Death in itself is a painful, uncomfortable topic that is never easy to easy to talk about and absolutely flies in the face of easy, small talk conversation. However, when death (or really, any major life experience) happens, and it is obviously out there; it is likely going to be a topic that surfaces.  In my case, Tylor’s death was so shocking, devastating and hard to comprehend; it almost always comes up–it would be a MAJOR elephant in the room if it didn’t.

Here is the deal…It is uncomfortable for people to acknowledge it. I recognize that, by default, people in my life are embarking on a delicate dance of not ignoring it (super awkward) and bringing it up in a manner that I will not offend me and/or throw me into hysterics. I have total empathy for this.  I can relate to this…trying so hard to say the right thing, when there is nothing right to say. It is then, only then, that the absolute wrong words just come out! It happens to all of us!

To provide some relief to those who are tackling the “trying to say the right thing,” in a situation where, quite frankly, that is just impossible…crazy things are said! In a moment of tears, I have been told, “I am not sure what triggered Tylor to do this” (major yikes)! OR, “Tylor would rather die than see you unhappy” (well, he did)! OR, “you must feel like you have a hole in your heart” (major twinge).

Here is the good news…one may think, on the surface, these would send me into a tailspin. Really, when those, “not-so-perfectly-timed” comments are expressed (and there have been many), I find that there is a funny pause, as we process what was just said, then we break in laughter…absolute laughter. Those tears transition from “tears that stem from pain,” to “I am human, you are human and we are having a real moment that is dripping in imperfection”. And that is PERFECT. And in a funny way, that laughter so healthy healing and such a natural ice breaker. It is a way to own that elephant in the room and move past it. It is a reminder that we are all human, that laughter is okay –even in the darkest, saddest, hard-to-maneuver conversations.

If you know someone who is going through ick, take the pressure off of yourself about saying the right things, at the right time. What a hard way to live! Be real. Be kind. Speak from the heart. That is all that matters.

If you are going through ick…embrace that laughter and those awkward moments. Sometimes laughter comes out of darkness.  It is a way to see, feel and experience light in some situations where, on the surface, seems impossible. If that laughter is triggered by an, “oh my word, I can’t believe he/she said this,” it is worth it.