It’s taken me a week for find some laughter in my life. The tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, CT, has really devastated my psyche, and most assuredly, the psyche of the country. We’ve literally had enough of guns and killing. I’m wondering if we’ll have enough guts to stop the insanity. But ,of course, we know it’s a combination of a person’s mental health issues coupled with the availability of guns. And I’m not writing this blog to go over the incidents of the backlog of crimes committed with guns and disaffected people. I’m blogging to help me assuage my sorrow and psychic pain. It’s all about my mental health at this point.
I’ve tried to remain quiet this week and find some peace. It took me about three lonely days of teaching and meditating and crying to get halfway normal. It was Wednesday night and I was still in the malaise of the holidays. I spent the weekend with my family in Las Vegas – the last three days of the Hanukkah celebration. While my grandsons were in tip top form, other things were twirling around my life. December 15th is the fourth anniversary of my mother’s death; my best friend’s father suddenly died and I attended a funeral that was very sad; my daughter-in-law’s best friend finally succumbed to a 4 year battle with breast cancer that had entered her brain. Kelly Nash was an angel on this earth and she will never be replaced. And that was last Friday morning and the process of mourning was in full swing. Adding to the emotional upheaval, my sister-in-law had a very strong connection with Sandy Hook Elementary School. She was raised in Newtown. Her grandfather helped build the Sandy Hook Elementary school. She attended the school as did her children. The pain kept coming.
I have a little secret in my life: I have a friend who is a member of the Motion Picture Academy and he shares with me “movies for your consideration.” So by Wednesday night, I consider that laughter might be an antidote to my feeling so bad.
I picked up a movie called “Bernie” with Jack Black. Now Jack Black is a very talented musician and actor and the role of Bernie, a mortician in a small town of Carthage, Texas, was the role of his life. The character of Bernie was an all giving, all good, all around joyful guy. He made Carthage come alive with happiness. I can’t tell you the story because it will ruin it for you, but for me, the movie made me feel good even at the end of the story. I was actually laughing in my apartment all by myself and feeling better than I had felt in weeks. And that’s because I felt myself laugh. I was laughing! It was the opposite of tears; it was the opposite of pain. It was maybe about getting my mojo back in gear and finding another way to express myself. One of my mantras is that laughter is the key to living well. So I could actually tolerate the sadness with the laughter.
Well, of course, all that joy is once again turing to the unpleasantness of preparing for my colonoscopy. Now I’m not just unhappy, I’m downright pissed. If you haven’t had the horrific experience of drinking the “gunk” for the colonoscopy, you are in for a very bad day and a half. Last night and very early this morning I’ve endured the indignity of drinking the preparation and being up most of the night. Who invented this procedure anyway? It’s sadistic to say the least. But I did manage to crack myself and my friend up a few times last night by making fun of the utter indignation of what I had to do to get a clean bill of health. Running to the bathroom was a sight gag. But that’s only about my physical health. My mental heath is still a bit fragile. I need more laughter today.