This is what happens when you only check on the news sporadically. I missed the announcement that Nora Ephron died on Wednesday.
There are a number of articles talking about how she paved the way for women writers, for comedy writers, for comedies about women and dating. Without When Harry Met Sally there might not have been a Sex and the City. Without a doubt, she was talented and funny, with a gift for turning her pain into other people's laughter.
I find myself wondering if she 'performed' for other people because she didn't want to be an object of pity. Was there a point in her life when she actually started thinking of these painful events (like her husband having a very public affair) as funny rather than hurtful? Most of us have a little comedy routine about subjects which are otherwise too sore to handle.
I think it's one of the best gifts you can give. Letting other people see the dark humour in their own pain. For me, it's always been true that I can either laugh or I can start screaming. Most of the time, I choose laughter. Otherwise the world is just too dark and awful to face.
That's the lesson I'll take away from Nora Ephron. The gift of bandaging pain with laughter, the freedom of admitting your fears in a witty way. I'll have what she was having.