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  • Writer's pictureTory Anne Brown

Is It Wrong to Laugh At a Funeral?

When my uncle passed away, I was the only member of his side of the family that lived near enough to attend the funeral, so I represented. My uncle and I were far from close, though he came to visit when I was a teenager and brought me a Nubian goat, but I will save that story for another day. The day of the funeral dawned sunny and clear, so I made the trip to the cemetery where the service was being held. I only knew one person there; I was thankful I was wearing my darkest sunglasses so I could people watch the multitude that also came to show their final respects. I strolled up to Uncle’s casket and when I leaned over to place my flowers on the top of his casket, I dropped my car keys. I looked down in horror but was only slightly relieved to see them perched precariously on the edge, half in Uncle’s grave, and half out. I gingerly knelt down and grabbed them before they fell into the hole, which would have necessitated moving Uncle out of the way to retrieve them. And then the humor in what had almost happened hit me. I started laughing silently but hysterically until I had tears running down my face but couldn’t stop. The only thing people saw was this young woman standing by Uncle’s casket, tears running down her face, shoulders shaking, obviously distraught. The more the people came over to hug me, the harder I laughed. Uncle would have loved the humor but I was thankful that I was able to grab them before he could have caused them to fall in!

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