At first you wouldn’t associate laughter with grief, you know you’ll have your moments where you chuckle at fond memories and quirky personality traits (warning this post contains dad dancing references) but it actually comes sooner than you realise.
When I got home after losing my Dad, everything was a blur and I was in a fog, I spent the night toss and turning, crying and trying to sleep but not wanting to because I knew I’d wake up and realise that it was true and the bad news was still there. The next day was the first full day without him, I mixed between, crying heartbroken sobs, wishing I could cry but not being able to squeeze the tears and emotions out and walking aimlessly about not knowing what to do so I put the kettle on (why is it tea seems to be the go to soloution in any traumatic moment?!). During this I was receiving lots of message of sympathy and support, some of which came from one of my elder cousins who managed to make me laugh, not just a chuckle but a full on belly laugh until my eyes watered and sides hurt. She told me tales of my Dad pulling the car over and kicking her brother out for farting with such a stench that he wasn’t allowed back in until it had gone! In fact many of the stories we shared over that whatsapp convo revolved around my Dad, us as kids and number two toilet trips!
That laughter really helped, it was a glimmer of hope in the hardest of situations, it reminded me that there were things to smile about. Since then I’ve laughed so much about my Dad, he had such quirky traits, bad singing and dancing to a poor taste in music included. In fact I often do impressions of him to my mum and we laugh even harder at the fact that I’m too musical and coordinated to be able to mimick his lack of rhythm!!
It’s funny how you can laugh so hard at things gone by and easily something small can spark a memory of Dad and make you want to burst out laughing! It happened a few weeks ago when a particular song was played over the tannoy system at the school I work in and I had to walk down the corridor trying to refrain from laughing out loud. It had just made me picture my Dad in his hideous, yellow and very 80’s shirt/t-shirt (my mum and brother will know the one) it had a strange polo shirt collar yet was a shirt not t-shirt and had grey stripes. He refused to throw it away despite it losing it’s…well everything! Anyway in this vision he was pulling a particular expression that’s so typical of my Dad with his head cocked to one side and he was clicking his fingers and head bobbing (out of time) to the tune.
I always laugh to myself in the supermarket too, I pass certain items and remember some of the rubbish my Dad would eat or the strange cooking methods he adopted. I love to laugh about the rubbish DIY jobs he used to throw together at home despite him being very skilled in that area-things would always do for now but for now always became forever!
I just love to laugh about my Dad, he was far from perfect and made lots of mistakes in his life as we all do but he had a uniqueness that was unintentionally hilarious and are the memories I want to remember. They also seem to be some of the unfortunate quirks myself and my brother seem to have inherited so laughing and remembering them is also very easy.