During periods of hardship, laughter can lighten the load. Cracking up may be a better option than breaking down, or so the recent publications of three young adults with cancer suggest. Somewhat discomfiting, the jests of these authors serve as an antidote and alternative to the despairing negativity or fake positivity that plagues patients like me. Their punch lines zing with pleasure that offsets the pain of their edgy insights.
In Nina Riggs’s memoir “The Bright Hour,” she tells of commiserating with a friend who is also dealing with triple negative breast cancer. They imagine starting a business called Damaged Goods, which would sell a line of morbid thank-you cards:
“Thank you for the taco casserole. It worked even better than my stool softeners.”