At my Uncle Jim's funeral when I was 9, I laughed first when I was told this young man had died. He was 38, an alcoholic, and believed not only that he was Jesus but that Barry Manilow was his brother. True story. The bowling alley where he hung in the city STILL talks about him 30 yrs later. My uncle was nuts and I cherished him. He was a bad ass as well. He won awards in body building in Chicago....He was good to me.
I remember what I wore to that service and I remember laughing so damn hard that I was removed from the service. My fucked up family thought I was as nuts as he was..........
My "cousin" Cody committed suicide. He had a fucked up life, became an addict, blew his brains out. I was at the service talking to his girlfriend when I blurted out "I just wanted to blow my brains out" which made me LAUGH so fucking hard......I know, I know.
When my grandmother passed away, I was heartbroken. I knew nothing in this family would ever be the same. I missed her before the words came out of my ex's mouth that she had passed. She was the best kind of crazy and funny and gorgeous. She was not the hugs n kisses kind of lady, rather bad ass really but you knew you were loved. On the drive to her funeral I had my mom and sister with me. Driving with my mother is about as much fun as driving blindfold in the rain, but as soon as we got to Michigan, mom buzzed, it was game ON. From the priest to my mother to my sister.....I laughed hard. The one second I cried here was when my brother who was raised by her, broke down in choking sobs. I never, ever wanted to end someones pain as badly as I did that minute.
My grandfather passed shortly after....He had Alzheimer's. My granfather was a drunk for years, quit and stayed sober for a long fucking time. He was mean and kind and once convinced us kids he was going to murder santa....he even had the gun. Funny ass fucker, right? (seriously, I think so)
When he died, it was the end of the end. My family had officially split apart. I knew my grandpa was NOT happy about a catholic burial but what made this HYSTERICAL was the fucking priest didn't know his name. He kept referring to Emanuel, his name is Samuel. I laughed so hard i had to get up and leave....some thought I was weeping and fucked up. truth is, I was glad he didn't suffer anymore and I knew he was pissed as shit this guy could not get his name right.
My BIL's dad was murdered in Chicago. He was a security guard and got detailed to a white castle. He was murdered by a schizophrenic man. NOT FUNNY. this is awful....My sister talked me through not opening my mouth for any reason....but I did. I said to T's mom "It's SOOOOOOO nice to FINALLY meet you!!!!!" K just looked at me, shaking her head.
My father in law passed away in 2010. I even cared for him in the hospital for a couple weeks. I was sad and loved him. At his funeral, he was a fireman, when they started with the bagpipes and speeches....I almost threw up from laughter. The speeches, drunk fireman, crazy family, it was INSANE.....My sister, sitting next to me had tears streaming down her face. Now, I know that was because she was laughing with me, most people thought we were hysterical. How can one NOT laugh when one speech entails how John left his first wife and "snuck off with poopsie".....I am telling you guys, That's in my top 5 best funerals. EVER.
It could be my discomfort with death, awkward situations, not knowing what to say and feeling the need to say ANYTHING...but if there is a funeral, guaranteed I'll be the one laughing and saying stupid shit.
It's not a lack of love or compassion....it's a sense of relief to get any emotion out.
Disclaimer* No, Alzheimer's, suicide, death is not funny. If you think that's what I am saying, move along.