There’s something that’s so funny about tragedy.
Recently, a stand-up comedian named Tig Notaro took the stage in Los Angeles, and the timing couldn’t have been worse.
Notaro was diagnosed with breast cancer in both breasts, and her mother had died earlier that week, as well.
The times were grave, and there was no denying that.
Yet, she came out and simply said “Hi. How are you? I have cancer,” to laughter and applause.
Louis CK even called it the “greatest stand-up” he’d seen in a long time. He said he found himself laughing and crying at the same time.
If that’s not a sufficient example, then take my cousin Maha.
Maha was diagnosed with breast cancer while she was still in her 20s, which is an extraordinarily young age to have the disease.
She gave the world the pleasure of making her fight as public as possible, as she would constantly update how she was doing via Facebook.
And sure, her Facebook posts wouldn’t always be optimistic.
In fact, several of them would detail her setbacks in fighting the disease, like the side effects that came with chemo, and how she lost her hair.
I remember reading them, and just trying to find the words to console her. She was going through something I could not relate to, and I would usually have a difficult time leaving an optimistic spin on her struggles. I cared so much that I found a way every time though.
However, it was clear that Maha wasn’t out for sympathy. She made made the best with what she had, and found a way to be hilarious despite the terrible circumstances she was enduring.
She shot several videos with all the new wigs she had owned from having cancer, parodying ridiculous shows like The Hills. They were legitimately funny videos too.
Both of the ladies I mentioned underwent double mastectomies, and are doing pretty well for themselves.
My point is, it doesn’t hurt to laugh in the face tragedy, even when the circumstances are so bleak.
After all, laughter is the world’s best medicine. Except for, of course, medicine.