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Excerpt from The Courage to Laugh:
"Sometimes a laugh is the only weapon we
While I was writing this book, my dad
died. New Years Eve 1996, he was taken to the
hospital. Nine days later, just hours after my mom called
to tell me that he was looking better, my dad was no
longer alive. After a frantic phone call to book a flight
and only two hours of sleep, I got on a plane that took
me from my California home to my moms condo in
Florida and to the funeral.
I managed to hold back my tears until I
was on the plane. There, however, amidst business men
using telephones and the click of laptops, I sat sobbing.
So here I was, I thought, writing about
humor and death while my dad died. The universe was
testing me to see if I could find anything funny in the
situation and I was failing. I found nothing to laugh
about as the shock of his death washed over me. Nothing
funny that is, until the flight attendant shoved a cup of
hot liquid under my nose and demanded, Here. Drink this.
guarantee it will help.
What is it?, I asked.
Coffee and Baileys Irish Creme, he
Thats when my tears mingled with
laughter. First of all, it was seven oclock in the
morning not exactly cocktail hour. Second, I laughed
because I never drink coffee and, since I am lactose
intolerant, I avoid dairy products, especially cream.
I refused the attendants
grief-relief remedy but there was something special about
it anyway. The comic irony of it all made me laugh not a
laugh big enough to completely stop the tears but an
inner laugh that felt comfortable and whispered that
everything would be all right.
Then I had another cosmic chuckle. I
realized that I was just handed the opening words for
Table of Contents
Death Too Serious for Humor?
Chapter 1: Humor and Death:
Tasteless or Triumphant ?
Chapter 2: Humor: Hope
Chapter 3: Humor: Uses
Chapter 4: Lessons in Laughter
Seeing Demise Thru Humorous Eyes
Chapter 5: What's So Funny
Chapter 6: Hospice: Serious?
Yes. Solemn, No
Chapter 7: The C Words: Cancer
Chapter 8: AIDS Ain't Funny or Is It?
Chapter 9: Kids: Great
Wisdom from Small Fry
Chapter 10: Lingering Loss
Chapter 11: Sudden Loss
Leave 'em Laughing
Chapter 12: Last Laughs
Chapter 13: Celebration of Loss
Chapter 14: Mirth & Mourning
that writes about this subject must care, and
therefore has to be a noble and vital force watching
over the human condition!!!"
powerful testament that gives an honorable nod to
humor's place in life's final passage."
Author of Chicken Soup for the
is a book that is not just about humor but
Bernie Siegel, M.D.,
of Love, Medicine and Miracles
Klein has created another masterpiece! For anyone
facing a profound loss, this book provides wisdom for
the spirit and healing for the heart."
Patty Wooten, R.N.
The American Association for Therapeutic Humor
book is filled with inspiring stories of people who
were able to laugh in the face of life's toughest
Judy Tatelbaum, M.S.W.
Author of The Courage to
survival manual you cannot live without."
Barry Bittman, MD
Neurologist, CEO TouchStar
love this book. It speaks from the heart, and shows
the power of humor to rekindle hope and joy on the
darkest of days."
Paul McGhee, PhD,
Author of Health, Healing and the Amuse System
applause, applause!! This outstanding book should be
a bedside companion to all individuals whose lives
have been touched by death and dying."
CEO/ President of The Cancer Club