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I Cried So Hard I Laughed

Nowhere is the pastoral landscape more laced with emotional land mines than at funerals—not baptisms, not hospital visitations, not even weddings.

Funeral homes are haunted by hearts in sorrow. Family members gather grim-faced around the dead, their shoulders hunched with regret, guilt, and grief.

Into this brokenness walks the minister carrying only a toolbox full of words. Which words will you choose?

How about something funny?

Seriously.

Humor can be one of the most effective tools in lifting the burden of grief. Sometimes a gentle dose of laughter can be exactly what grieving families need to regrasp the joy of their loved one's life.

At the memorial service for fellow golfer Paine Stewart, Paul Azinger faced an assignment that made number thirteen at Augusta National, arguably the hardest hole on the course, look as easy as a six-inch putt.

Stewart died in the prime of his life in a bizarre plane crash. In the audience were hundreds of mourners, among them Stewart's wife and two young children. ...

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