Close to Comfort by Thara Popoola
I still recall how loud I laughed. It had gotten to the end of the funeral and his body was being
lowered and I literally laughed out loud. I was mortified. You see typically, the day of your father’s
funeral is meant to be one full of tears, because that signifies sadness. This is common knowledge,
social convention. Crying, is what I should have been doing, not giggling. I did briefly consider the
possibility of fake crying, but whenever I do, I get a really bad migraine and my vision gets blurred; I
even get a little nauseous. Maybe that was my body’s way of repelling my own BS.
In replacement of tears I decided to just smile. I felt as though this was the best way to avoid
people investigating my lack of tears. I smiled as everyone told me how sorry they were, but failed to
ask if I was ok. I smiled at people I barely recognised and lied to them when they asked me if I could
remember who they were. I was putting on a great show for everyone, really holding it all together.
At least that was until I bursted out laughing.
It started with just a light giggle, and then I became hysterical. I don’t know what came over me.
For some reason, as I was watched his box slip further and further into the ground, all I could think
of was how much he hated the underground. He would always rant about how the tube is only hot
because it’s that much closer to hell. Apparently, God revealed that to him in a dream. So when they
told me he had jumped in front of a tube, or as they phrased it; “been in an incident at the
underground”. I told them they were mistaken.
“You wouldn’t catch him dead in the underground”, I said, as they looked at me with their
concerned faces. Little did I know that’s exactly where they found him, and dead he was.
This whole encounter was on loop in my head and for some reason, watching his body being
lowered, made me completely hysterical. Laughter has always been my go-to mechanism.