Behind the Laughter
A Comedian's Tale of Tragedy and Hope
By: Anthony Griffith and Dr. Brigitte Travis-Griffin with Mark Caro
“I was living every comic’s dream…with a nightmare attached.”
Anthony Griffith, a stand-up comic from Chicago’s South Side, has lived on the borderline of comedy and tragedy. At the very time his career as a stand-up comedian was taking off, and he had finally achieved his dream of appearing on The Tonight Show, he was also enduring an unimaginable personal nightmare: his two-year-old daughter, Brittany Nicole, was dying from cancer. While Anthony performed under bright lights, he struggled not to succumb to the darkness of losing a child.
Behind the Laughter asks, When your world is falling apart, how do you keep going? It’s the story of how Anthony and his wife, Brigitte, learned to endure the most painful of times and emerge on the other side of the “zombie years.”
Although, I have not had a child die from cancer, I could definitely relate to this book. Our son had emergency brain surgery and was in a Childrens hospital for five weeks with part of his left bone flap (skull) removed.
We also had to learn to care for PIC lines, administrating antibodies, cleaning the port, etc. We had our hearts broken by other kids in our sons unit.... one little girl literally broke my heart.
People would ask, dont you just cry all the time? But the reality was, yes, we were overwhelmed, we had tears, and we were completely exhausted, but at the same time, life still had to go on. We had two other daughters who needed us, a home and seven acres to take care of, my hubby had to go back to work, I still had my home business, and we had medical bill's rolling in.
I stayed by my sons side, while my hubby went back to work, took care of the property, made meals, went shopping, took care of the girls, done the laundry, and drove the 2+ hours one way, to the hospital every other day to see us. He would stay at the hospital on Sat nights, so I could have a break and come home to have a night with the girls and get a good nights sleep, then the next week, it started all over again. Yes, we were worried and scared for our son, but in the midst of a tragedy, we had to keep going.
In our story, our son, after another few months of treatment, made a full recovery. There were still lots of testing over the next year or so, but we are so very thankful he is alive!
We are not comedians, and we didn't have to plan a funeral or bury our child, but that was almost 2 years ago, and we still feel the effects that it had on our life.... like we are still catching up, like we missed a couple years of life, that we are just going through the motions.... life is still going on, but it's different.
I found this book a good read.... from Anthony's Big Momma shooting out the window, their daughter's death. Brigitte finding her life's work, him having MS, going blind, and ultimately to them keeping God/Faith in their life and putting their marriage first....
In the end, they made each other stronger... and that is my prayer for my own marriage!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review blogger's program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.