Writing Comedy After Tragedy

My grandfather died a couple weeks ago. I was incredibly close to him and it left me devastated. As stupid as it sounds, I didn’t want to write comedy after his death. It’s not that I couldn’t write at all; the day I found out he died, it only took me an hour to write a four-page essay detailing the various emotions and thoughts I was experiencing. In the weeks that followed, I revised a screenplay, wrote to-do lists, and crafted cover letters. Despite this productivity, I had a strong aversion to updating this blog. The posts that I publish here are my ridiculous, comedic, embarrassing, lighthearted stories about my failures. Contributing material in the time mourning my grandfather felt like blasphemy, like I was dishonoring the grieving period by writing silly stories. It made me a little sick to think about putting on a front for the internet when inside I was struggling not to become an emo little bitch.

Three things brought me out of my funk: the first was time. As simple as it sounds, I needed time to process all the negative and depressing emotions that I hadn’t ever experienced before. It took a couple weeks, and I still feel it occasionally, but for the most part I feel myself now. The second thing was watching Colbert’s show after his mother died. Distraught by his mother’s death, he gave a heartfelt speech in her memory. Here was this hilarious, sarcastic guy baring his deepest sadness to the world; he made some jokes, he held back tears, and it all worked marvelously. This reminded me that comedians can be sad, and that’s okay. The third was the funny stuff I couldn’t avoid. I wasn’t searching for humor because “that’s how I cope”, it came out of nowhere and I couldn’t do much but accept it as humorous. So, in an effort to stop depressing the shit out of you guys, I’m transitioning back into my usual self with a couple sound bites from the week after my grandfather died.

My mom had to call everyone in my grandfather’s rolodex (the true sign that you’re above the age of 50) to let them know that he had passed. Here a couple of the responses from those phone calls. (Names have been changed) 

Mom: Hi, Mrs. Z [my grandfather’s 90-year-old secretary; imagine an emaciated Betty White]?

Mrs. Z: Yes.

Mom: This is Kathy, Bob’s daughter. I’m sorry to say he passed away.

Mrs. Z: Fuck.

 

Mom: This is Kathy, Bob’s daughter. I’m sorry to say he passed away.

Mrs. X: What happened?

Mom: He died in his sleep in his own bed. It was very peaceful.

Mrs. X: Aw shit, he died alone.

Mom: *bursts into tears*

 

Mom: This is Kathy, Bob’s daughter. I’m sorry to say he passed away.

Mrs. Y: Oh. John would’ve been sad if he hadn’t lost his mind.

 

I’ll be back posting some classic Carly failures within the next week. But for now, just wanted to say thanks.

Spunkychunk.

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