Marc, and others,
Humor is a release and relief. People facing horrendous situations respond more often than not by making jokes about them.
Two examples of "gallows humor."
A married Jewish couple in Germany during World War Ii got arrested and were sent to Dachau, whose purpose was known to those in Germany, even by those certain to die there, at that time. All through the trip, they faught like animals, blaming each other for the predicament they were in, who was the more stupid, unlucky, asenine, etc. Finally, through the last mile, they rode in angry, sullen silence past, despite the horror of the situation, a beautiful, pastoral farmland, a scene that has been chronicled to be a comfort to those who survived the terrible place they went to.
Finally, the train rolls through the gate and they're unloaded. The husband shrieks at his wife, "I just want you to know that you RUINED my trip to Dachau!"
There is a legend in Ireland that one on his or her deathbed is allowed to ask one question before they die that MUST be answered honestly. To lie to the dying is a grave sin that will put the liar into Hell when THEY die, no absolution possible.
So it was that one of my ancestors, the story goes, was facing his final day on Earth with his wife, Colleen, and his five sons around him. Four of the lads were right tall, strapping fellers who could field a side of rugby all by themselves. The last sone was a small, puny thing who couldn't beat an egg.
Conner O'carre (my ancestor, three-or-four-greats grandfather) gasps out to his wife, "Colleen, my time's almost gone, and I can see St. Patrick waiting for me at the Jerusalem gate (we were always flowery talkers). It's time for the question." Summoning the last of his strength, he points at the smallest lad at the bed and mutters, "is he really our son?"
Colleen nods and kisses old Connor's head. "Yes, love, he is."
Connor smiles, breathes his last, and goes on to meet St. Patrick at the Jerusalem Gate. Once she's sure Connor's soul is out of earshot, Colleen crossed herself and whispered, "Praise Mary he didn't ask about the other four!"
Just an example of how out of absolute darkness, humor always comes. It must. In the end, it's the only thing we can do to keep from giving up. And you STILL found humor, Marc, in your darkest hour.
A man after my own heart. A true sone of Ireland.
Peace and love,