrome and had holes in his heart. My dad called me at 3:30 in the morning to tell me. It’s a universally excepted truth that no good can come from a 3 AM phone call, so when the phone rang I knew it wasn't Publishers Clearinghouse. My first thought was for my brother and sister-in-law. How are they going to get through this? How are they going to be able to do what needs to be done over the next week? How are they going to find happiness again? My answer was simple, family.

My parents, my brothers and sister, their spouses, me,
my daughter, my nieces and nephews.
I have a huge family and when tragedy strikes we come together to support one another. Four years ago, on Christmas Day, my husband passed away. I was 27, he was 28. Our daughter was eighteen months old. My family rallied around me. I could not have gotten through the long days and lonely nights without them. The love and support I felt from them physically sustained me through the most difficult time in my life. One night, just days after my husband had died, one of my brothers made some inappropriate comment. I can’t remember which one had made the comment or what he’d said, but I started laughing. I laughed so hard I think I might have peed my pants. It was the single best laugh of my life. My grandfather passed away in April. (I now have over 150 direct relations and sadly, death is something we’ve learned to deal with.) If you were sitting at my table at the luncheon after his funeral, you laughed your arse off. Yesterday, at my brother’s house, we laughed till our guts hurt reading funny stuff online.

Holy Cow!!! He was my Facespacetweet+ friend!!
On my Facebook page I like to post witty or funny comments. Saturday and Sunday I just didn’t have it in me to be funny. I didn’t think it would be appropriate. I thought I’d be committing some sort of grieving faux pas. Then I remembered that experience with my brothers after my husband's death and my grandfather’s funeral and yesterday sitting in my brother’s living room. People need to laugh. When people are grieving they need some sort of joyful release. So, starting today, my Facebook page will be littered with ridiculous, stupid, strange, weird, and witty comments. Starting tomorrow, my blog will be back to its snarky little self. I don’t care if people think I’m not giving the occasion the solemnity it deserves. This is how I grieve. Deal with it cupcake!!




20 comments:

  1. Katie, can I just tell you that your post totally hit me right in the middle of my heart. I'm also a laugh or cry type of person and believe that laughter is cleansing for your soul. My heart aches for your family. For a few terrible hours I thought I was going to lose my premature son, but he pulled through and I would have lost my mind if not for the support of my family.
    Big hugs and kisses to you and yours and please keep that joy in your heart.

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  2. I know how you feel. When my husband's great aunt passed away, as the funeral dinner went into the late evening hours, we ended up singing "Oh what a wonderful day". I don't think Great Aunt Lina would have mind. She always loved family dinner parties. I'm sure she would have sang along with us.

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  3. I cannot relate and I cannot imagine how horrible it is to lose those you love. I do relate to finding humor in a bad situation. That's how I've always been.

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  4. Kudos to you Katie. I'm so happy you can do this. I am sorry to hear about your nephew. Isn't happiness and laughter what we strive for? I don't think he would have wanted everyone to be sad, as your husband either. I don't think it's a faux pas at all. Laughter is beautiful and so is life.

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  5. It's such a blessing to have a loving, supportive family. Life throws its share of curveballs, but all of the tough stuff is easier when it's shared.

    Great post, and welcome to the GBE!

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  6. You are such a survivor, Katie! To have gone through the loss of your husband at such a young age must have been so devastating.

    I agree that we need to laugh even amidst tragedy. When my six-year-old baby died of forceps injuries, I never thought I'd laugh again, but I did and it felt good. It felt like maybe I'd get through it and be normal again. While I'll never be totally the same, laughter has helped with the grief process and still helps in dealing with all the tough stuff that gets thrown at me. It's part of the human condition to laugh and cry. Might as well embrace it. My heart goes out to your brother and sister-in-law. Sounds like they're in good hands and will get lots of support. Blessings to all.

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  7. I am truly sorry for your loss and your approach is simply amazing. I am humble in front of it, truly!

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  8. Had to be Tyler. Isn't it always Tyler? Love ya'all

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  9. my dad passed this march..he was the heart and life of all our get together's..it still stings an i tear up when he is not there...it was great to read how you deal with loss.

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  10. Thank you Katie! I felt guilty the first time I laughed after his passing but then I realized that is not how things should be. Although my heart is breaking and sometimes it is hard to breathe I am thankful for the strength and the humor in this family and that no matter what they can always get me to laugh. I told Ben last night that it is impossible to keep me from laughing when him and Jason get together and of course your posts always crack me up. We will never forget Lucas or go a day without feeling the pain of his loss but we cannot forget about how to live either. Love you!

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  11. Thank you so much for all the condolences. And Christine, it was probably Tyler or Jason or Ben, probably not Andy, but most likely Tyler.

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  12. Sheridon, you are a much stronger woman than I will ever be. I love you, Ben, and Wyatt with all my heart.

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  13. I think laughter in times of tragedy is often our way of coping with it. When my mother died, my two daughters and I started laughing when we were in the car on the way to the crematorium. It was about something she had once done and it was what she would have wanted, for us to celebrate her life and remember all good, happy and fun times.

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  14. Sometimes you need to think what the deceased would want. Can't really say much about what an infant would want, but most people with a little bit of age on them want their loved ones to be happy. Hang in there.

    Joyce
    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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  15. I think it is a blessing to have a family that rallies when they are needed. I am sorry for your loss --of your nephew, of your husband (both so young) and your Grandfather.

    I have to agree--sometimes the best medicine is laughter.

    Cheers! Jenn

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  16. Laughter is the best medicine. The Tippetts and Pedersen families do laugh a lot and have some really great times together. There is always such joy on both sides. It makes me so happy to visit either family. Even in our time of sorrow we can still laugh. It is truly sad that we have lost Lucas. He will be forever in our hearts and thoughts. With the support of our families we are stronger. As Sheridon's step-mother (I'm not the evil type ;o)) and Ben's mother-in-law, I am stronger just being part of their lives. These last few days we have all been together have lifted my spirits and I can see that in Sheridon and Ben as well. Thank you family for being so amazing.

    Love to you all! Shelia Pedersen

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  17. Wonderful post. Wonderful family. We have a small but tight family and good times as well as bad the support of those who love you makes it bearable. I believe laughter heals much faster than tears. I also believe you are remarkable. Welcome to GBE and I look forward to blogs!

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  18. Laughter is the best way to deal with many things and I am sure most people would prefer people to remember them with a laugh or smile rather than weeping and wailing. I feel for your family's loss, but I love that you all have humour and each other to sustain you *hugs*

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  19. There was a small lunch after my mom's funeral in 1992 and I was so hungry for some reason that I ate like 3 of those little sandwiches--probably had to do with stress. Being 17 and already a mother, times were definitely stressful. One of my aunt's had got to glaring at me and she said: I don't know how you can EAT at a time like this!" She kept steady glaring those dirty looks at me, sipping her coffee, giving me the evil eye over her coffee cup...it suddenly struck me as hilarious. I think laughter is the need to release the tension.

    ((Hugs)) I'm sorry for the recent loss of your loved ones.

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