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The Day the Laughter Died--An Elegy

Elegy for Matthew Perry, Robin Williams, Mitch Hedberg, Freddie Prinze, Phil Hartman, John Belushi, John Candy, Heath Ledger, Chris Farley, and all the others.

By Lena FolkertPublished about a month ago 2 min read
"My Heart Bleeds" © Lena Folkert, 2023. Created w/ Wombo Dream

💙 For Matthew today. 💙For all the others of yesterday.💙And for all who make us laugh, who laugh through the pain, who wish someone would see the truth--I see you. Your burden is not too much for me to share. 💙


A deep hollowness has overwhelmed me,

and in perpetual grief I reside.

A day when mirth returns I cannot see--

for you took laughter with you when you died.


You offered yourself as a sacrifice,

laid down on the altar of comedy.

But in private you swam in the abyss,

in search of numbness as your remedy.


In desperation, you wore a brave face,

giving to others what evaded you.

Temporary relief followed the praise,

but the truth was that pain was all you knew.


Years of silent suffering wore you down,

until it was too much for you to bear.

The time had come for you to pass the crown.

And now in your suffering, we all share.


*** I'm tired of losing the geniuses. The class clowns. The kind and gentle souls who use humor to hide. You don't have to fix me at the cost of yourself. 💙

They gave us the best medicine for our darkest hours. In the laughter we found comfort, but there is no comfort for the Joker who privately swims in the abyss. Seeking the solace only various substances could provide. Until the emptiness of a false remedy overwhelmed them, and whether accidental or intentional (or a natural result of poor lives lived), they refused to continue the charade. And with them, until the next one stands up, the laughter must die. In this tragedy, I further their burden with my grief and guilt, knowing all too well they needed more than just my laughter. And in my grief, words fail me, and I add insult to injury with an elegy not fit for a spider. But perhaps, in its clumsy execution, the plainness does them honor.


About the Creator

Lena Folkert

Alaskan Grown Freelance Writer 🤍 Lover of Prose

Former Deckhand & Barista 🤍 Always a Pleaser & Eggshell-Walker

Lifelong Animal Lover & Whisperer 🤍 Ever the Student & Seeker

Traveler 🤍 Dreamer 🤍 Wanderer

Happily Lost 🤍 Luckily in Love

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Comments (12)

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  • Grz Colmabout a month ago


  • Poppyabout a month ago

    Wonderful tribute. Such heartbreaking news

  • S. A. Crawfordabout a month ago

    This is very poignant - so many creative, wonderful people have been taken too soon

  • Sad Losses but they are all still immortal to us

  • Manisha Dhalaniabout a month ago

    I am heartbroken by what happened. Your poem has done justice to describe his life lead.

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    This was so touching and emotional. A very wonderful tribute to all of them!

  • Babs Iversonabout a month ago

    Hesrtbreaking💔💔 Beautifully penned tribute!!!

  • Kenny Pennabout a month ago

    The world misses them all, and feels less without them in it. Me mourn with you Lena

  • Meagan Dionabout a month ago

    Well written! Beautiful words!

  • There is more contained in your humble words than all the most erudite composers combined. Today we have truly lost a friend.

  • Cathy holmesabout a month ago

    This is a beautiful piece. You did them justice.

  • Heather Hublerabout a month ago

    My heart is heavy as well. I've been thinking so many similar things all day long, thank you for giving them voice.

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