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Elders With Terminal Illnesses Do Stand-Up Comedy to Tell Us That Life Need Not Be Taken Seriously

An elderly woman walks on stage. She sits on a stool in front of the microphone and starts addressing the room. “Good morning everybody. I am a ‘Sikh’,” she says, pausing for a bit. “So ‘Sikh’ that I was admitted to the Guru Nanak Hospital.” The crowd bursts into laughter and applause.

End of Life Care India, which provides comfort (medically and otherwise), to patients with life-limiting illnesses,  wants everyone in society to talk about ageing and death and they are hoping to kick-start the conversation by making people laugh. Through a campaign called Laugh at Death, the organisation has released a video that finds those in palliative care themselves doing stand-up routines about life, and yes, death. Those conducting stand-up in the short three-minute video were trained by professional comedians to help land their punchlines and refine their jokes.

In their official website, the organisation notes, “In a society like ours, where talking about death is a taboo, some people who are terminally ill, not only accept death but also come to terms with it in the most fascinating manner – by joking about it.”

Through candid confessions, the men and women in the video put the viewers at ease by laughing at their own lives. On elderly woman notes, “These days I put on make-up and take a lot of selfies. Who knows? One of those selfies could be of use for my obituary one day?” One man jokes about how he got a kidney transplant from his wife, calling it a “chota recharge.”


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The video ends with a statement from the organisation noting the importance of palliative (end-of-life care) care and the role it plays in making patients comfortable with the idea of death putting, thus putting them at ease with life. It has been widely appreciated for thoughtfully broaching a sensitive subject by thousands across various social media platforms.

#LaughAtDeath

A topic that makes you cry your heart out will now make you laugh your guts out. Watch this unusually moving comedy show. #LaughAtDeath

For more information on palliative care, visit http://www.endoflifecareindia.com/

Posted by End Of Life Care India on Wednesday, March 29, 2017

To know more about palliative care, click here

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